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Nick Wright: Russell Wilson Will Be Benched by Steelers



Russell Wilson Steelers Quarterback

Appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Tuesday, Nick Wright of FS1 expressed that he’s not fond of Russell Wilson. He thinks the 35-year-old quarterback is washed and that Justin Fields will take over as the starter by Week 7 or Week 8.

“I know what Russell Wilson is right now. I think Russell Wilson is a quarterback who will be benched by the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Wright said.

Wright disagreed with Cowherd’s stance that Pittsburgh was a bad landing spot for Fields, given that he reportedly had multiple options. Cowherd doesn’t think the job is up for grabs. Wright believes Fields is a superior quarterback to Wilson and should take the reins as the starter sooner rather than later.

“This is a great spot for Justin Fields, because Russell Wilson is not good anymore,” Wright said firmly. “Somebody put out a highlight package of Russell Wilson, they were like, ‘This is what the Pittsburgh Steelers are getting.’ And the second clip in the highlight, you know who missed a tackle on Russell Wilson? Jerrod Mayo, who’s now the (head) coach of the Patriots. Yes, once upon a time Russell was dynamic. So, I expect Russell to be the Week 1 starter and I expect Justin to be the Week 7-8 starter and the starter the rest of the way.”

Wright isn’t the only analyst to think Wilson is washed. To name a few, LaVar Arrington, Mark Schlereth and Shannon Sharpe also think Wilson’s best days are behind him.

There are legitimate concerns about Wilson that have to be considered. Warren Sharp of Sharp Football noted that Wilson struggled with intermediate passing in Denver.

Per Sharp, Wilson threw 27% of his passes behind the line of scrimmage last season, the highest out of 509 QBs since 2005. He also threw 62% of his passes within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, the second-highest out of 509 QBs since 2005 (*509 QBs in sample with a min 300 attempts in a season).

“Sean Payton had no confidence in Wilson’s intermediate passing. The 2023 Broncos had the least amount of intermediate passing of any offense since 2005,” Sharp wrote on X. “Wilson threw just 26% of his passes between 5-15 yards downfield, the lowest out of 509 QBs since 2005. It was nothing but record breaking rates of underneath passes and the occasional moon ball downfield.”

Fields took a small step forward in 2023, his third year as Chicago’s starting quarterback. The Ohio State alum threw 370 times, completing 227 for 2,562 yards and 16 touchdowns. He threw nine interceptions and maintained an 86.3 passer rating and a 5.29 adjusted net yards per attempt.

In 2022, he was 192 of 318 for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, an 85.2 quarterback rating and 4.63 adjusted net yards per attempt. Since 2022, Fields has the most rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,800 yards and averages 6.3 yards per carry.