Minkah Fitzpatrick Confronts Entitled Attitude in Steelers Locker Room

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick ripped his teammates for their attitude after losing to the New England Patriots in Week 14.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have obvious problems on offense, particularly behind center. In a pair of home losses to previously 2-10 teams, the Steelers scored a grand total of 28 points.

But offensive woes isn’t the only thing plaguing the Steelers according to safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. While speaking to reporters after the 21-18 loss to the New England Patriots on December 7, the 3-time All-Pro implied there’s an entitled attitude in the team’s locker room.

“In order to see the fruit, you’ve gotta toil for it,” Fitzpatrick told the media, via ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “I think too many people don’t want to toil for it. They just want to walk out here and think that they’re going to make plays and think that they’re going to perform at a high level. I think we need to have more people who want to work for it, not expect it to be handed to them.

“This is the NFL. Nothing’s handed to you. You got to earn everything. I think that dudes just think that because they’re wearing the black and gold, that they’re going to win games.”

The Steelers’ effort in the first half during Week 14 supports Fitzpatrick’s argument. They appeared unprepared, as they have often been in first halves over the past couple years.

The Steelers defense allowed the Patriots, who suffered a home shutout loss on December 3, to score 21 points before halftime.

Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick Puts Teammates on Notice

The assumption among Pittsburgh fans and media is that the Steelers will at least post a winning record every season. The team has never had a losing season in 17 years under Mike Tomlin.

It’s good to have expectations and goals. But Fitzpatrick suggested the assumption that the Steelers will accomplish their goals no matter what has reached the team’s locker room.

“I think we need to check that mentality and make people realize that they got to earn that mentality, and they got to earn every single blade of grass, every single splash play and every single rep that they get out there,” Fitzpatrick told reporters. “They got to earn it.”

Fitzpatrick was also critical of his team’s preparation following the 24-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on December 3.

“I don’t understand why games [unfold] like this. We should be winning by a lot of points, playing great defense,” Fitzpatrick told the media, via Steelers reporter Amanda Godsey. “When we don’t play our best ball, it’s like this. These are NFL teams. They get paid, too. So they’re gonna take advantage of us when we don’t play our best ball.”

In addition to Fitzpatrick, defensive end Cameron Heyward, another veteran leader on the Steelers defense, put his teammates on notice after losing to New England.

“Either guys learn, or you’ve gotta change who’s in there, myself included,” Heyward said in his postgame press conference. “If I can’t execute, then you’ve gotta take me out. That’s just the way the group rolls. That’s the way we’ve always done it. I think we have the capable men of doing that.”

Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick Calls for Teammates to ‘Look in the Mirror’

Fitzpatrick wasn’t quite as blunt as Heyward, but he did convey how he expects his teammates to respond after a pair of two very crippling losses.

“The only thing that people could do is evaluate their work week,” Fitzpatrick said. “Look in the mirror, evaluate their work week, evaluate their character, evaluate their love for the game, evaluate why they play the game, and if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons or if you’re doing it just because you like it and you don’t love it and you don’t love the ugly part of it, then you need to evaluate what you’re doing.”

Fitzpatrick, though, said he “wasn’t sure” if the attitude in the Steelers locker room could change this season.

Read More