In 14 games with the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, Minkah Fitzpatrick dominated. The safety earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors gobbling up 57 tackles, five interceptions, two fumble recoveries and scored two touchdowns.
For his encore in Pittsburgh, Fitzpatrick is predicting more INTs.
"I am going to go with six," Fitzpatrick said, via Teresa Varley of the team's official website. "I had five last year. I am trying to beat that. I think I missed some opportunities last year. I am going to go with six or seven."
In his first year in Pittsburgh, Fitzpatrick was a speeding bullet, looking like Bugs Bunny when he played every baseball position. The All-Pro was constantly around the ball, playing from his free safety position.
Fitzpatrick believes having a full year in the system will allow him to be even better in 2020.
"Last year was my first year playing full-time free safety, deep safety, and I am still learning," Fitzpatrick said. "I wanted to learn a lot about the deep safety position and how to improve. One thing I could have done better is play a little lower, play with more bend in my knees. Be more explosive, come out of my breaks sharper. That is something I am trying to work on and detail every day in practice."
Fitzpatrick's arrival -- worth the price of a first-round pick -- solidified a dominant Steelers defense last year. The safety believes the group can improve upon its impressive play from a year ago.
"I think we're going to look even better," Fitzpatrick said. "We kept most of our defense from last year. And we have a lot of young guys that are going to help us from the back. We are going to have a short camp which will be tough, but we have a lot of older guys, a lot of vets who can help us. I think we will be an even better defense than we were last year."
Last year's defense was good enough to put Pittsburgh in a position to get to the playoffs, if it weren't for an inept offense. With Ben Roethlisberger set to return, the hope is the complementary units will get the Steelers back into the postseason.