Written by Matthew Cannata
Earl Mitchell, who was signed in free agency to a four-year $16 million dollar contract, has big shoes to replace on the defensive line after Paul Soliai left for the Atlanta Falcons. While they are different players and while Mitchell will have a different role than Soliai, it's still a void that was left on the line.
“Obviously it’s big shoes to fill,” Mitchell told Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post.
In 2010, he was drafted in the third round by the Texans and of course, spent the last few years there. Some say though that he didn't completely fit their defensive scheme and Mitchell agrees.
“I made the plays that were necessary but in that 3-4 defense there was definitely a lot on my shoulders just to make sure I was taking care of the double teams — that was more of my job,” he said. “But being here I feel like I can do my job a little bit better. I can definitely penetrate a little bit more because I don’t have to sit in front of the center and take on a lot of those blocks.”
“I think I can do his job and I definitely do what I know I’m good at,” Mithcell said. “I’m not going to try to be Paul. I’m just going to play the way I’ve been playing — that’s passionate, running up the ball, chasing receivers. That’s what I do.”
Mitchell will be a key part of the rotation on the defensive line along with Jared Odrick and Randy Starks at the tackle position. If he can be anything like Soliai, the line can continue to be one of the most dominant in the NFL.
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