Steelers players ‘excited’ to welcome Minkah Fitzpatrick to secondary
Terrell Edmunds was excited to welcome Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially knowing that they could be paired as the starting safeties for the next four years.
Fitzpatrick is practicing for the first time with the Steelers since being acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Miami Dolphins for a 2020 first-round pick and a swap of later-round selections.
“He’s going out there and putting it all on the line,” said Edmunds, the second-year strong safety. “I’m glad he’s on our team now. Let’s make some plays together.”
The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Fitzpatrick is expected to start at free safety in place of Sean Davis, who was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, when the Steelers visit the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
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Edmunds worked out with Fitzpatrick before the 2018 NFL Draft, where Fitzpatrick was the No. 11 overall pick and the Steelers selected Edmunds with the 28th pick of the first round.
“We know he’s a competitor,” Edmunds said. “We’re on board work together so we know how smart each other can be, so now we’ve got to translate that to our play on Sunday.”
Slot cornerback Mike Hilton said the trade for Fitzpatrick sent a message to the players that the Steelers aren’t giving up on the season after losing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to season-ending elbow surgery.
“He’s ready to learn, already asking questions, already vibing with the guys,” Hilton said. “You can tell he’s excited to be here and we’re excited to have him.”
The challenge for Fitzpatrick, who had 80 tackles, nine pass breakups and two interceptions as a rookie with the Dolphins, will be learning the Steelers’ system and especially the verbiage.
“I feel as if he’s going to pick it up fast,” Edmunds said. “He seems like he knows what he’s talking about now. That’s really on us. It’s not so much on him. We’ve got to make him feel comfortable back there. From there, his play is going to do the talking. I can’t speak for his resume because his resume speaks for itself.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .