Minkah Fitzpatrick was in a new place but hardly out of place.
The Steelers’ new free safety even emerged from his first practice with his new team this afternoon feeling right at home.
“I didn’t feel like I was in the wrong spot at all,” Fitzpatrick said. “Football is football. I was here yesterday for about four or five hours, just going over film with the coaches and just breaking stuff down.
“I feel like I’m in a good spot and I’ll definitely be ready for Sunday.”
The Steelers’ visit to San Francisco this Sunday will feature Mason Rudolph’s first career start at quarterback and Fitzpatrick’s Steelers debut in the secondary.
Rudolph will take over for Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) and Fitzpatrick will replace Sean Davis (shoulder).
Culture shock, likewise, isn’t an issue in the wake of the trade that delivered Fitzpatrick, the former 11th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, to the Steelers from Miami.
That’s a change Fitzpatrick is already on is way to embracing.
“I can’t really say too much, I’ve only been here a little bit over 24 hours,” he said. “But the overall culture of Pittsburgh and the history of Pittsburgh is a winning culture, a winning team. It’s a team that focuses on being tough, physical and just going out there and dominating their opponent.
“Just because you’re 0-2 right now doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around. Watching the game film, this first game (at New England) we played a great team, whatever. Last week (against Seattle), it was just two or three plays that could have been made that could have turned the whole, entire game around.
“It’s just learning the game and learning situational football, and we’ll make those steps.”
The steps Fitzpatrick took this afternoon were noticed by his teammates, strong safety Terrell Edmunds, in particular.
“Of course you can see that he’s smart out there,” Edmunds said. “He’s trying to communicate the best way he can. He’s getting comfortable with us out there. First day, he really didn’t have many mistakes, if any.
“We were just out there playing ball.”
In acquiring Fitzpatrick, the Steelers traded a first-round draft pick for the first time since 1967.
“It’s an honor that they did that,” Fitzpatrick said. “It means they think very highly of me.”
Edmunds admitted to being surprised by Fitzpatrick’s arrival.
“I guess I was just as surprised as anyone else because I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect. I was happy, for sure, because we got another great guy back there in the defensive backfield, and sad what happened to Sean Davis.
“But like ‘Coach T’ (head coach Mike Tomlin) always says, the next guy’s gotta step in.”
Added defensive captain and defensive tackle Cam Heyward: “It’s for y’all (the media) to embrace him. Him, just get on the bus and get rolling. I know it’s a short week for him, getting here yesterday.
“I think he’s just trying to get incorporated. We’re gonna rely on him sooner or later. We’re gonna need him to bring his best.”
The Steelers prepare for the Week 3 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers