This week at Steelers organized team activities, All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was asked about the prospect of his role in the 2021 defense and if it will change much from his first two All-Pro seasons in Pittsburgh.
“I don’t think too much is going to change,” Fitzpatrick replied. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Fair enough. Good answer. Actually, it’s one I expected last offseason when he was asked the same question. But he gave a different response.
In February 2020, Fitzpatrick told ESPN.com, “When you move around and you’re a moving piece on the chessboard, it’s hard to defend and you can’t just say, ‘All right, the quarterback is going to look at me and say he’s going to be in this spot every snap,’ like I was last year. It’s going to be harder and it’s going to be more difficult to take me out of the game.”
That was because Fitzpatrick felt his second-half dip in turnover production was partially due to quarterbacks avoiding the deep middle of the field because they didn’t want to attack his coverage area.
I’m sure that was partially true. However, as we documented at the time, in six of the eight Steelers turnovers Fitzpatrick was part of in 2019, the opposing quarterback wasn’t coming at him to begin with, or the ball was fumbled.
Sure, Fitzpatrick’s elite instincts contributed toward him being able to cash in those opportunities. But how…