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Pat Freiermuth Impressed by Early Look at Justin Fields

Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth has been impressed by the early returns on Justin Fields in the team’s voluntary workouts.

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Justin Fields Steelers
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) carries the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Chicago. The Bears won 28-13. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have the upside in the quarterback room by adding Justin Fields to the mix. But he’s not perfect, in fact, far from it, as he move into the next stage of his career. One legitimate concern about Fields’ game is his pocket awareness, which often leads to unnecessary sacks. He just doesn’t see the field very well. Russell Wilson has the same issue, however, so the Steelers might be dealing with a potential dilemma.

Fields had two head coaches and three different offensive coordinators in his three years in Chicago. That’s an incredibly tough environment for a young quarterback to develop and grow in. Now with the Steelers he is starting with a clean slate. So far, teammate Pat Freiermuth has been impressed by Fields.

“Justin’s been great,” Freiermuth said on Steelers Afternoon Drive. “He came in, and he was eager to go. He looks great in workouts. You can definitely tell like him and Russ they have that ‘aura’ about them that they are ready to go and ready to lead our team. It’s exciting to be around. They are definitely awesome team guys.

Former Bears director of player personnel Josh Lucas, who was on the staff that drafted Fields, never doubted the man that Justin Fields is, but did have some concerns on the field.

“Our main concern was: ‘Is this just a two-year starting quarterback in college that needs more time? He’s playing around phenomenal talent, offensive line and perimeter skill. He’s got more time to operate. Or is this like a lack of instinct?’ That was our big question, and after three years, I would say there’s a little bit of an instinct issue there,” Lucas said. “It’s why I think the league just told you he’s viewed as a backup quarterback right now more than a starting quarterback,” Lucas said in an interview with Pro Football Focus earlier this month.

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 6.3 yards per carry. Both figures are higher than Lamar Jackson’s.