Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick had five interceptions during the 2019 season. Today, during a virtual Steelers Nation Unite Huddle with fans, Fitzpatrick predicted he would collect even more interceptions in 2020.
Speaking from his assigned Heinz Field suite overlooking the turf, Fitzpatrick was asked by a fan how many interceptions he expected to haul in this year.
“I am going to go with six,” said Fitzpatrick, before noting he wants to beat last year’s total—and then upped his prediction a little further. “I think I missed some opportunities last year. I am going to go with six or seven,” he concluded.
Minkah Fitzpatrick: ‘I Am Still Learning’
Fitzpatrick wasn’t simply plucking a number out of thin air. He believes there is still room for him to get better, right along with improvement from the entire Steelers defense.
“Last year was my first year playing full-time free safety, deep safety, and I am still learning,” said Fitzpatrick. “I wanted to learn a lot about the deep safety position and how to improve. One thing I could have done better is play a little lower, play with more bend in my knees—be more explosive, come out of my breaks sharper. That is something I am trying to work on and detail every day in practice.”
As for the Steelers defense as a whole: “I think we’re going to look even better” [in 2020] added Fitzpatrick. “We kept most of our defense from last year, and we have a lot of young guys that are going to help us from the back,” he said, a reference to corners Justin Layne and Cameron Sutton, among other young defensive backs.
“We are going to have a short camp which will be tough, but we have a lot of older guys, a lot of vets who can help us. I think we will be an even better defense than we were last year.”
Minkah Fitzpatrick on ‘Renegade’
Meanwhile, another fan took the opportunity to ask Fitzpatrick about the first time he heard ‘Renegade’ at Heinz Field.
“I remember everyone was telling me about ‘Renegade’ and I was like no way it’s going to be that exciting,” said Fitzpatrick. “I remember the first time they played it and the crowd went crazy, my teammates went crazy. I started bopping up and down and getting excited. It’s a great song. It changes the whole atmosphere of the game. It locks you in. The fans get into it. It’s a great experience.”
It remains to be seen whether there will be fans in the stands to experience ‘Renegade’ at Heinz Field this season. But if there are fans it will be in a reduced capacity scenario, and the Steelers expect there to be a mask requirement.
Season ticket holders have until Friday August 14 to defer their season tickets until the 2021 season.
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