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Insider Believes There’s ‘Genuine Hope’ That Russell Wilson Can Make Steelers Contenders



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Russell Wilson

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson had a tumultuous two-year tenure with the Denver Broncos. He certainly never lived up to the trade and the massive contract he signed worth $245 million.

However, on the flip side, he had a 26-8 touchdown-interception ratio and a 98.0 quarterback rating last season. He also was very accurate. According to Warren Sharp of Sharp Football, Wilson had the fifth-lowest rate of incompletions due to inaccurate passes (25.3%) last season.

I’m not saying that Wilson looked like John Elway in Denver. He had some major flaws, like taking unnecessary sacks. But I think he was a lot better than what people give him credit for.

At 35, Wilson is not the future franchise quarterback for the Steelers. But can he lead the Steelers to at least a playoff win? Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks there’s “genuine hope” that he can make the Steelers contenders in the AFC.

“The franchise quarterback isn’t here, but I think there’s some hope. And really, some genuine hope with that defense that they have and some of the weapons they have on offense, that maybe they can do something with Russell Wilson,” Fittpaldo said during a recent appearance on the Joe Starkey Show on 93.7 The Fan. “His experience, I think, could really be the key for this team. He’s a veteran, he’s a leader. He knows how to win. He protects the football. So if he comes in here and plays well, I do think the Steelers have a chance to contend in the AFC.”

Pittsburgh Steelers Russell Wilson

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson at the team’s mandatory minicamp, June 12, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

NFL Network lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has caught the same drift out of Pittsburgh in regards to the Steelers’ quarterback competition. Unless something unforeseen happens, Wilson will be the starting quarterback in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons. It’s Wilson’s job to lose.

“I’m really pleased with what I heard coming (out) of there with Russ,” Jeremiah said on the Rich Eisen Show. “I know there’s been a lot of talk with him and [Justin] Fields. It’s Russell Wilson’s gig. Everything I’ve been told, they’ve been impressed with how he’s thrown. Throwing with anticipation.”

Jeremiah also heard that Wilson has been an outstanding teammate, which isn’t surprising. Wilson disclosed at OTAs that he and Justin Fields took the offensive linemen out to dinner at the Capital Grille in downtown Pittsburgh to build camaraderie. It’s one of many examples this offseason that Wilson has stepped up as a leader.

Wilson has embraced the city of Pittsburgh. At pretty much every big event in the city this offseason, Wilson was there.

“The dedication and work ethic has been described to me as off the charts. He’s there all the time,” Jeremiah said. “He’s really worked to get to know his teammates and develop those relationships. They’re really bullish on him.”