PITTSBURGH — An unheralded player came out of nowhere on Wednesday to light up the Steelers secondary. It was Dez Fitzpatrick, former fourth-round pick in 2021 of the Tennessee Titans out of Louisville, Fitzpatrick joined the team on a future contract, and so far, he’s making some noise.
Fitzpatrick confirmed that on Wednesday he caught three touchdowns over the course of the practice. But don’t tell the third-year receiver that it means much of anything. Fitzpatrick wants to take everything slowly and focus on days as one singular thing. He has learned that over his time in the NFL.
“You know, the more I get into the offense, the more I hear the plays in the huddle, the more I believe in my coaches, the more plays I can make,” Fitzpatrick said. “This is football and I feel like I’m a smart football player. Getting a grasp of the offense and how things are done, how routes are finished, and the small, minor details, that’s the stuff you learn.”
Fitzpatrick noted that he had been getting work in after practice with all of the quarterbacks on the roster. It is part of building chemistry and understanding their body language. For any receiver, a dominating day where you put up so many touchdowns is impressive, but Fitzpatrick can only note that it is OTAs and a long way away from real football. From that perspective, he only takes days like this with a grain of salt.
“I’ve been down this road before,” Fitzpatrick said. “I don’t need to see this or hear any praise. At this point, I’m so tunnel-visioned. Really, I can’t be worried about anything else other than winning the day, the play, the down, and trying to do it all over again. If it’s a bad day, down, or play, then I have put it in the back of my mind and keep chugging. From other teams, that’s what I’ve learned and experienced in the NFL.”
However, the Steelers quarterbacks noticed. Mitch Trubisky confirmed that he threw a few of those touchdowns to Fitzpatrick. He is impressed by the young receiver’s ability to learn so quickly and make plays when called upon. Trubisky has called his number often enough and feels he has been rewarded more often than not.
“You know, he’s a guy who at this point you give a chance to and he’s going out there and making plays,” Trubisky said. “Dez is a hard worker, a good guy, and so far, he’s making plays.”
So, Fitzpatrick will try to continue what seems to be a strong start to OTAs. He is starting to gain some buzz around the locker room at this point, and with a hot competition at wide receiver near the bottom of the roster, Fitzpatrick is throwing his hat into the ring as a player to consider.