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Mike Mitchell now doesn't think Drew Brees is soft

For the record, Mike Mitchell doesn't think Drew Brees is "soft."

The Panthers free safety stirred the pot last month when he used that word to describe the New Orleans Saints quarterback, who Carolina will face Sunday night.

"I don't really think he's a soft player," Mitchell said Wednesday, per The Charlotte Observer. "Obviously he's a very, very, very good quarterback, and I have a lot of respect for what he's done as a player and what he's done in this league.

"It was really just more of a comment on the rule changes. It was really a 15-minute interview where someone took 45 seconds and made an article out of it."

Mitchell's initial blast was in response to the Saints' Week 11 victory over San Francisco that saw New Orleans benefit immensely from a 15-yard personal foul on 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Brooks laid a vicious hit across the top of Brees' shoulder pads, causing a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Patrick Willis. The flag kept the drive alive for New Orleans, who went on to kick a game-winning field goal.

"Stop being soft, get up off the ground," Mitchell told a Los Angeles radio station the week following the game. " ... You saw the play with Drew Brees. He did not get hit in the chin. He got hit hard, which he should have got hit hard because we are playing full-speed tackle football.

"And he fumbled the football. And I think that really was the reason he was down so long. He was really trying to sell that and trying to get a flag ... and obviously it worked, and their team was able to steal a win because of that play."

Edgy descriptions of Brees aside, plenty of fans would agree with Mitchell's take on the rule book. But with Mitchell in the unenviable position of having to slow down Brees and the Saints in the Superdome, it's not surprising he's trying to keep his soliloquies off Big Easy bulletin boards.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" debates the Seahawks' Super Bowl chances and asks "Who do you trust?" as the playoffs approach.

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