PITTSBURGH — Minkah Fitzpatrick denies being a dirty player. With all the criticism thrown his way for the hit, Fitzpatrick felt the need to respond. On Thursday, he declared that he is not a dirty player. Noting the frame of Nick Chubb, Fitzpatrick finds the best way to take Chubb down from a stationary position is by going low. Fitzpatrick ended up doing that, and he defended his rationale for that.
His rationale is that Chubb had far more weight on him, forcing him to go low. He made that decision the moment that Chubb went through the hole, and he claims he did not see Cole Holcomb bringing him down before he went low to help make the tackle.
“I would say, one: they’ve never tackled Nick Chubb before if they’re telling me to go high,” Fitzpatrick said. “Two: What | seen was it opened up, it’s goal line. I didn’t see anybody on him. I made the decision as soon as I saw the hole open up and him in the hole to go low. You can tell me how to tackle him low, but it’s a fast game. It’s a game (where) you make decisions in milliseconds. Can’t really control what happens after you choose to make your decision. I already chose to go low. Somebody got on his back when I was going low, and what happened happened. There’s nothing I really would do differently. Again, like I said earlier, it’s very unfortunate. Nick Chubb’s a great player. He makes the game a lot better when he’s playing. Just hope for a speedy recovery.”
When claims about the intent of the hit were brought up, Fitzpatrick immediately went through his intentions. Holcomb had the same rationale that Fitzpatrick did on the hit postgame. But the fact is that he does not believe he is dirty. Now, there are calls to make a hit like that illegal in the NFL. Multiple former Steelers defended Fitzpatrick, citing the rules and situation on the goal line as factors that forced him to go low.
“In a situation like that, you’re not going to get fined because he’s not a defenseless player,” Fitzpatrick said. “But it’s more so if I tackle a guy like Nick Chubb high and he’s running downhill, and I’m stationary, I’m going to get run over. I know it’s an offensive game…but defensive players are people, too. We have to protect ourselves. When you’re tackling big guys, it’s easier, you take less of a brunt on your body and head when you go low.”
Minkah Fitzpatrick ended off his statements with a clear message about the hit. He’s praying for Chubb and what happened, but he is not a dirty player. Fitzpatrick plays with an edge and is chippy more than a dirty player.
“You know, people will are going to say I had ill will when making that play. But that’s not the case whatsoever. I’m chippy, I’m edgy but I’m not a dirty player,” Fitzpatrick said.