Last week, Minkah Fitzpatrick talked up his chemistry with fellow starting safety Terrell Edmunds. This week, Edmunds is returning the compliment, citing how they’ve grown and gelled together over the past two seasons. In a Tuesday Zoom call, Edmunds talked about how both have improved and worked as a unit.
“I feel like we’re growing each year,” Edmunds told reporters. “Every year, we’ve been better together. Each year, we’ve been pushing each other to get better and it’s just that chemistry part of everything. I know what he’s going to do just by looking at him. So we just catch eye contact sometimes and we just already know what each other’s going to do. So I think that’s a big part and that’s helping both of us out, making us both go out there and make plays.”
This will effectively be the third season they’ve started across from each other but only the second offseason and training camp after Fitzpatrick was acquired for Week 3 of the 2019 regular season. The two play to each other’s strengths well. Edmunds is bigger, more physical, and fills the alley well against the run (though Fitzpatrick holds his own in that regard, to be fair). Edmunds is the prototypical strong safety. Fitzpatrick is what every team is looking for in a free safety. Great range, instincts, ball skills.
It’s created defined roles for both to maximize their skillsets. Fitzpatrick looked lost in Miami, bouncing around between positions, and never getting comfortable in one spot. And forcing Edmunds to play in center field more exposes his weaknesses.
Fitzpatrick talked about playing alongside Edmunds last week.
“We’re good athletes, but what’s best for the team is what we’ve been doing,” he said. “It’s just both of us buying into that, and playing to our strengths and our team’s strengths is what makes us a good pair”.
2021, however, could be the last year they play together. Pittsburgh picked up Fitzpatrick’s fifth year option but declined Edmunds’, something Fitzpatrick lamented in his conversation with the media. Though Mike Tomlin is leaving the door open for Edmunds to re-sign, the odds don’t seem especially high. Which means Fitzpatrick could have to form new chemistry with someone else in 2022.