After 19 interceptions and being a statistical part of 28 turnovers over his first five NFL seasons, Minkah Fitzpatrick’s stat line in 2023 was a bunch of zeroes across the board for interceptions, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries.

How, Fitzpatrick was asked Wednesday, can he begin to again rack up the takeaways in 2024?

“Just let me play ball,” Fitzpatrick said. “That’s it.

“‘Minkah Ball.’”

“Minkah Ball” is defined by the ball skills Fitzpatrick displayed in earning AP first-team All Pro status during three of his first four seasons with the Steelers. In 2022, he led the NFL with six interceptions. Though a hamstring injury contributed by limiting Fitzpatrick to 10 games in 2023, he knows going through another full season without a takeaway is unacceptable.

“We gotta figure it out,” Fitzpatrick said after Wednesday’s organized team activities session. “Go back and look at the ‘22 tape to see what we did then.”

Fitzpatrick is putting his proverbial money where his mouth is in regards to having a strong 2024 in that he has been at every OTA so far this spring. A seven-year veteran who’s been named to the Pro Bowl five of the past six years, a player of Fitzpatrick’s caliber would not necessarily raise any eyebrows if he sat out voluntary workouts.

But Fitzpatrick said it is important for him to be in attendance this spring, particularly with an abundance of new faces in the secondary.

“You want to start forming relationships, you want to make sure everyone is on the same page early,” Fitzpatrick said. “If I came in late and they were teaching stuff that wasn’t exactly what I was taught, we would be playing catch-up. But I believe, by being here now, everyone is on the same page and ready to improve.”

Chris Adamski is a TribLive reporter who has covered primarily the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2014 following two seasons on the Penn State football beat. A Western Pennsylvania native, he joined the Trib in 2012 after spending a decade covering Pittsburgh sports for other outlets. He can be reached at