Freddie Mitchell


Freddie Mitchell

NFL player


Caption=
DateOfBirth=birth date and age|1978|11|28
Birthplace= Lakeland, Florida
Position=Wide receiver
number=84
College=UCLA
DraftedYear=2001
DraftedRound=1 / Pick 25
DatabaseFootball=MITCHFRE01
PFR=MitcFr00
years=2001–20052005
teams=Philadelphia Eagles
Kansas City Chiefs *:*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
ProBowls=
HOF=

Freddie Lee Mitchell (born November 28, 1978 in Lakeland, Florida) is a former American football wide receiver in the NFL who most recently played for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a 1st round draft pick in the 2001 NFL Draft out of UCLA.

College career

Mitchell was a political science major at UCLA. In addition to playing football for the Bruins, he also played baseball where he was teammates with future Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. He introduced him to his future wife, Jennifer Cooper [http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/sports/16583997.htm] .

Mitchell, even then, was eager for attention. He played dumb in a Jay Leno man on the street interview, called "Jaywalking" about U.S. Presidents. Mitchell knew that if he purposely got the answers wrong, he would be more likely to be shown on The Tonight Show. So Mitchell, a political science and history student, pretended to say that Benjamin Franklin was the first President when asked to name him [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5301-1474033,00.html Mitchell on receiving end - Sport - Times Online ] ] [ [http://billikenbluff.blogspot.com/2005_01_01_archive.html The Billiken's Bluff ] ] .

Pro football career

Freddie Mitchell came to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2001 as a first round pick. He was picked before Reggie Wayne, Chad Johnson, and Steve Smith. Difficulty in learning the complex Philadelphia playbook limited him in the first season. The Eagles hoped Mitchell would break out in 2002 but, instead, he only caught twelve passes for 105 yards over the whole season. It was after this dismal performance, despite having the benefit of Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb passing to him, that the utterings of "bust" first began to be heard. In spite of his failures, Mitchell remained as bombastic as ever.

He showed some signs of promise in the 2003 season, during which he demonstrated a knack for gaining first downs (23 of his 35 receptions went for first downs) and caught his second and third career touchdown passes. Perhaps Freddie's biggest on-field contribution came on January 11, 2004, in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Green Bay Packers. Late in the game, with the Eagles losing by three points and facing a 4th and 26 situation, Mitchell caught a 28 yard pass for a first down. The Eagles would tie the score on the same drive, and eventually won the game in overtime.

With the Eagles' acquisition of wide receiver Terrell Owens, Mitchell's production dipped slightly in 2004, when he had 22 receptions. During this time, he began to openly voice his frustration over the limited role he continued to play in the Eagles' offense. His most notable catch of the season was a 60-yard reception during the Eagles' November 15, 2004, Monday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys. This catch is remembered primarily for the manner in which McNabb extended the play by eluding the Cowboys' pass rush for 14.1 seconds before eventually throwing to Mitchell.Fact|date=November 2007

uper Bowl controversy

The Eagles finished 13-3 and earned a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX, where they were to play the AFC Champion New England Patriots. During the week leading up to the game, Mitchell sat for a short ESPN interview conducted by Dan Patrick. Asked to identify the members of the Patriots' secondary, Mitchell claimed he didn't know them by name, only by number, and then deliberately stated each of their numbers incorrectly. He finished by saying that he knew #37 was Rodney Harrison and that he had "something for him."Fact|date=February 2007 Harrison responded with several insults, including an observation that Mitchell "really talks big for a first round bust".Fact|date=February 2007 Other members of the Patriots took exception to the comments as well. Normally tight-lipped coach Bill Belichick later said of Mitchell, " [a] ll he does is talk. He's terrible, and you can print that. I was happy when he was in the game." [Michael Silver, "Burress full of confidence, not trash", Yahoo! Sports, January 30, 2008, http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AilSI6LAei..QLw_nH1vous5nYcB?slug=ms-burresstalks013008&prov=yhoo&type=lgns]

However, after the Super Bowl, he continued to sound off in interviews where he criticized McNabb, Owens, and the New England Patriots as well as their head coach, Bill Belichick, saying that the way they reacted reminded him of "little girls". He said that the Eagles would beat them 8 out of 10 times, that Owens took away from his opportunities that season, and that he and McNabb didn't have any chemistry on the field.

Football career after Philadelphia

After being released from the Eagles on May 5, 2005, Mitchell then signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, who subsequently released him September 3,2005Fact|date=February 2007. On August 6, 2006 Mitchell worked out for the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas did not make a contract offerFact|date=February 2007. Mitchell tried out for the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday, October 11, 2006Fact|date=February 2007. Most recently, Mitchell worked out for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL on February 11, 2007 [http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/sports/story.html?id=82a9a9d4-7f09-40ad-a406-b02a0d7affec&k=53846 Story | Regina Leader Post ] ] .

According to sports blog Deadspin on November 27, 2006, Mitchell served as a substitute teacher at Mishawaka High School in Mishawaka, Indiana [http://www.deadspin.com/sports/nfl/in-case-you-were-wondering-what-freddie-mitchell-has-been-up-to-lately-217314.php Nfl: In Case You Were Wondering What Freddie Mitchell Has Been Up To Lately ] ] .

According to The Baltimore Sun newspaper, Mitchell worked out for the Baltimore Ravens on May 29, 2008.

An agent representing Freddie Mitchell contacted the Dallas Cowboys, but the team has shown no interest. (Source: Dallas Morning News, Sept. 1, 2008)

Mitchell and the media

In an effort to apparently garner media attention, Mitchell tried to bestow upon himself several nicknames. These include, The People's Champ (of which he had a belt, similar to the World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE's championship belts, made), The Sultan of Slot, First Down Freddie, Fourth Down Freddie, Hollywood, 4th and 26 Freddie, and FredEx (claiming he "always delivers", a nickname shared with Freddy Sanchez).

He has also appeared at a press conference wearing oven mitts to protect his hands. At the press conference he said "I'd like to thank God for giving me these hands."

References


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