Late in the third quarter of this weekend’s loss to the Steelers, Alex Smith escaped third-down pressure and hit Kareem Hunt for a big gain before being brought down after the play by Steelers safety Mike Mitchell. Mitchell was flagged for roughing the passer, and Smith got in his face immediately after being brought down.
On Sunday, Smith said he was “fired up” over the hit, although he also noted that he wanted to watch a replay of it to figure out if it was intentional. He apparently did so, as he spoke with reporters today and called Mitchell out for what he saw as a dirty play:
“I felt like it was extremely late,” Smith said. “I felt there was nothing done there to avoid contact. It was really low from the backside. I thought it was about as flagrant as it gets when it comes to a low hit on the quarterback.”
“I don’t think this is a first offense, either,” Smith said of Mitchell. “I think when you start looking at ... repeat offenders, I think when they get shots at quarterbacks, they’re going to take them.”
Mitchell claims that he was pushed by a teammate and tripped into Smith’s knees:
“The video shows what it shows. I wasn’t trying to take Alex Smith’s knees out,” Mitchell said. “I went up to him and told him that ... it’s just one of those things you don’t want to see in the football game.”