Former Steelers Pro Bowler Speaks Out on QB Justin Fields - Sport News

Former Steelers Pro Bowler Speaks Out on QB Justin Fields

Multiple reports made it clear that the Pittsburgh Steelers view Russell Wilson as their starting quarterback instead of Justin Fields. But former Steelers safety and ESPN’s Ryan Clark argued why that shouldn’t be what the team wants.

On the March 20 episode of ESPN’s Get Up, Clark explained why it would be advantageous for the Steelers to start Fields.

“If I’m the Pittsburgh Steelers, if I’m Omar Khan, I want Justin Fields to win the job. That’s exactly what I want,” Clark said. “Because that gives me an opportunity to have a quarterback of the future. Not a bridge guy.

“Not a guy on the back end of his career, but a young talented quarterback that needs the right pieces around him, who showed signs of being very good late last year.”

To Clark’s point, Fields completed 61.1% of his passes for an average of 6.5 yards per attempt in the final seven games of 2023. He also rushed for 5.5 yards per carry with 8 total touchdowns and 5 turnovers.

Fields led the Chicago Bears to a 4-3 record during that seven-game stretch. He had a 6-26 record as an NFL starting quarterback prior to that.

He is also 10 years younger than Wilson.

Like Fields, Clark began his NFL career elsewhere before joining the Steelers. But Clark played eight of his 13 seasons in the league in Pittsburgh (2006-13). Clark was a starter on the 2008-09 Super Bowl champion Steelers and made the Pro Bowl in 2011.

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky Stresses Steelers Starting QB Avoiding Negative Plays

Former NFL quarterback and ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky agreed with Clark. Orlovsky argued Fields is a more intriguing option than Wilson because of his upside.

But the ex-quarterback also identified both Wilson and Fields as having a lot of the same issues. Orlovsky claimed whichever signal caller can fix their flaws will start for the Steelers.

“In the last two seasons, Russell Wilson has taken 100 sacks. Justin Fields has taken 99,” said Orlovsky on ESPN’s Get Up on March 20. “No other quarterback in the NFL has taken more than 80. So who could get that out of there game just a little bit? Justin, I would be more inclined because he’s younger.”

Orlovsky also argued whichever quarterback can minimize their fumbles and interceptions will be the front runner to start in Pittsburgh.

Steelers Have Little Invested in Justin Fields, Russell Wilson

ESPN’s Adam Schefter didn’t appear on the March 20 segment with Clark and Orlovsky. But he made some crucial points during ESPN’s NFL Live on March 19.

Schefter argued that the Steelers don’t have to rush their decision behind center. And even after making a decision (again, the Steelers have already named Wilson the starter), there’s little stopping head coach Mike Tomlin from changing his mind.

“There’s no commitment, obligation, loyalty to any of these guys. They didn’t pay much for either one of them,” Schefter said, via Steelers Now’s Chris Ward. “I even had one executive say if Justin Fields outplayed him, Russell Wilson, during training camp, they could see them moving on from him before the season.”

That’s an extreme scenario that’s highly unlikely to happen. Things could also change. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac wrote on March 19 that the Steelers could sign Fields to a multi-year deal before the season begins.

But with little invested in either quarterback at the moment, Schefter’s point rings loudly.

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