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Old 07-23-2007, 09:12 AM   #1
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Default Mitchell named assistant HC

Steelers name Mitchell new assistant head coach
Monday, July 23, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Coach Mike Tomlin today announced he has promoted defensive line coach John Mitchell to assistant head coach of the Steelers.

Mitchell enters his 14th season as defensive line coach, a job he will continue in his new capacity. He succeeds former offensive line coach Russ Grimm, who carried the title of assistant head coach the past two seasons.

This is Mitchell's 34th season in coaching -- 17 in the NFL, 15 in college and two in the old United States Football League. He is a former All-America defensive end at Alabama and the first black player for Bear Bryant's Crimson Tide. He began his coaching career under the legendary Bryant shortly after he graduated from college.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07204/803794-66.stm
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mitchell named assistant HC

this is out of the blue. any thoughts? all i know is hes always done a hell of a job with the players he was responsible for (keisel and hoke as backups for example). tomlin must like what he sees in this cowher era holdover.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mitchell named assistant HC

I like it,he gets the best out of his unit.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mitchell named assistant HC

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
this is out of the blue. any thoughts? all i know is hes always done a hell of a job with the players he was responsible for (keisel and hoke as backups for example). tomlin must like what he sees in this cowher era holdover.
The guy's got the experience and he helped bring along Hampton and Smith (and as you stated, Hoke and Keisel). In Cleveland he helped along Perry and Burnett (I believe both were Pro-Bowlers?). From the outside looking in it seems like a smart move. Besides that, I really don't know all that much about the guy in order to form a solid opinion on the move. I guess I'll find out for sure come game time....
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Mitchell named assistant HC

May indicate he is the heir apparent at coordinator if LeBeau will only be around for a brief transition period, although I would think Tomlin would want a younger guy to follow LeBeau.

Provides some more continuity from the old regime and may help put some vets more in the conmfort zone as change swirls around them.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Mitchell named assistant HC

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Provides some more continuity from the old regime and may help put some vets more in the conmfort zone as change swirls around them.
I agree. I think this is a smart move w/ the vets.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Mitchell named assistant HC

you were correct 83 (perry and burnett- who could possibly be the last browns to be in a pro bowl ). this definitely brings continuity and sounds like it was title well earned. i think tomlins doing a lot of little things to put the cowher era vs. steelers era distraction to rest (atleast internally). its the steelers era and he recognized good players and people so hes not gonna try and re-invent the wheel. hes always been surrounded by great veteran coaches, so its good to see he doesnt think hes "arrived", and become the teacher trying to surround himself with lesser pupils.

info on mitchell from the official site:

http://news.steelers.com/team/coach/49264/

Quote:
John Mitchell is in his 14th season as the Steelers defensive line coach, ranking him as the longest-tenured member of the Steelers coaching staff. He remained with the team following Mike Tomlin's hiring in January, 2007.

Mitchell, who joined the Steelers' coaching staff Jan. 31, 1994, is in his 35th season of coaching, including 16 years at the college level and two in the United States Football League. This is his 17th season as an NFL coach.

Mitchell has been instrumental in the development of the Steelers defensive linemen, including three-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton and defensive end Aaron Smith, who earned his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2005. He also helped develop starting defensive end Brett Keisel and nose tackle Chris Hoke, who filled in sensationally for an injured Hampton during the 2004 season.

Under his guidance, Pittsburgh's defensive front helped shut down its opponents' offensive rushing attack all season in 2006 as the team did not allow a single 100-yard rusher all season. The Steelers ranked third in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing just 88.3 yards per game.

A former All-America defensive end for Alabama, Mitchell was the first African-American to play for the Crimson Tide. Mitchell's early years in coaching were spent studying under two of college football's greatest coaches. He began his coaching career in 1973 as defensive line coach under Paul ''Bear'' Bryant at Alabama (1973-76). He then spent six seasons as defensive line coach at Arkansas (1977-82) on Lou Holtz's staff.

In 1983, Mitchell made his first move to the professional level. From 1983-85 he served as defensive line coach for the USFL's Birmingham Stallions and returned to the college ranks in 1986 as defensive ends coach at Temple.

Mitchell began a four-year stint in 1987 as linebackers coach at Louisiana State (1987-90) under former Steelers' linebacker coach Mike Archer, who was the head coach. In 1990, Mitchell became the first African-American defensive coordinator in Southeastern Conference (SEC) history when he was named LSU's defensive coordinator. He also coached the Tigers' linebackers.

Mitchell, 55, joined the NFL ranks in 1991 with the Cleveland Browns, where he tutored two Pro Bowl defensive tackles, Michael Dean Perry and Rob Burnett. Mitchell accepted his current appointment following three seasons coaching the defensive line for the Browns.

A two-time Junior College All-American defensive end at Eastern Arizona Junior College in 1969-70, Mitchell then transferred to Alabama. A starter at defensive end from 1971-72, Mitchell earned All-America honors in 1972. He earned a bachelor's degree in social work in 1972.

Born Oct. 14, 1951, in Mobile, Ala., Mitchell and his wife Joyce live in Pittsburgh.



Mitchell's Coaching Timeline:


Year Team Position

1973-1976 Alabama Defensive line

1977-1982 Arkansas Defensive line

1983-1985 Birmingham Stallions (USFL) Defensive line

1986 Temple Defensive ends

1987-1989 Louisiana State Linebackers

1990 Louisiana State Defensive coordinator/linebackers

1991-1993 Cleveland Browns Defensive line

1994-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive line
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mitchell named assistant HC

Seems like a good choice, he's made marvelous things with our d line, now he's showing he can do even more. Congrats to him
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mitchell named assistant HC

I love the idea. The D Line was pretty good last year, and they didn't complain about what coach got what....

So it is THERE coach that is now a number two coach! Yet there is consistency.

Tomlin continues to impress me.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mitchell named assistant HC

What is great about all this is all the defensive minds at Coach. The defense should be a lot tougher.
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