With how poor the Pittsburgh Steelers’ run game has been this season, you better have a couple of safeties who are a solid last line of defense. The Steelers have that in Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds, and Keith Butler, an old-school, stop-the-run kind of coach, is glad to have them. Speaking with reporters Thursday, he talked about the value of each man.
“Both of those guys, both of those safeties are big time values for us,” Butler told reporters in audio provided by the team. “If you’ve got good safety, you got a chance to, keep people from scoring and stuff like that. If you look at Minkah, Minkah had 14 tackles, you don’t want your safety to have 14 tackles. You’d rather have your linebackers have 14 tackles. But I’m grateful that we got both of them. They’re playing well together and they’re making some calls back there for us and keeping everybody on the same page. So I’m glad we’ve got them.”
If it wasn’t for Fitzpatrick, the Steelers’ run game would somehow be worse than it was. Especially in recent weeks against Minnesota and Tennessee, Fitzpatrick has come up large time and time again with his open-field tackling. Sunday against the Titans, Edmunds had multiple open-field stops, including two tackles for loss.
Combined, Fitzpatrick and Edmunds had 24 total tackles against Tennessee. Nineteen of them were solo. On the season, the two of them have totaled 178 tackles, already greatly surpassing their 2020 total of 147. The future of the tandem is in question. Last offseason, the team picked up Fitzpatrick’s fifth-year option, an easy decision to make, but they declined to do the same for Edmunds. Generally, that doesn’t bode well for a player’s future in Pittsburgh. But it may not be worth the risk and investment of a free agent or draft pick to replace Edmunds’ solid, albeit unspectacular, production.
Check out our article from Owen Straley this morning that highlighted their performance against the Titans.