Minkah Fitzpatrick comfortable at free safety in first Steelers practice
Minkah Fitzpatrick learned about his trade to the Pittsburgh Steelers “30 minutes before everybody else did,” but the second-year defensive back welcomed a fresh start.
Fitzpatrick was dealt a day after he formally requested a trade from the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers sent a 2020 first-round draft pick and the teams swapped later-round picks in the ‘20 and ‘21 drafts.
“I’m not going to talk too much about Miami,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’m here in Pittsburgh now. I’m excited about being here and my focus is being here.”
Fitzpatrick, the No. 11 overall pick out of Alabama in the 2018 NFL Draft, confirmed that he practiced with the first-team defense and expects to start at free safety for the Steelers (0-2) at San Francisco (2-0) on Sunday.
“I didn’t feel out of place at all,” Fitzpatrick said. “I didn’t feel like I was in the wrong spot at all because football is football. I was here yesterday for about four or five hours, just going over film with the coaches and breaking stuff down. I feel like I’m in a good spot, and I’ll definitely be ready for Sunday.”
Fitzpatrick also said he doesn’t mind moving around on defense, but prefers to play one position until he learns the Steelers’ scheme. He played slot cornerback, both safety spots and linebacker in the dime defense for the Dolphins, who also were winless in their first two games.
“I’ve only been in Pittsburgh for a little over 24 hours, so I can’ stay too much, but the overall culture of Pittsburgh and the history in Pittsburgh is that it’s a winning culture and a winning team,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s a team that focuses on being tough, physical and just going out there and dominating. Just because we’re 0-2 right now doesn’t mean we can’t turn it around.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .