May 26, 2024

Mike Tomlin responded to Minkah Fitzpatrick’s comments about the Pittsburgh Steelers mentality.

Steelers’ DT Holding Everyone Accountable For Thursday LossMinkah Fitzpatrick ruled out for Thursday vs. Titans; Kenny Pickett could  play | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Steelers’ DT Holding Everyone Accountable For Thursday Loss
Mike Tomlin Addresses Minkah Fitzpatrick’s Criticism of Steelers
Mike Tomlin responded to Minkah Fitzpatrick’s comments about the Pittsburgh Steelers mentality.
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Pittsburgh Steelers
PITTSBURGH — Minkah Fitzpatrick was furious following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 21-18 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 14, so much so that he called out his own teammates’ work ethic and drive to win following the game.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was made aware of Fitzpatrick’s postgame comments but believes he meant them more as a challenge from the star safety to his teammates, instead of a complaint about their effort.

“You know, he was probably talking about smiling in the face of adversity. These are going to be tough, tough games and there’s going to be some adversity, there’s going to be some challenges, nothing is going to be given to us and we have to fight that,” Tomlin said. “We’ve got to smile in the face of that. [Fitzpatrick is] a guy who does that and lives that life and I’m sure he’s just challenging others to do the same. We have to do a better job of that in an effort to change the outcome of games.”

Fitzpatrick said there are too many Steelers players who think they simply need to show up to make plays and win games, and that the team’s leaders “need to check that mentality” as they prepare for a stretch run against playoff contenders while holding a precarious grip on a playoff spot.

Tomlin recognizes that his team will need to play dramatically better if they want to hold onto that spot and shares Fitzpatrick’s desire for urgency from the slumping Steelers.

“I’m not necessarily looking for positive messages in an effort to build them up,” Tomlin said. “I’m probably taking the opposite approach and talking about how urgent these weeks and opportunities and games are because the road is getting narrow. That’s a phrase we like to use and we’re moving into the month of December now. That’s just acknowledging truth.”

Their performances from the past weeks, which has yielded two consecutive losses to teams that entered with just two wins, begs the question – do the Steelers have enough players in their locker room who follow in Fitzpatrick’s footsteps and smile in the face of adversity?

“Certainly,” Tomlin said.

He’ll be proven right or wrong over the next four weeks as the Steelers close the regular season with an eye on locking up a playoff spot in the crowded AFC race.

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