Jets miffed by Mike Mitchell leap

ByJane McManus ESPN logo
Monday, November 10, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- From the vantage of the victory formation, New York Jets center Nick Mangold saw Mike Mitchell coming.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' 6-foot, 210-pound safety got a running start and leaped over the offensive line, but not before Mangold reached up and flipped the soaring Mitchell over.

"I think it's a dirty play, and that's what it is," Mangold said.

He wasn't the only Jet to think the officials let the Steelers get away with a lot. Jets coach Rex Ryan got a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for something he said to officials aftera fourth-quarter running play by New York quarterback Michael Vick.

Then, when the 20-13 score became final, Ryan was caught by broadcast cameras yelling what looked like "F--- you" as he walked toward officials and Steelers players in the postgame scrum.

"I got a little upset," Ryan said in reference to the unsportsmanlike call. "In this league, they put a huge emphasis on protecting the quarterback and all players, as they should. I'm not so sure our quarterback was protected the same as the other quarterback today."

Still, the Jets could complain about it from the vantage of the winning team, after breaking an eight-game losing streak heading into the bye week. In the locker room after the game, the offensive linemen were sitting together and laughing as they discussed the play.

"I kind of saw him coming," Mangold said. "Didn't expect him to do that, but he did it. I didn't think it was the smartest of plays, but we're glad that he wasn't able to get to Mike."

Vick moved safely out of the way as Mitchell landed on his back behind the line of scrimmage. Right tackle Breno Giacomini said his first thought after the play was "Go get Willie," referring to former Steeler and scrappy right guard Willie Colon.

Colon rushed up to the Steelers players and a scrum developed, but no penalties were issued to players on either side.

"I think it was B.S.," Colon said. "I love that team, I was birthed into that organization, but I thought it was uncalled for. That's why I reacted the way I reacted."

"I saw the replay and what I saw was a flying Steeler," left guard Oday Aboushi said. "I looked up and saw this guy in the backfield and I thought, 'How the hell did this guy get there?' Took the jetway I guess and started flying."

Given the way the Steelers were playing coming into the game -- quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had thrown six touchdown passes in two straight games -- Aboushi could see how their opponents could be frustrated.

"Emotions were running high," Aboushi said. "It was definitely a physical game and everybody came out swinging."

Mangold was asked if he's seen many plays like that during victory formations. He said he hadn't, and that he didn't expect to.

"No, we believe that you're professionals," Mangold said. "You play hard through the whistle but you try not to do anything too dirty."

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