Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick's departure from the Miami Dolphins in 2019 is one that many will remember for how it benefited the Steelers organization. It will also be remembered for the somewhat tumultuous relationship he had with the then-head coach, Brian Flores.
In 2020, Fitzpatrick revealed in a tell-all interview his many grievances with Flores and how he was used by the defense at that time. The most revealing comment in that interview suggested that Flores, at the time, had no clue about how to optimize Fitzpatrick's skill set and how it affected his career at the time.
"It was messing up my skill set. I was working the hand-fighting drills against the tight ends and working on hitting the bags and stuff like that. That’s fine and dandy, but that wasn’t my skill set."
Since that time, Fitzpatrick has blossomed into one of the best players at his position. Meanwhile, Flores was released from his duties as Dolphins head coach in January, filed a grievance lawsuit against the NFL for racism in hiring practices, and was hired as the Steelers' senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach.
Considering the changes that have taken place since their days with the Dolphins organization, one can assume that both parties have evolved in a way that should allow them to coexist. Perhaps time has allowed Flores and Fitzpatrick to see the errors of their ways and build together in order to be successful this upcoming season.
The addition of Flores may prove to be one of their most important in recent memory. With all the obstacles he has faced up to this point, establishing a relationship of trust with Fitzpatrick should benefit both him and the team as a whole. Only time will tell if old wounds have been healed.