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Justin Fields Doesn’t Envision Riding the Bench All Year

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Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields

PITTSBURGH — On Tuesday at the opening day of OTAs, Justin Fields spoke with the media for the first time since being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, and he declared that he has no intentions of sitting on the bench all year. He’ll be in competition with Russell Wilson for the starting quarterback spot.

“I definitely don’t have the mindset of me 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,” Fields said.

Fields also revealed that he was not shocked by the Bears trading him and gave a shoutout to general manager Ryan Poles for granting his request to be dealt to Pittsburgh.

“We were in the same situation last year with having the No. 1 pick, and it was just a little bit different this year. I’m not naive to the fact that — I can read body language and stuff like that. It wasn’t really just a shock to where it’s like, ‘Oh, I got traded.’ I knew what was going to happen beforehand. So I’m just glad I got traded to the spot that I wanted to be at.

“Shoutout to [Bears GM] Ryan Poles. We communicated to him through my agent, and I told him where I wanted to be, and this was a place I wanted to be. He honored that, and I appreciate him for that and glad he was able to put me in a spot where I wanted to be at.”

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Justin Fields disclosed on Tuesday that he and Wilson have known each other for several years. When Fields was at Ohio State, he reached out to Wilson and the two have stayed in touch since.

“We’ve known each other for a good bit now, and the fact that I get to learn stuff from him and know that the things that he’s accomplished up to this point in his career has been great,” Fields said. “So I’m just learning little details, how he’s so meticulous and the way he pays attention to detail within every rep. That really just kind of makes me think like, you know, that’s what I should be doing each and every time so I’m glad to have him here and glad to be able to learn from him.”

Wilson also acknowledged that the two have a close connection that dates back prior to Pittsburgh.

“We used to text each other all the time,” Wilson said. “Everything is now in the same room, so every day I’m trying to be my best so I can also show him and vice versa. And we’re just continuing to challenge one another, be the best version we can be for this football team.”

Tomlin has repeatedly stated throughout the offseason that Wilson is in “pole position” to be the starting quarterback, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a true QB competition. Wilson is fully aware that he won’t just be given the starting position.

“I think every day you look to be the best version of you,” Wilson said. “I think that’s always the competition internally, and then you’re always competing against the other, 31 other teams, and so I think that you step on the field with that mentality. Nothing should ever change. So, that’s how I’ve always looked at it. And that’s the part I embrace.”

Nick Farabaugh contributed reporting from Pittsburgh.