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Jerome Bettis Doesn’t Envision Russell Wilson Losing His Job

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Pittsburgh Steelers QB Russell Wilson

While many envision a scenario where Justin Fields supplants Russell Wilson as the starting quarterback by either the start of the season or in Week 7-8, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back and Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis thinks Wilson is the clear-cut starter.

“It would surprise me,” Bettis said of Fields taking over as the starter during an interview with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports. “I think he’s definitely the polished guy. You saw what he was doing last year in Denver. He didn’t leave Denver because of this play. I can promise you that. So I believe he’ll be the starter Week One.

“Now the question is Justin Fields,” Bettis continued. “He’s that Joker, because you don’t know what you’re gonna get. You love his skill set, what he’s capable of. Can he put it all together? And will he develop to the next step? And if he does that, he can be a 10-year solution at quarterback as well.”

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

Wilson is 35 and on the back end of his career, while Fields is 25 and entering his fourth season. The upside is definitely with Fields if the Steelers want their next franchise quarterback. Former Steelers free safety and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark thinks general manager Omar Khan should be hoping for this.

“I want Justin Fields to win because that gives me an opportunity to have a quarterback of the future. Not a bridge guy. Not a guy on the back end of his career, but a young talented quarterback that needs the right pieces around him, who showed signs of being very good late last year,” Clark said on Get Up in March.

Mike Tomlin has repeatedly stated this offseason that Wilson is in “pole position” to be the starting quarterback this season. At the same time, however, Fields will be given a fair competition.

Fields made it clear at the first day of OTAs that he doesn’t plan on riding the bench all year.

“I’m definitely competing,” Fields said. “Russ knows that. We’re competing against each other every day. I definitely don’t have the mindset of just sitting all year. I’m coming in here every day giving it all I got and pushing him to be his best, and he’s pushing me to be my best every single day.”