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Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick Raves About Brian Flores Despite Uncomfortable Past

Joe Sargent / Getty Images

Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick Raves About Brian Flores Despite Uncomfortable Past

The Pittsburgh Steelers held a press conference Thursday morning for their newly paid star safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick, in which he fielded questions from members of the media for about 15 minutes relating to his new contract, the team so far this season, and more.

Steelers Flores and Fitzpatrick

USA Today

“I obviously want to thank the Rooney family, my family, Omar (Khan), Kev (Kevin Colbert), Coach T (Mike Tomlin), I can sit here all day and thank people,” Fitzpatrick said. “This is not an individual effort by any means. I’ve had people house me when I didn’t have a home, people feed me when I couldn’t buy any food, people take me to practice or work, I just want to thank anybody who’s done anything for me.”

After a few questions, he was asked about his relationship with Brian Flores. It often gets forgotten that Fitzpatrick and Flores had a relationship in Miami before they both ended up in Pittsburgh, and it wasn’t the greatest of relationships.

Fitzpatrick requested a trade out of Miami because of how Flores (the head coach at the time) used him in their defense. He often mentioned to reporters and people close to him that he didn’t feel comfortable playing primarily in the box as a 195-pound defensive back. Fitzpatrick felt the Dolphins’ desire to have him cover all of their defense’s holes impeded his ability to develop as an NFL player.

But despite these issues that developed between them, Fitzpatrick says rekindling the relationship in Pittsburgh has been successful so far.

“It’s been good. Coach Flo (Flores) is a smart guy, he’s a guy that lives through a high standard. He’s a piece that we really needed. He’s a real detail oriented guy, a detailed oriented coach. He’s not a guy that’s just going to let things be brushed to the side, he’s going to address them and he’s going to be direct. He might not tell you how you want to hear it, but he’s going to tell you, and I think that’s important to have in the locker room,” Fitzpatrick said.

He continued to rave about Flores, keeping to the hard-nosed philosophy that Steelers players have been getting on about.

“When you have guys that are going to have egos and what not, he’s going to get on you. He’s a great coach and I’m happy to have him here. He’s focused and locked in on winning.” Fitzpatrick concluded.

Brian Flores, Mike Tomlin

PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 28: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers is congratulated by head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins after Pittsburgh’s 27-14 win at Heinz Field on October 28, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

This should come as a sigh of relief to not just Steelers fans, but to the front office. There had to be some worry there when Kevin Colbert and Omar Khan brought Flores in due to the rocky past with the centerfielder on defense, so hearing and seeing a healthy and fruitful relationship between the two makes that decision look even better.


Steelers’ Hire Of Linebackers Coach Brian Flores Already Proving To Be A Big Slam Dunk


Fitzpatrick will be asked to do an awful lot for Pittsburgh’s defense this upcoming season, especially since the front office just made him the highest-paid safety in the league. The team now feature’s the league’s highest-paid defense paired with the lowest-paid offense, so it is expected that Fitzpatrick and the rest of the stars on the defense can carry this team. It is even more so this season with uncertainty at quarterback.

Fitzpatrick finished last season with 124 tackles. That’s the most by a Steelers DB in team history and it led the NFL for defensive backs. It’s top 20 in most tackles by a DB in a season in NFL history.

Opposing teams have thrown for 300+ yards against the Steelers’ secondary an NFL-low three times since they acquired Fitzpatrick in 2019 from the Miami Dolphins.

 

What do you think, #SteelerNation? Do you think this relationship between Flores and Fitzpatrick will be fruitful and prosperous? Will the Steelers defense be able to take an elite step this season with Flores at the helm? Let me know in the comments or on my Twitter, @anthonyravasio.

MORE MINKAH FITZPATRICK NEWS

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I'm Anthony "Rav" Ravasio and I'm a Pittsburgh native currently at Arizona State University studying sports journalism. I attended North Catholic High School in Cranberry and grew up cheering for these Steelers the whole way through. In my spare time, I love to spend time with friends or family, as well as grow my knowledge for sports in many different ways! Follow me on Twitter @anthonyravasio

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. James Little

    June 17, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Those two no problem.

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