Many (including the idiot whose name appears at the top of this article) were perplexed by Pittsburgh’s decision to send a first-round pick to the Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick, after losing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season. It has paid off for the Steelers, so far.
“I think it is still in progress,” coach Mike Tomlin told the Cleveland media corps when asked to assess the deal on Tuesday. “It is difficult to get on a moving train. I tip my cap to Minkah in terms of doing so, but I just think he is going to get more and more comfortable with each passing week in terms of not only gaining an understanding about the detail of what we are asking him to do but also how it fits into the big picture and he can really start focusing on some of the things that he is looking at from an opponent perspective. I just think he is getting increasingly more comfortable with each passing week, and I think that is why you see the uptick in his production and thus ours.”
It was clear at the time the deal was done, and it’s even more clear now, that the Steelers knew what Fitzpatrick is capable of doing.
“This guy made plays probably at every level of football he has ever played,” Tomlin said. “I know I was really impressed with his Alabama tape. He was taken extremely high in the draft. We traded a first rounder for him. I do not think it is an unknown thing about his nose for the ball or his general awareness of football abilities.”
He has underscored those abilities during his short stint with the Steelers, and Fitzpatrick has done well enough in Pittsburgh to invite real questions about what in the world the Dolphins were thinking when they quickly gave up on him.