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Keith Mitchell
No. 59     
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1974-07-24) July 24, 1974 (age 45)
Place of birth: Garland, Texas
Career information
College: Texas A&M
Undrafted in 1997
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* New Orleans Saints ( 1997 2001)
Career highlights and awards
* Pro Bowl (2000)
Total tackles     285
Sacks     19.5
Forced fumbles     9
Interceptions     4
Pass deflections     3
Defensive touchdowns     2
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Clarence "Keith" Marquis Mitchell (born July 24, 1974) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League who played for the New Orleans Saints, the Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars between 1997 and 2003.

High school and collegeEdit

Mitchell attended Lakeview High School in Garland, Texas and went to an outstanding college career at Texas A&M, where he was part of a star-studded defense known as the "Wrecking Crew". He was a talented pass rusher who was among the NCAA leaders in quarterback sacks during his junior and senior years. He had 34 career sacks for the Aggies and 18.5 career tackles behind the line of scrimmage. As a senior, Mitchell had 14.5 sacks and 10.5 other tackles for loss. Although constantly double-teamed, he still managed 50 solo tackles as a senior. Mitchell was the defensive MVP of the Aggies' 1995 Alamo Bowl victory over Michigan. He was named to The Sporting News college All-America second team and to the first-team College Football News All-American team as an outside linebacker in 1996.

NFLEdit

In spite of his collegiate success, Mitchell was not selected in the NFL draft because of concerns over his lack of bulk and ineffectiveness in coverage. He was signed by the New Orleans Saints and found immediate success with that club, appearing in 79 consecutive games during 5 seasons with the team, and making 60 starts over his final 4 seasons (in which he averaged 93 tackles and 4 sacks). His Saints career was highlighted by a 2000 season where he recorded 6.5 sacks, had 2 defensive touchdown returns, and was named to the Pro Bowl.

His success with the Saints was based largely on the fact that former defensive coordinator Ron Zook played to Mitchell's strengths and employed three down linemen with an outside linebacker (usually Mitchell) lining up as a defensive end. Mitchell's role had been similar as a college player, where he saw most of his success utilizing his great speed as a blitzing outside linebacker.

In 2001, Charlie Clemons replaced Mitchell as the Saints' rush end linebacker, producing a team-leading 13.5 sacks and an interception. Mitchell recorded only two sacks that year. Mitchell asked for his release following the 2001 season, and was signed by the Houston Texans. Mitchell started 7 consecutive games for the Texans in 2002, but his playing time was limited as a result of injuries, and he did not appear in a game after November 17 of that year. He was signed as an unrestricted free agent in March 2003 by the Jacksonville Jaguars and started for the Jags first two games of the 2003 season, his last in the NFL, but was injured and only appeared in one game for the remainder of the season.

NFL statisticsEdit

Year Team Games Combined Tackles Tackles Assisted Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries Fumble Return Yards Interceptions Interception Return Yards Yards per Interception Return Longest Interception Return Interceptions Returned for Touchdown Passes Defended
1997 NO 16 24 20 4 4.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1998 NO 16 73 46 27 2.5 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1999 NO 16 102 74 28 3.5 3 1 0 3 22 7 18 0 13
2000 NO 16 85 59 26 6.5 0 4 0 1 40 40 40 1 5
2001 NO 15 89 61 28 2.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2002 HOU 11 28 21 7 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2003 JAX 4 7 5 2 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Career 94 408 286 122 19.5 10 8 0 4 62 16 40 1 22
[1]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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