Only four years into his NFL career and on paper, Minkah Fitzpatrick has accomplished seemingly all a player could individually want to do. He’s become a Pro Bowler, an All-Pro, is widely considered the best player at his position, and just got paid to a record-setting deal. Aside from a team goal like a Super Bowl, Fitzpatrick has done everything there is to do. But in his mind, there’s a lot of road to travel.
Appearing on the Varsity House Podcast, Fitzpatrick was asked and explained what keeps him motivated.
“I want to be the best at what I do,” he told the show alongside teammates Miles Boykin and Chase Claypool. “And there’s plenty more opportunity. I’m still playing. I still want to be All-Pro, be the top safety in the game. Pro Bowler, leader of the team.”
Fitzpatrick has enjoyed enormous success since being traded over from Miami. He immediately became an impact player with the Steelers from his literal first game with the team, forcing a fumble and picking off a pass against the 49ers just days after the trade took place. Fitzpatrick became an All-Pro in 2019 and 2020, making the Pro Bowl each year, too. Even in last year’s “down” year, Fitzpatrick routinely made big plays and performed like his typical Minkah self once the team stopped playing him at slot corner over the first two weeks.
One of his most critical moments came in Week 18, forcing this incompletion against Ravens’ WR Hollywood Brown late in the fourth quarter. Had Brown caught the ball, the Ravens likely would’ve ended the game with a Justin Tucker field goal, ending the Steelers’ season.
So many plays late in the Steelers' win easily forgotten with how bonkers the ending was. How about Minkah Fitzpatrick's breakup against Brown.
If he doesn't punch this ball out, Ravens have it at Pittsburgh's 48 with 25 seconds and two TOs. They win the game right there. pic.twitter.com/Wmz89h4pdS
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) January 9, 2022
Though he’s just 25, Fitzpatrick spoke like a wise veteran about where he’s at and where he wants to go.
“Then there’s still off the field that I want to accomplish that leads me to perform at a high level on the field. Even though I have the financial success, there’s still a little bit more. That’s just my approach…there’s always more, always something to accomplish. I think that approach is uncommon.”
Uncommon approaches get uncommon results and have made Fitzpatrick the best at what he does. He’ll again be tasked with making big plays in the Steelers’ secondary, something that unit didn’t do enough of last year. Pittsburgh will lean on their defense to be the better of the two sides of the ball as their offense goes through predictable growing pains of a young group. Fitzpatrick is one track to be one of the best safeties of his era and one of the top DBs in team history.