It was a no-brainer for the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign Minkah Fitzpatrick to his fifth-year option two weeks ago. The Steelers have not had a special talent in the Safety position since Troy Polamalu left town. Insert Minkah Fitzpatrick who is capable of becoming the next Polamalu. He may not be as physical as Polamalu, but he sure plays the position as Polamalu did. Not only is Minkah great on the football field, but he great off of the field too. He is the ideal Pittsburgh Steeler.
Minkah's stated goal for the 2021 season is to become a leader on the Pittsburgh Steelers. These Alabama players know how to play the game of football. They're all hard workers and willing to do whatever they need to do to make the team successful. I love that mindset and I believe it is what makes a team successful.
Fitzpatrick on the Steelers picking up his fifth-year option: "You definitely appreciate it," said Fitzpatrick. "It guarantees me another year in Pittsburgh. Great city, great team, great organization. It's a blessing. Getting that sigh of relief. You don't have to worry about what if, what if, for another two years. It's definitely a blessing. I am happy it happened. I want to make them proud of their decision."
Not only is Fitzpatrick appreciative of the organization that traded for him, but he is appreciative of them for picking up his fifth-year option. Normally players would be demanding a bigger contract at this point and while I agree Minkah does deserve a bigger contract he is settling for his fifth-year option because he knows loyalty exists within the Steelers organization and eventually they're going to come around and pay him in a big way down the road. I love that about Minkah and I love how TJ Watt is doing the same thing. It is very rare nowadays to get that from superstar players in the NFL world.
Minkah is going to step up and be a leader, be more vocal in 2021: "I would say for me, we're a younger team this year, a newer team, so just stepping up leadership, being more vocal, pulling guys, making them do extra whether it be film or today after practice doing extra, going that extra mile," said Fitzpatrick. "Also, for me personally, mastering the fundamentals of this game. That's what makes great players great and elite players elite. The people who master the fundamentals and don't stray away from it. What coach said today, the things that make you a great college player are the same things that make you a great NFL player. Guys stop doing it because they get complacent, they get tired. That is what really separates the great from the elite. Just continue to work on those fundamentals."