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Does Steelers Play-Action Offense Suit Russell Wilson?



Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agent Target QB Russell Wilson

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.

Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback  battle is going to come down to whoever fixes their fatal flaw.

Former Broncos cornerback Chris Harris didn’t cross paths with Wilson as a teammate, but he’s well-aware of what went wrong during Wilson’s two-year tenure in the Mile-High City.

“I think there was a lot of plays out there that Russ missed, and Sean (Payton) had some great calls,” Harris told Dave Dameshek on the Minus Three Podcast. “Of course Sean, he had a couple bad days. It happens as a head coach. But I think he had the right schemes, he had the right plays to be able to get these guys open and to make plays. A lot of times, Russ held the ball a lot, causing extra sacks, killing drives, kinda missing a lot of big throws. It was definitely hard on Russ, also. Let me throw this out there, too. It’s hard to play when a team is coming after you over your contract in midseason. You’re the quarterback.”

Harris thinks the Steelers need to be in a spread and get the ball out quick for Russell Wilson to reach his utmost potential.

“(Russ) needs to be in a spread. Play-action offense didn’t suit him very well. It needs to be open, he needs to be able to see the field,” he said.

Dameshek pushed back that with how things are set up in Arthur Smith’s offense, the Steelers are going to be a run-heavy, play-action team.

“So, are we saying essentially that he’s doomed to fail? Because they’re not going to do that,” Dameshek said. “Arthur Smith, hopefully, is nimble enough to see the pieces that he has, not the ones that he wants, but the ones they’re putting out there for him. And so, he’s got to modify things to Russell’s taste to some degree. But also they’re wired at this point. They just don’t have the pieces. I mean, Van Jefferson as your No. 2 is uninspired. No offense to you, Van Jefferson.”

Harris thinks the Steelers will be fine at wide receiver, despite the major concerns. He thinks the recipe for the Steelers to win is to run the ball and play great defense. In regards to Russell Wilson, Harris believes he has to be an efficient game-manager and not turn the ball over.

“Russell, you got to manage the game. Don’t have turnovers. Be careful with the football. Protect the football. Like, it’s OK to punt. But, we know once it gets to the red zone, Russ, now you can start using your legs, now you can start making plays (and) scrambling around. He makes great throws in the red zone. That’s where he comes alive. So, that’s what Russ needs to continue to do, play smart football. And they’re defense saying that we’re going to stop them. T.J. Watt, ‘I’m gonna get you the ball back.’ (Minkah) Fitzpatrick, ‘We’re gonna get you the ball back.’ So, just be smart with it.”

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May 9, 2024 12:45 pm

“Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback battle is going to come down to whoever fixes their fatal flaw.” Well, Dan, both Wilson and Fields have already fixed that fatal flaw by playing behind an improved Steeler O-line. Thank you Omar Andy!