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Inside Why the Steelers Changed Justin Fields’ Mechanics

The Pittsburgh Steelers have changed Justin Fields’ mechanics, but what prompted the move and where is this heading for Fields?

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

PITTSBURGH — Justin Fields and the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to change his throwing mechanics right after he joined the team. On the first day of OTAs, Fields came out onto the grass at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, and Steelers Now’s Derrick Bell noticed that Fields worked out of the shotgun with his right foot forward rather than his left foot. Fields predominantly put his left foot forward in the previous two seasons under Luke Getsy.

However, Fields predominantly went with his right foot forward at Ohio State and in his rookie season with the Bears. The change was forced upon Fields, with Getsy coming from Green Bay, where the left-foot forward Aaron Rodgers played. But it was not that natural for Fields. And that is precisely why the Steelers have decided to put his right foot forward.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields

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

“Yeah, it’s more about comfort than anything,” Fields said. “I can just close my eyes and play with my right foot forward with no problem. It’s the way I have done it my entire career, aside from the last two years. The coaching staff told me to do what made me the most comfortable.”

The change was a product of Arthur Smith telling Fields to be an environment that he would be comfortable in on the football field. That does not mean Fields is magically fixed, but Smith wants to allow Fields to play loose and without significant questions every time he goes onto the football field. That is the inside scoop on why the change ended up being made.

It helps that Russell Wilson is a right foot forward quarterback. Kyle Allen is the same way, too. It gives the team congruency with timing and footwork up and down the depth chart, which will help build chemistry with a new group of quarterbacks and skill players around one another.

Over the years, Fields has changed his right foot forward stance to allow him to stagger on it a bit to fit with the timing of most NFL concepts. With the Steelers, Fields is back to all of his natural mechanics and honing in more on processing quickly within the pocket.

Pittsburgh’s aim is to unlock Justin Fields’ processing speed within the pocket to cut down on negative plays. In order to do that, they feel he has to be as comfortable as possible in his mechanical adjustments. So, expect to see Fields reverting back to much of what makes him comfortable on the field in an aim to grow his game under comfortable circumstances.