That is a link to the September 18th Musings when I said this:
“I don’t like the trade the Steelers made on Monday for Miami safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
I love it.”
And I still do.
Good defenses need playmakers. Fitzpatrick is that.
Good defenses scare opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks. Fitzpatrick does that.
Good defenses need leaders, plural. Fitzpatrick is emerging as that alongside TJ Watt and Cameron Heyward.
Since Fitzpatrick arrived on the scene, Joe Haden’s play at corner has improved. He has certainly benefited from the ball hawking Fitzpatrick, and Stephen Nelson continues to play well opposite Haden.
Mike Hilton keeps making plays, the pass rush is excellent and, if the Steelers can start stopping the run with more consistency, this Steelers D has a chance to be special.
But pump the brakes just a bit.
It’s a nice four-game run, and the 5-4 Steelers are suddenly a serious contender for the postseason, but one must wonder if the defense can continue to carry the burden of winning close football games without much help from the offense.
James Conner’s return to the lineup would be huge this week as the Steelers head to Cleveland on a Thursday night. Road teams fair very poorly in the Thursday night matchup, but Conner against a bad Browns run defense could make life a bit easier for Mason Rudolph, and take some of the pressure off of the defense.
Many were quick to sign the Steelers’ death certificate after a Week 5 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens dropped the Steelers to 1-4 and, essentially, three games out of the nearest playoff spot.
Some of those same folks are now handing out defensie MVP awards to Fitzpatrick, Coach of the Year honors to Mike Tomlin, and booking playoff tickets. It is fun to speculate where this team might go, and the arrow is pointing way, way up, but too much can go wrong over the course of seven games.
But I’ll tell you this – it’s so much better to be looking forward to the next seven games on the Steelers schedule, than dreading what might happen.
I joined the club on September 17 – nice to see you all have come along.
- Hey – great win for Pitt hoops last Wednesday over Florida State to start the 2019/2020 ACC season. The Panthers obviously have turned the corner and will probably be in the Elite 8 – perhaps the Final Four! What’s that? Nicholls State? Is that even a real school?
- There is a potential National Champion on the Pitt campus – women’s volleyball, ranked #2 in the country – is 25-1 overall, 14-0 in the ACC, and has electrified those who pay attention to Pitt athletics. Head coach Dan Fisher has found a groove with his rotation and outside hitter Kayla Lund, a six-foot junior from Pasadena, California has been a force and leads the team with 355.5 points. For those who have never seen a live volleyball match – go – it is well worth your time and the Lady Panthers deserve the support. H2P!