Mitchell: Chemistry with Polamalu is 'fine'

LATROBE, Pa. -- Pittsburgh Steelers safeties Mike Mitchell and Troy Polamalu have not gotten a lot of on-field work together for various reasons.

But Mitchell is tired of answering questions about whether the two will develop the rapport that is critical for players on the back end of the defense -- and especially important on the Steelers because of Polamalu’s unique playing style.

“We’ve got two veteran guys playing the position so our chemistry is just fine,” said Mitchell, who signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Steelers in March and replaces Ryan Clark at free safety. “If you notice when we’re out there (in practice) there’s not a lot of big plays being made. We’re on the same page a lot of the time. We’re two professionals.”

Their time on the field together has been limited as Polamalu did not take part in organized team activities, which are voluntary (OTAs), and Mitchell didn’t practice the first week of camp because of a groin injury.

The two are expected to play in their first game together Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills after coach Mike Tomlin opted to sit Polamalu in the Steelers’ preseason opener.

Mitchell, whom the Steelers signed to add speed and a playmaker on defense, appears to be settling in nicely with his new team. And he said the groin injury that happened before the start of training camp only proved to be a minor setback.

“I’m prepared,” said Mitchell, who intercepted four passes and notched 3.5 sacks for the Carolina Panthers last season. “I didn’t miss a day of OTAs. I studied every day in the summer. If the season started tomorrow I’m ready to play 16 games.”

As for his take on the Steelers’ defense with training camp ending today, Mitchell said, “I like how physical we are. We’re still growing and developing every single day. The Super Bowl winner isn’t going to be determined by how you play in preseason. It’s the team that continues to get better and better and better for 24-plus weeks.”