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Steelers Not Concerned About Minkah Fitzpatrick Practicing



Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick

PITTSBURGH — Minkah Fitzpatrick and the Steelers are still trying to hash out a contract extension or the star safety, and it is little surprise to many that Fitzpatrick has not been practicing fully in team periods during minicamp and OTAs while that process takes place.

Fitzpatrick has in attendance and is doing work in the Steelers practice during individual drills, similarly to how T.J. Watt’s situation worked out last year, dubbed by some as a hold in.

While attendance at minicamp is mandatory, the Steelers coaches and staff are not focused on Fitzpatrick or the contract situation as it stands right now. and do not seem to have a problem with him only partially participating.

“I’m sure there’s a concern,” Brown said. “But as the DBs Coach, my concern is with anyone who shows up and is ready to work. That’s what I do every day. I’m trying to maximize the time I have with the guys who are showing up to work. I’m sure there is a concern there, but I’m just getting these guys up to speed to play.”

Whenever Fitzpatrick is absent, that gives opportunities to others. One of those players is Damontae Kazee. Kazee, who has started at other stops in his career, has plenty of experience before coming into the Steelers locker room. In Fitzpatrick’s absence, it has been Kazee’s opportunity to show the team what he is made of, and so far, he has impressed some of the players and coaches.

“Kazee has benefited the most,” Terrell Edmunds said. “He came from a different team, so he got extra reps. He’s got the chance to feel out that communication. He got a chance to go out there and make plays, and he did a good job. He helped us out, and sharpened his communication skills on our lingo.”

Even in with limited participation, Fitzpatrick is still helping the rest of the team. He has still be vocal at practices and an active participant in coaching up his room. While he himself is not out there participating in reps, Fitzpatrick is still as present as ever as a leader.

“He’s still out there everyday,” Edmunds said. “Still out there speaking his mind. Still out there coaching us whenever he can. Just being in the background and coaching us on the field.”

Fitzpatrick could carry his limited participation into training camp if the deal is not done by then. It will be interesting to see if that comes to fruition as it did for Watt a year ago. For the time being, it appears that Fitzpatrick will not be a full-go until he gets his contract, and that doesn’t seem like it will be a problem for anyone.

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