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Chad Johnson Sends Warning to Justin Fields: ‘I Don’t Like the Gimmicky’

Chad Johnson does not like the idea of the Pittsburgh Steelers using Justin Fields as a Taysom Hill-like player this season.



Pittsburgh Steelers Justin Fields
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields during OTAs at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on May 21, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

A Justin Fields package? It’s become one of the most significant talking points early in OTAs that Fields, one of the most dynamic running quarterbacks in the NFL, could have a niche carved out for him, even if Rusell Wilson is the starting quarterback. Wilson agreed earlier this week that Fields’ specific package should be a thing and could ‘strike fear’ into NFL defenses.

“Justin is obviously one of the most talented guys in the NFL,” Wilson said. “You know all the things he can do. The player, the quarterback that he is. He’s dynamic. It’s all about us winning. That’s the focus. I think it would strike fear in some defenses, that’s for sure.”

However, is the ‘Justin Fields package’ what is best for Fields? A quarterback who knows what it is like to be the franchise’s standard bearer, Fields has his natural drawbacks in the passing game but has flashed sky-high potential in the past with the Chicago Bears. Chad Johnson does not think the idea of a Fields package is a good one for Fields, who he urged to stay true to himself and away from a Taysom Hill role.

“I don’t like the gimmicky, using him in a [Taysom Hill of the New Orleans Saints] role,” Johnson said on the “Nightcap” podcast. “I don’t like taking out Russell Wilson and getting him off-track, off-rhythm when it comes to running an offense. … Allow Russell Wilson to take control of the helm and do what needs to be done on that team.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields and offensive coordinator Arthur Smith during OTAs on May 22, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

I understand he’s a dual-threat quarterback. He has certain things that he does very well. Obviously, he can throw the ball. Obviously, he can run the ball as well. I think Justin Fields needs to not allow them to make him somewhat of a gimmick with these special plays and stay true to yourself as a starting quarterback, which he will be next year for the Steelers. Don’t start that gimmicky stuff because they will see you and view you as just that, a gimmick.”

It is a different viewpoint than just about anyone else so far in this process. Fields has not commented yet on the idea of a Fields package but has shot down the idea of him on kickoff returns. Regardless, it seems like Justin Fields will have a package built out for him during the season.

Arthur Smith has excelled in the past with Marcus Mariota in his quarterback run game. Fields would likely take that to the next level. So, expect Fields to be involved in that package if he does win the starting job, and if he does, his rushing skills will be used to their fullest potential.

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Jesus Christani
Jesus Christani
May 31, 2024 6:55 pm

No, “gimmicks,” here…

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a starting QB who desires game time so put him in games, mostly with plays he’ll be running when he’s QB1, anyway…

And quite frankly, if at the end of 100 gimmick plays is a Super Bowl ring, bring it…


June 3, 2024 5:38 pm

I actually agree