Inside The Bills

Why Mitchell didn’t sack Thigpen in end zone

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2008 – 4:22 pm

For those that saw the game you likely remember Kawika Mitchell’s kill shot opportunity on Tyler Thigpen when he came on a blitz and could have sacked Thigpen in the end zone or a safety.

Instead Mitchell just shoved him allowing him to lunge forward out of the end zone before Copeland Bryan sacked him at the one-yard line. In the end the play mattered little, but I asked Mitchell after the game about the play. Here was his explanation.

“To be honest I thought he had thrown the ball,” said Mitchell. “It’s a bad play on me. I’ve got to be aggressive on that all the time. Regardless of the situation, if I get fined because he threw the ball then so be it, but I’ve still got to be aggressive.”

So Mitchell thought Thigpen had thrown the ball and did not want to get flagged for roughing the quarterback or worse (a fine). In hindsight he obviously wishes he buried him for a safety, but he was trying to play smart. His teammate (Bryan) picked up for him on the play anyway by sacking Thigpen and forcing a punt.


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