Minkah’s mom objects to son playing out of position
In response to a beat reporter’s comment that the second-year defensive back was not playing well Wednesday, Fitzpatrick’s mother, Melissa, responded saying he is “being used to suit other people[‘s] skill set not his own” in Brian Flores’ defense.
No you would never want to do that maybe it’s because he is not a ss and is being used to suit other people skill set not his own . But you know let’s just keep ripping him because we know it breaks your heart to do that
— minknmelissa (@minknmelissa)
August 14, 2019
The hybrid safety addressed his mother’s comments after practice.
“She’s not wrong,” Fitzpatrick said, per a team transcript. “Coach has asked me do something right now. I got to do what they ask me to do. If we have to have some discussions in the future, we’ll have those discussions.”
Hit with injuries with starting safeties Reshad Jones (foot) and T.J. McDonald, Miami has lined Fitzpatrick up at strong safety, where the 207-pound defensive back has not thrived, per The Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley. Fitzpatrick intercepted Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston in Wednesday’s joint practice, but also gave up two touchdown passes, per Beasley.
Flores had little negative to say after Wednesday’s joint session about the 22-year-old defensive back’s performance this summer.
“He’s done a really good job,” Flores said of Fitzpatrick. “Obviously, it’s never perfect for anybody, but he’s a guy who we’ve used in multiple roles. He’s taken to that and really learned them all at a pretty good level.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for him and really any young guy. When people go down, it’s a great opportunity. It really is, and Minkah’s taking advantage of that. Again, we’re moving him around. He’s playing some strong safety, he’s playing some linebacker, he’s playing some corner. He’s all over the place. That’s a good thing. That’s a really good thing.”
Fitzpatrick’s appeal as a prospect coming out of college was that he could a Swiss Army defender, able to play both in the secondary or in the box. That’s partially why Miami selected him at No. 11 overall in the 2018 draft.
But with a new regime in town and injuries forcing Fitzpatrick to fill in elsewhere, the defensive back is learning to simply deal with whatever comes his way, whether he and his mother approve or not.
“You just got to do it, man. If you resist it, you’re not going to play well,” Fitzpatrick said after practice. “If you think about playing somewhere else, you’re not going to make the most of your position. I’m not 215 pounds, 220 pounds. So playing in the box isn’t best suited for me, but that’s what coach is asking me to do. I’m going to go out there and practice my hardest.”