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ESPN Analyst Believes Steelers QB Battle is Dead Even



Justin Fields Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has repeatedly stated that Russell Wilson has “pole position” to be the starting quarterback, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a competition. Justin Fields will be given a fair opportunity. Wilson is just the starter as of now because of his pedigree.

“When it’s time to compete, we get into training camp-like settings, and going to preseason stadiums and so-forth, obviously Justin will be given an opportunity to show his capabilities,” Tomlin said at the NFL owner’s meetings in Orlando on Monday.

Jeff Darlington of ESPN was glad to hear Tomlin express that there will be a fair QB competition in training camp and preseason, because he thinks Wilson and Fields are dead even talent-wise.

“I was just glad to hear Mike Tomlin essentially say there will be a competition,” Darlington said on Get Up Tuesday. “Because the Steelers were pretty adamant out of the gates that after they signed Justin Fields, Russell Wilson would be the starter. They definitely walked that back and made very clear this will be a true competition in training camp. And to me, I think it will be a dead even heat based on what I’m hearing about Justin Fields and Russell Wilson. By no means do I believe that this is truly decided.”

Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky thinks the QB battle is going to come down to whoever fixes their fatal flaw, which is holding onto the ball too long and taking unnecessary sacks.

“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 there game just a little bit? Justin, I would be more inclined because he’s younger,” Orlovsky said.

“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?”