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Ex-NFL Coach Believes Russell Wilson is Perfect Fit for Steelers

Former NFL offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton believes that Russell Wilson is the perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Mike Tomlin.



Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Russell Wilson
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) huddles up teammates prior to an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The Pittsburgh Steelers will end up signing Russell Wilson officially in a short time, but the fit with the team has largely been discussed since his reported signing before the beginning of free agency. Can the marriage between Wilson and Arthur Smith work, and does Wilson’s personality mesh well with the team?

Former NFL offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton believes it will work extremely well in Pittsburgh, naming Wilson as the best fit for quarterbacks joining a new team.

“When you look at the model that best fits Russell Wilson, and you go back and revisit how he had success in Seattle, it started with a great defense,” Hamilton said. “He had the Legion of Boom that gave him the ball back quite often. But he also had a strong running game back in Seattle in having Beast Mode (Marshawn Lynch) to hand the ball off to, which we feel good about  in Pittsburgh currently. I just think that style of football on a team that has an established culture is going to really complement Russell’s skillset. The hiring of the new OC Arthur Smith should give them a chance to establish the run game which is going to ultimately open up the ability for Russell to use the play action passing game and find ways to get the ball to George Pickens.”

Statistically, Wilson had a rebound in 2023 after a rough season in 2022. Last year, Wilson started 15 games for the Broncos, completing 297 of 447 passes (66.4%) for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions for a 98.0 passer rating and a 6.04 adjusted net yards per attempt. Wilson was benched by the Broncos for the stretch run, after a contract dispute between him and the team over his contract guarantee for the 2025 season.

Denver is just two seasons removed from trading for Wilson. The Broncos sent two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant to the Seahawks for Wilson on March 16, 2022.

A Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowler with the Seahawks, Wilson struggled in Denver. He posted an 84.4 passer rating in 2022, which was by far the lowest mark of his career, and was sacked a league-high 55 times.

The Broncos fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett after just one season, trading more draft picks for former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton this past offseason. Wilson played better, but he did not appear to have a solid relationship with Payton, who has gone out of his way to criticize Wilson this offseason.