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PITTSBURGH -- For a player who believed he was being targeted by the NFL after being fined five times last season, new Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Mike Mitchell has transformed his attitude and his style of play. "Ive adjusted to the new rules changes," Mitchell said Thursday, "and just looked forward to playing clean football and not getting fined this year." After four seasons with the Oakland Raiders and one with the Carolina Panthers, Mitchell is expected to earn a starting role in the Steelers secondary this season. Though Mitchell might have toned down his heavy-hitting ways, he still plans to make an immediate impact in due to his ball-hawking skills. The Steelers had just 10 interceptions last year, 29th in the NFL, while Mitchell had four picks in one season with Carolina. "I guess I made some big plays, but that was just me sticking my toe in the water," Mitchell said. "I expect to make even bigger and better plays this year, and I have a great guy to learn from in Troy Polamalu. . I dont know if Ill be jumping over the centre, but I do plan on taking the ball away." Thats been a major issue in recent years for the Steelers, who havent created more than 20 turnovers in a season since 2010 even as they have remained near the top of the league in yards allowed. Mitchell isnt wasting any time getting settled during the first organized team activities. "I had a great break on a ball today and should have picked it, but A.B. (Antonio Brown) did a good job getting his hands up there," Mitchell said. "I should have brought it down. . Shamarko (Thomas) is leading the way with one pick, but I should have had one, too." Thomas, a fourth-round pick last year, has not been able to get on the field often enough to make the kind of splash plays the team so desperately needs, but expects to have more opportunities this season. "Sure, I want to do a lot more this year," Thomas said. "I have three veteran safeties to learn from in Troy, Mike and Will Allen. Mike, he brings a lot of athleticism to the group, and hes made some great reads on the ball." Mitchell has played for three teams in three seasons, but the six-year NFL veteran believes there are some good points to go with the bad ones. "Its bad, because Ive had to leave some good friends behind," said Mitchell, who turns 27 next month. "But its good, because Ive been able to have a lot of different experiences, playing for different coaches and different schemes. Thats why this transition . Coach (Dick) LeBeaus defence isnt easy, but Ive actually picked it up fairly well." Mitchell believes playing in so many different defensive systems may actually be to his advantage. "In Oakland, I felt like I played for three different teams in four years, because we were always changing head coaches," Mitchell said. "So, learning a new scheme is nothing thats too different for me. I think that Ive handled it well. (And) I made a couple plays this week, but theres many more to be made." NOTES: The Steelers signed CB Shaquille Richardson from Arizona, their fifth-round pick, and have five of nine draft choices under contract. ... The top four picks are still unsigned, though they should come into the fold soon. Pittsburgh will free up $8 million in cap space when the March release of linebacker LaMarr Woodley officially hits the books. ... The club signed two players Thursday and released two. They signed rookie free agent offensive lineman Emmanuel McCray and claimed cornerback Deion Belue off waivers from the Miami Dolphins. ... To make room on the roster, the Steelers released offensive linemen Nik Embernate and Kaycee Ike. Cheap Nike Shoes China Free Shipping .C. -- Unable to get much lift off his sore right ankle, Bobcats centre Al Jefferson figured it was time to make an adjustment. 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A steady downpour and low temperatures were predicted for much of the night. No makeup date was immediately announced, although it was determined that the game will not be part of a doubleheader on Wednesday. Baltimore won the opener of what was to be a three-game set 7-1 Monday, and the series will conclude Wednesday afternoon. The Rays were looking to break out of an offensive skid in which they scored only 14 runs in eight games. Tampa Bay announced Tuesday that left-hander Matt Moore will be miss the rest of the season after opting to undergo elbow-ligament replacement surgery. It was a significant blow for a team that already has starters Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) and Alex Cobb (oblique) on the 15-day disabled list. Moore had never missed time before, and Maddon knew it would be tough on the left-hander. "Emotionally its got to be very difficult for him right now," the manager said. "Its ggoing to be hard to ask him to be patient as he goes through the process, but we have great medical people here.dddddddddddd" Tampa Bays pitching problems extended beyond that. Brandon Gomes was slated to start Tuesday night in place of Jake Odorizzi, who was sent back to the team hotel Monday with an illness. Odorizzi will pitch Wednesday, Maddon said. The Orioles, meanwhile, were preparing to play without centre fielder Adam Jones, who was sent home with flu-like symptoms. Reliever Evan Meek was sent home with the same bug. Last week, reliever Brian Matusz went to the hospital after falling ill, and third base coach Bobby Dickerson left the team for the same reason. "Its not just in our locker room," manager Buck Showalter said. "Unfortunately, medically, a lot of it is unavoidable other than dont touch or communicate with anybody all day. Thats pretty hard to do in our sport. Id like to say I havent seen it before, but I have. I just hope it runs its course." ' ' '

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