Steelers' Justin Fields Is More Likely To Overcome His Fatal Flaws As A Quarterback And Steal The Starting Job In 2024 - Sport News

Steelers’ Justin Fields Is More Likely To Overcome His Fatal Flaws As A Quarterback And Steal The Starting Job In 2024

The Pittsburgh Steelers improved their weakest offensive position from the 2023 season, quarterback. General Manager Omar Khan signed 12-year NFL veteran Russell Wilson, to a team-friendly, one-year contract. Wilson became the presumptive starter for the 2024 season, which led to Kenny Pickett getting traded to the Philadelphia Eagles before the Steelers traded for Justin Fields to fill out their quarterback room. The Steelers now have two starting-caliber quarterbacks on their roster, and the big debate amongst fans revolves around who should be given the reigns of the offense in 2024.

Steelers' Russell Wilson

Steelers’ Russell Wilson
Justin Edmonds / Getty Images

Former Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (#3) scrambles out of the pocket during a professional football game.

Wilson is the more experienced and successful quarterback between himself and Fields. Wilson has played in two Super Bowls, and will be entering his 13th year in 2024 coming off two rough seasons with the Denver Broncos. Fields has more upside than Wilson, but has struggled some so far in his three year career. The starting job for 2024 is Wilson’s to lose, which was confirmed immediately after the trade for Fields occurred. However, in a recent appearance on ESPN’s, Get Up!, Dan Orlovsky stated that he believes if there is any question on who should start for the Steelers, it will be decided by who can eliminate the bad plays.

“Who’s going to take the less ridiculous sacks? In the last two seasons, Russell Wilson has taken 100 sacks. Justin Fields has taken 99. No other quarterback in the NFL has taken more than 80. So who could get that out of their game just a little bit? Justin, I would be more inclined to say because he’s younger.”

Wilson and Fields have been the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL by far over the last two seasons. That could also be blamed on receivers not getting open, or below average play from their offensive line. However, many of the sacks come at the fault of each quarterback trying to extend a play, allowing themselves to be sacked, rather than getting rid of the ball. Wilson has more experience, so it will be harder for him to adjust his game to eliminate sacks. Fields can still be molded by a solid coaching staff, so he certainly has the advantage in this regard.

Pittsburgh Steelers Justin Fields

Pittsburgh Steelers Justin Fields
USA Today

Steelers’ Justin Fields in a press conference with the Chicago Bears.

Fields is being given a great opportunity to sit behind Wilson and learn from an experienced veteran who has had success at the position, that also plays the position in a similar manner. Both players are extremely dynamic with their legs, Fields more so than Wilson since he is significantly younger. Due to both players being able to do so much, they often make mistakes because they try to make the big splash plays instead of taking what they can get. Orlovsky touched on this.

“And which one of these two guys gets rid of the negative plays? Negative plays are sacks, fumbles and interceptions. Here’s another one: Justin Fields in the last two seasons has 145 negative plays. Russell Wilson has 135. No other quarterback in the NFL has a buck 15 (115). So you’re intrigued, you’re encouraged, but which one of those guys gets rid of those fatal flaws of their game more constantly?”

Fields has struggled with turnovers since entering the NFL, recording 38 fumbles and 30 interceptions in three seasons. Wilson has 25 interceptions during that same time span, and 22 fumbles. Both quarterbacks having issues with negatives plays and turnovers favors Fields. If Wilson has already been guaranteed to start the 2024 season, he’ll likely be on a short leash. Once a pattern forms of negative plays and turnovers from Wilson, Fields will get his opportunity.

Steelers Russell Wilson Justin Fields

Steelers Russell Wilson Justin Fields
Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun Times

Steelers quarterbacks meet at midfield as members of different organizations during the 2023 season.

Steelers Have Little To Nothing Invested In Their Quarterback Room
Due to Wilson being owed so much money from Denver, the Steelers were able to sign him to a one-year, minimum deal worth $1.2 million. He is only under contract for the 2024 season, so they can move on from him whenever they want since they have next to nothing invested in him. Fields costs less than the return the organization got for Pickett, as all they sent to the Chicago Bears was a 2025 conditional sixth round pick. The pick will turn into a fourth if Fields plays over half of the Steelers’ offensive snaps during the 2024 season.

The Steelers don’t need to be loyal to either quarterback due to not having a lot invested in either player. The coaching staff can choose to do whatever is best for the team, with no ulterior motives. The organization will need to decide on Fields’ fifth-year option by May 2nd, but it is likely that gets declined due to the high price tag. It is more likely he signs a smaller, multi-year extension in Pittsburgh.

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