Scott Mitchell is a forgotten name among many circles of Lions fans.
Of the 11 years Mitchell spent in the National Football League, five were in Detroit. He finished with a 27-30 record in 57 starts with the Lions. Mitchell ranks third in Lions history in passing yards with 12,647, behind only Matthew Stafford and Bobby Layne.
Mitchell was the Lions' full-time starter for three seasons, including in 1995 when he led the team to a 10-6 finish and a wild card appearance. It was the first of two playoff appearances for Mitchell, the other coming in 1997.
In both playoff appearances, the Lions made first-round exits. However, Mitchell believes that the group could’ve done more with more time together.
With a core comprised of Mitchell, running back Barry Sanders, wide receiver Herman Moore, offensive lineman Lomas Brown and a plethora of other weapons, it’s certainly possible that he’s right.
Now a radio host in Utah, Mitchell appeared on the "Breaking Bread with Herman and Lomas" show, hosted by Moore and Brown. On the show, the trio discussed a plethora of topics, including how more time together could’ve led to better results.
“We were a really good football team,” Mitchell said. “One of the frustrations in my life is: I wish they would’ve given us more time. Look, wining a Super Bowl and being effective in the playoffs, that’s a hard thing to do. I mean, Tom Brady makes it look easy. But, Peyton Manning went five, five or six years before he ever won in the playoffs, and I just wish they would have kept that group together longer to really give us a chance because I think we could’ve done it. I really do. And I’ll say that until the day that I die.”
Mitchell was traded to Baltimore following the 1998 season, during which he played just two games. The 1998 season also marked the last one for Sanders.
Brown clarifies ESPN comments
A fairly large talking point on Mitchell’s appearance surrounded Brown, who had a history with Mitchell spanning past the two’s time together with the Lions. The two were teammates from 1994-96, but didn’t always see eye-to-eye.
On an interview with ESPN Radio in 2012, Brown said he intentionally missed a block, with the intention of Mitchell getting injured, in a game against Pittsburgh during the two’s first season together.
“We were playing Green Bay in Milwaukee,” Brown said in the interview. “We were getting beat, 24-3, at the time, and he just stunk up the place. He’s throwing interceptions, just everything. So, I look at Kevin Glover, our All-Pro center, and I said, ‘Glove, that is it.’ I said, ‘I’m getting him out of the game.'”
Speaking on the show, Mitchell admitted that he was playing poorly, and the two seemed to resolve the conflict. Brown also clarified his comments.
“They were killing me on ESPN, and they called you and everything,” Brown said. “I just remember that time me and you talked, and the first thing you said to me was like, ‘Lomas, I know you didn’t do that.’ Cause you remembered the play and everything, and we talked about that. I’ll tell you now, that made a world of difference because I was catching it.”
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Since the incident, Brown has taken to the airwaves to express his sentiment regarding the statement. The two seemingly have moved past it.
“I would say the most comforting thing that came out of that was when me and you ended up talking,” Brown said. “And you were like, ‘I knew the play you were talking about and, uh, you didn’t do that.'”
Mitchell wanted to bean Bobby Ross
After Wayne Fontes was fired in 1996, Detroit hired Bobby Ross to be the new head coach. Mitchell, like many, had respected Fontes. When he was replaced, there wasn’t much of a liking taken to Ross.
Mitchell was particularly upset with Ross after he was benched in 1998 after two games. Those two games were the last ones he’d play as a Lion, but it wasn’t the last time he’d see Ross.
With the Cincinnati Bengals, Mitchell played Detroit in Week 4 of the preseason in 2000. The game, being played in Cincinnati, had little meaning, and Mitchell created a plan to get back at his former coach.
“I had schemed in my head that I was going to, on a certain down, I was going to drop back, and I was going to throw the ball right at Bobby Ross,” Mitchell said. “I’m dead serious about this. I was so mad at him.”
Mitchell didn’t end up doing it, saying he couldn’t bring himself to do so.
“I understand why you were telling the story and the frustration and the conversation,” Mitchell said. “And, you’d like to do that stuff, because you go out on the field and you’re busting your butt out there. And, if you don’t feel like everyone else is pulling their weight out there, you don’t want them on the field.”
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