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Fitzpatrick tells Steelers: We have to work harder

Minkah Fitzpatrick told his Pittsburgh Steelers team-mates they needed to work harder to achieve success following their 21-18 defeat to the New England Patriots last night.

The Steelers slipped to 7-6 on the season with a defeat to the struggling Patriots that damages their play-off hopes and, not for the first time this season, one of their key players suggested the issue was more with mentality than ability.

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All-pro safety Fitzpatrick said: “In order to see the fruit, you’ve gotta toil for it.

“I think too many people don’t want to toil for it. They just want to walk out here and think that they’re going to make plays and think that they’re going to perform at a high level. I think we need to have more people who want to work for it, not expect it to be handed to them.

“This is the NFL. Nothing’s handed to you. You got to earn everything. I think that dudes just think that because they’re wearing the black and gold, that they’re going to win games, and I think we need to check that mentality and make people realize that they got to earn that mentality, and they got to earn every single blade of grass, every single splash play and every single rep that they get out there. They got to earn it.”

Fitzpatrick feels some introspection is required if the Steelers are to turn it around at the Indianapolis Colts next week.

“The only thing that people could do is evaluate their work week,” he added.

“Look in the mirror, evaluate their work week, evaluate their character, evaluate their love for the game, evaluate why they play the game, and if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons or if you’re doing it just because you like it and you don’t love it and you don’t love the ugly part of it, then you need to evaluate what you’re doing.”

Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe threw for three touchdowns, two to Hunter Henry, while Ezekiel Elliot destroyed the Steelers on the ground as New England improved to 3-10 on the season.

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