Steelers Nation Unite

Fitzpatrick looking to improve on last season

If there is one thing Steelers' players love, it's connecting with the fans and during a unique training camp that is still happening.

On Tuesday, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick took questions from fans during a Steelers Nation Unite Huddle, with him answering everything from what it meant to him to be traded to the Steelers to what his favorite restaurant is.

For a player who immediately connected with Coach Mike Tomlin during his draft process when he was coming out of Alabama, getting traded to the Steelers last year was the perfect landing spot for him.

"I was excited because I know the kind of coach Coach T is," said Fitzpatrick. "I remember telling my mother after I met him during the draft process that is the coach I would like to play for one day. When I heard it was the Steeles I was just excited. A historic program, great fan base, winning culture."

Fitzpatrick made an immediate impact after the team traded their No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Miami Dolphins for him. The trade paid dividends as he was named first-team AP All-Pro, one of the many honors that came his way.

While his impact was big, he knows there is still more he can do as he has further adapted to the 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."

He also plans on adding one, or maybe two more things, to his game. Last year Fitzpatrick had five interceptions. This year he wants to up that number by a few.

"I am going to go with six," said Fitzpatrick. "I had five last year. I am trying to beat that. I think I missed some opportunities last year. I am going to go with six or seven."

Fitzpatrick isn't just looking at improvement coming from his spot, but he feels like the entire defense, which generated 38 turnovers last year, will be better as a whole.

"I think we're going to look even better," said 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. 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."

While Fitzpatrick took pleasure in all of those turnovers on defense, there was something else he took pleasure in at Heinz Field – hearing Renegade being played.

"I remember everyone was telling me about the Renegade song 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."

To hear everything Fitzpatrick had to say, and to find out the answer to the burning question of what his favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh is, check out the full audio below.