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Mike Tomlin Gushes Over Minkah Fitzpatrick; Makes John Lynch, Ronde Barber Comparisons

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Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin joined Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and NFL Network’s Pete Schrager earlier this week on their Flying Coach podcast.

Tomlin discussed a number of topics, including the rewarding experience of coaching All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Referred to by McVay as “one of, if not the premier safety in the game,” Tomlin elaborated further on his unique relationship with Fitzpatrick.

“I spend a lot of time with Minkah,” Tomlin said. “And guys like him, with his talent level and perspective on the game, require the time… I’ve learned over the years that I probably ask more questions of him… because I want to know what he sees and why. So that we can reproduce it on a more consistent basis.”

Given his prior experience as the secondary coach for the Buccaneers, Tomlin further praised Fitzpatrick by comparing him to a pair of legendary defensive backs he coached in Tampa.

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“When you’re coaching players like that, they bring the best out in us,” Tomlin said. “I learned the skills to coach Minkah down there in Tampa coaching John Lynch, gold jacket John Lynch, and Ronde Barber. Right? When you’re 28, man, coaching 29-year-old John Lynch, you know, and Ronde, shoot I played college ball against Ronde. The level of preparedness that you have to be ready for… It brought the best out of us, and it probably accelerated my growth and development. And it really made me view the game from a different perspective.”

Tomlin also provided a behind-the-scenes look into what the Steelers and Fitzpatrick have been focusing on this offseason, scouting and analysis that the head coach says only a player of his caliber could comprehend.

“We’re in the process right now, the summer, of talking about dealing with his alignment depth based on the nature of the offense,” Tomlin added. “RPOs versus play action, and formational structure and things of that nature. Conversations, quite honestly, that you could not have with most guys. He’s able to digest things and make it turn up on the field that other guys can’t.”

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