In an interactive phone call with Steelers fans on Tuesday, Steelers All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick discussed various topics asked of him by members of Steelers Nation Unite. From work out tips to ways to improve for the 2020 season, Fitzpatrick had great interaction with fans throughout the call.
One question in particular asked of Fitzpatrick was what about the Pittsburgh Steelers allowed him to come in and have success right away during the season.
“I think they really simplified it for me,” Fitzpatrick responded. “They really told me to just ‘go out there and do what you do.’ They weren’t worried about me making mistakes. They weren’t worried about me not being in the right spot because I just got there. So they knew was going to make mistakes. They just told me to go out there, fly around, have fun, communicate, and just do what you do.”
Fitzpatrick made his presence known right away for the Steelers when he had his debut in Week 3 in San Francisco against the 49ers. With an interception and a forced fumble, Fitzpatrick played every snap on defense and his first game with the Steelers after only a handful of practices.
In his first eight games with Pittsburgh, Fitzpatrick had five interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, along with a fumble recovery which was returned 43 yards for score as well. In those eight games, Fitzpatrick only missed one defensive snap.
Even as Fitzpatrick had more time to get familiar with the Steelers, he still was ultimately asked to just play his game and do what he does best.
“Then, week to week, obviously I was learning the defense,” Fitzpatrick explained. “So that responsibility came along. I think what allowed me to be myself is they trusted me in my preparation, and they said ‘do what you do.’”
As the 2019 season rolled on, teams began to avoid Fitzpatrick after seeing the danger in throwing in his direction. While it was frustrating for the All-Pro safety to not have the opportunities he had seen earlier in the season, Fitzpatrick continued to work hard to make the Steelers the best defense it could be.
When it comes to 2020, Fitzpatrick has gone on record with his willingness to do more within the Steelers system. Exactly what this will look like has yet to be revealed, but for the Steelers to not utilize the skill set Fitzpatrick brings to the table, especially after he’s been fully acclimated with the defense, would be a waste of talent.
And there is one thing both the Steelers and all of Steelers Nation knows for sure: Minkah Fitzpatrick has high-level talent.