“Nothing’s handed to you!” Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick points to entitlement and lack of effort as root of team’s issues

Fitzpatrick indirectly took a dig at his teammates taking the opportunity to play for Pittsburgh for granted.


“Nothing’s handed to you!” Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick points to entitlement and lack of effort as root of team’s issues

Minkah Fitzpatrick (Image via Sky Sports)

Minkah Fitzpatrick couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had won 7 from 11, lost two games back-to-back against teams with a 2-10 record. The All-Pro safety did not hold back with his criticism of the Steelers’ lack of grit during games.

After the Steelers 18-21 loss against the New England Patriots on Thursday night, Fitzpatrick said:

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In order to see the fruit, you've got to toil for it. I think too many people don't want to toil for it. They just want to walk out here and think that they're going to make plays.

Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe had a breakout performance while throwing three first-half touchdowns (the first to do it since Tom Brady in 2018). The Steelers were playing without injured QB Kenny Pickett. Second-choice Mitch Trubisky was not able to steady the ship. At one point, the Pittsburgh crowd started chanting backup Mason Rudolph‘s name.

Minkah Fitzpatrick wants the Pittsburgh Steelers to play better

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in limbo. They seem to be winning games, but analysts can’t wrap their heads around how. Mike Tomlin‘s side has a minus 40-point differential, yet they were just inside the playoff bubble before the Patriots game (replaced by the Colts).

“Nothing’s handed to you!” Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick points to entitlement and lackof effort as root of team’s issues
Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (Image via Bleacher Report)

This is not a recent phenomenon. It has been going on since Ben Roethlisberger‘s last season with the franchise, in which they reached the wild card with a -55 PD. In 2023, Tomlin’s offense ranks 26th out of 32 teams in the league, gaining an average of 292.5 yards per game.

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Not only that, the Matt Canada-less team has only scored 20 touchdowns, which is the lowest amongst teams with 7 or more wins. They have been outscored by the likes of the Cardinals, Bears, Chargers, and Commanders.

This is the NFL. Nothing's handed to you. You have to earn everything. I think that dudes just think that because they're wearing black and gold, they're going to win games.  We need to check that mentality and make people realize that they have to earn that mentality.
Minkah Fitzpatrick

However, this is not enough to shake Tomlin’s confidence. The veteran head coach said they need to work on a few things but will be back stronger in the coming weeks.

Obviously, this stings, but we'll be back. This is what we do. This is who we are.
Mike Tomlin told Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com

They have a big game this Sunday against a direct rival for the playoff seed. It will be against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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