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Minkah Fitzpatrick Receives High Praise From Rodney Harrison



Steelers FS Minakh Fitzpatrick

Former New England Patriots safeties Rodney Harrison and Devin McCourty recently highlighted the top current safeties in the NFL, and Minkah Fitzpatrick of the Pittsburgh Steelers was included among the league’s best.

Harrison gave Fitzpatrick heaping praise by mentioning him in the same breath as Charles Woodson and Rod Woodson, two of the greatest defensive backs in the history of the game.

“He can play safety, he can play corner. This is a guy that literally reminds me of Charles Woodson,” Harrison said to McCourty, via NFL on NBC. “And I told Charles, I said, ‘I believe that you and Rod Woodson are the two guys that could play every position in the secondary and be All-Pro.’ And that’s Minkah Fitzpatrick. He could be a cornerback left and right because he studies, he prepares, he works. He’s a great team guy. He is just a fantastic player.”

“He’s just like you (McCourty). He’s got great corner skills, safety instincts, toughness, and the ability to do it all. He’s just a fantastic player.”

Fitzpatrick was hampered with injuries in 2023, missing a total of seven games. He missed four games with a hamstring injury and missed the final three regular-season games with a knee injury before returning for the wild-card playoff game against the Buffalo Bills. Fitzpatrick also played through a broken hand, which he suffered in Week 13. Despite missing seven games, Fitzpatrick finished third on the team in tackles with 64 (43 solos). He didn’t produce the splash plays like he did in 2022, however, as he doesn’t have a single interception and just one tackle for loss.

Fitzpatrick won the 2023 Bart Starr Award, presented by Athletes in Action.

The Starr Award is given annually to the NFL player who “best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.”

The award is presented annually at the Super Bowl Breakfast, which occurs in the host city the day before the Super Bowl. Starr presented the award in person from its inception in 1989 until a stroke in 2015 prevented him from doing so. Starr’s son, Bart Starr Jr., and former Steelers player and coach Tony Dungy currently present the award.

Fitzpatrick was the first Steelers player to win the award in its 35-year history.

Fitzpatrick was recognized for his work in the Pittsburgh community, including his efforts to tackle child abuse and raise resources and awareness for families in need, children in foster care and other worthy causes.

“I’ve always believed as an athlete that being the best man you can be off the field goes hand-in-hand with playing your best football, Fitzpatrick said. “Bart Starr was a man who embodied that, both in his career on the field and with his great work in the community. It’s an honor to be selected by my peers for an award bearing his name.”