Marko Mitchell is Lanky Livingston
As you might have noticed, Fred Davis celebrated his first professional touchdown with the Stanky Leg. As you probably didn't notice, Marko Mitchell celebrated his first professional touchdown by flashing double Ls with both hands as he ran toward the Redskins sideline.
"When I first met him, he looked like his name was supposed to be Lanky Livingston," Fred Smoot explained. "That's why he held up that LL. I named him Lanky Livingston."
(Seriously, was there any doubt that Fred Smoot was going to be involved in this? No, is the answer.)
Anyhow, Mitchell didn't do much in the way of a celebration when he caught the short fade from Chase Daniel for his touchdown Saturday night. As he ran toward the sideline, he saw Kareem Moore and Smoot and other defensive backs flashing the double Ls, so he responded in kind.
"They just came up with the symbol, so I was just like, 'I'll play along with it,' " Mitchell said. "I just realized when I was coming to the sidelines they were throwing up LLs and on top of that coach Jerry [Gray], he calls me LL anyway, so I just threw up the sign, too...From now on, that's my name, so I've got to throw it up whenever I do something."
We've written about this before, but Mitchell has become sort of the favorite punching bag of the defensive backs, jawing with Smoot, fighting with DeAngelo Hall and inspiring bets with Carlos Rogers. But it's some sort of tough love routine, just as coaches have openly praised Mitchell, the defensive backs all speak highly of the seventh-rounder out of Nevada.
"This guy's awesome," Smoot said. "He can play. I think why we love him is because he's scrappy. Two of us have already jumped on him, vets, [and] he fought us good and back, and we like that. We like that, man. Usually when a football player likes another football player, you mess with him....I think he's a guy that can step in and help us. He's a competitor, he's 6-4, he can run and he can catch, he fights for the ball. That's all you need, and play with some passion, and you can play in the NFL."
As for the scoring play, teammates said Mitchell and Malcolm Kelly have been staying after practice with a variety of quarterbacks to work on fade routes, and that paid off on the third-quarter red zone play, when Mitchell easily out-leaped his man for the ball.
"He gave me enough room to put it out there perfectly," Daniel said. "We've been working on this every day in practice. Marko's a 6-5 guy, I think it was probably a 6-1 corner, 6-2 corner, so he's gonna get up and be able to go get it. So you want to put some loft on the ball, and it was a great catch."
"I was telling everybody, 'I can get this guy,' and all of the sudden Chase called my number and threw it to me and I made the play on it," Mitchell said. "I'm happy right now, but at the same time, you just can't get high when you have a good night and all of the sudden come back the next week and not execute the way you did. I come out and put that in the past and come out here next week and do the same thing."
I asked Mitchell where he now stands in the race for a roster spot, and he gave the proper answer.
"I don't know, I don't worry about that," LL said. "A lot of people probably felt that I'm not that type of player, because I was drafted in the seventh round, this and that. Only thing I do, I just come out there and just show the people that even though I was drafted in the seventh round, I'm still a good player."
(And you might be wondering, what happened to that other nickname for Mitchell, Big Fase 100? That's actually his second nickname; Lanky Livingston was first.
"We added the Big Fase 100," Smoot said, "because his face was so big.")
(Also, Matt Mosley officially endorses Marko Mitchell for No. 5 receiver.)
(Also, Jim Zorn on Sunday singled Mitchell out for praise. "I thought that Marko Mitchell did a great job catching the ball, being aware, and picking his game up on the field," Zorn began, when asked about which young players had stepped up.
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