Going Inside The Mind of Kawika Mitchell

Dan BartemusCorrespondent IMay 28, 2009

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21:  Kawika Mitchell #59 of the Buffalo Bills looks on during the game against the Oakland Raiders on September 21, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Kawika Mitchell can be described as many things.

Tough. Smart. Versatile. Intense. Leader. 

But the label he appreciates most these days is champion. National Football League champion, that is. 

Just 26 days before the linebacker signed the dotted line to join the Bills in February 2008, Mitchell played a key role in the New York Giants upset of the previously-undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. 

Mitchell recorded eight tackles and a sack on that unforgettable night in Arizona and hopes there are more like it to come, preferably in Buffalo.

Entering his second season with the Bills (his seventh overall), the Winter Park, Florida-native looks to build on a solid 2008 season in which he piled up 82 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.

More importantly though, he's eager to help Buffalo break a string of three consecutive 7-9 seasons and get to the playoffs for the first time since 2000.  

Questions for Kawika Mitchell:

1. How would you rate your first season in Buffalo?

2. What are some things you would like to improve on that you thought you could have done better in 2008?

3. This team was very young and inexperienced in key positions last year. What is the most valuable lesson you think the young players could have taken from roller coaster season that was 2008?

4. The city of Buffalo's anticipation for the 2009 season might be at an all-time high thanks to the acquisition of Terrell Owens. What was your first thought of the move and is it any different today after having a few practices with him?

5. The other major acquisition by the Bills this spring was drafting Penn State linebacker Aaron Maybin. What are your early impressions of him and are you one that enjoys taking on the role of mentoring young players at your position?

6. You are a Super Bowl Champion and, with that being said, what are some things you see in this roster that make you believe it has what it takes to go on the same run?

7. Let's go back to that moment for a second. Describe the feeling you had when Tom Brady's last pass fell incomplete and you knew you had just scored one of the biggest upsets in league history and was officially an NFL champion.

8. I saw you changed your number from 59 to 55 for the upcoming season. Why is that?

9. Being from Western New York myself, I know Buffalo is a very united and prideful community. How has this community and fan base compared to your former homes, Kansas City and New York City?

10. Let's talk about your life off the field. You are the spokesperson for Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program that fights domestic violence. Talk about the program and the goals you hope to reach through it.

11. What are some hobbies or other activities you get into off the field to take your mind away from football?

12. Lastly, I just have to ask about your hometown. Winter Park has produced some serious athletes in yourself, Trevor Price, Doc Rivers, and now even his son is the nation's No. 1 basketball recruit in the country. What is it about Winter Park? Is there something in the water down there?