Thursday, June 6, 2024

The News For Justin Fields In Pittsburgh Keeps Getting Worse


Last week, there was news out of Pittsburgh that the Steelers coaching staff was considering putting Justin Fields on kick return duties. While it made sense in a vacuum, given his obvious athletic capabilities, it also sent a blaring message. That organization didn’t view Fields as any true threat to Russell Wilson for the starting quarterback job. Head coach Mike Tomlin had insisted the team would keep an open mind. Wilson would be the designated #1, but Fields would be given opportunities to compete.

By the sound of things lately, that was a lie. Mark Kaboly covers the Steelers for The Athletic. In a recent mailbag, he was asked about the Fields situation in various ways. His answer didn’t paint a rosy picture for the former Bears quarterback. Not only is he unlikely to get any serious consideration for the starting job, but he isn’t going to see the field at all.

How long of a leash will they give Wilson? — Dennis R.

He will start the entire season. The only way he comes out is if he gets injured. Bank it.

Do you expect Art Smith to have special plays/drives scripted for Fields at QB in most games? — Danny C.

No. Maybe you can see red zone stuff, but Wilson was good in the red zone last year. I don’t see him getting any playing time, and that includes kickoffs.

This is a rough thing to hear. Fields personally signed off on the Pittsburgh trade because he felt it was a stable organization that would give him a fair crack at the starting job. By the sound of things, he was mistaken.

Justin Fields seems destined for free agency in 2025.

It will take an incredible sales pitch by the Steelers to convince him to stay beyond this season if this is their current path. Wilson has only missed seven games with injuries in his NFL career. It seems unlikely he would suffer any such setbacks that might get Fields some action. He is a competitor and feels he is good enough to be a starter. Fields won’t hesitate to hit free agency, hoping to find an organization willing to give him an honest chance to battle for their top job.

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Seeing how fast things have changed for him in the past few months is amazing. Towards the end of 2023, he was playing some of his best football, showing legitimate progress as a passer. Sadly, his fate was sealed when Chicago landed the #1 overall pick. Even so, it was expected the market would be strong for somebody of his caliber. However, more proven names like Wilson and Kirk Cousins threw a wrench into those plans. Combine that with a highly-touted draft class; it was a perfect storm of awful for Justin Fields.

One can only hope he emerges on the far side of it all.


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May 7, 2024 9:42 am

It’s interesting how people’s minds work: Some people see a pizza place and other people see a pedophilia ring. A writer who “covers” Pittsburgh for “The Athletic” (paywalls), sees no possibility for a 25 year old, 3 year starter (on an AWFUL team), backing up Russell Wilson, but who went to school at Ohio State (100 miles from Pittsburgh), who’s head coach (Pittsburgh) “liked” him as a 20 yr. old. Doesn’t have any opportunities to get on the field. Is every game going to be 7-6 in the 4th quarter? I’m trying to figure out how “The Athletic” hires people… Read more »

May 7, 2024 8:13 am

Oh, I can’t wait for all the downvotes on this one. I’ve been saying this for a year plus. JF is Terelle Pryor 2.0. He needs to strongly consider a position change if he wants any longevity in the NFL. He just doesn’t have what you need to be a starter in the NFL, and he doesn’t have what he needs to be a backup. Backups are tasked with being a playbook savant, they can dissect it, consume it, and gameplan it with the starter for maximum efficiency. He couldn’t even learn Getsy’s full playbook, let alone a new one,… Read more »

May 7, 2024 7:12 am

OH, Well if Mark Kaboly says so!… Now we get to read B.S. Hype from Pittsburgh, too? Pittsburgh is a Blue collar team in a Blue collar town with a Blue collar coach. The Steelers have been my 2nd team since I became a football fan for exactly that reason. Mike Tomlin has Never had a losing season. He’s a walk softly and carry a big stick guy and I would have been happy as hell if we had ended up with him recently when the stories started about him leaving the Steelers. He’s a man of few words but… Read more »

Jim Jones
May 7, 2024 6:44 am

I don’t have to. He was traded for us to improve our consistency and production from the QB position for a reason 🤷‍♂️.

Jim Jones
May 7, 2024 6:42 am

Best of luck to Justin. Hope he eventually gets his chance. Happy where we are. Hope he is happy where he is.

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