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Wilson: Playing for Tomlin ‘One of the Greatest Gifts in the World’



Russell WIlson Steelers Quarterback

When the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Russell Wilson earlier this offseason, it ended up marking a fresh start for both parties. Shortly after the signing, the Steelers decided to move on from Kenny Pickett which made Wilson the clear front runner for the starting quarterback job.

For Wilson, he comes to Pittsburgh after his own drama-riddled two-year tenure in Denver. After landing with the Steelers, Wilson stated the luxury of having Mike Tomlin as his head coach and being a member of the Steelers.

“To play 13 years in the NFL has been a dream come true,” Wilson said in an interview with Okla Jones of Essence. “[To] be able to play for Mike Tomlin; to stand side by side with him and try to accomplish all the goals that I want to accomplish with the Steelers organization, and what that represents for the NFL, is one of the greatest gifts in the world.”

In two seasons as the Broncos starting quarterback, Wilson started 30 games and finished with an 11-19 record. While the notion is that Wilson had a down year in 2023, he finished the season having completed 297 of his 447 passes (66.4%) for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In comparison, the last time that a Steelers quarterback threw at least 26 touchdowns was in the 2020 season.

In another move to add to their quarterback room this offseason, the Steelers traded for Justin Fields. Shortly after the trade, Tomlin stated that Wilson was still in the “pole position” to be the starter. At the NFL’s owners meetings, Tomlin cited his reasoning in naming Wilson as the starter for the 2024 season.

“We’ve been very transparent about the pecking order, at least to start,” Tomlin said. “I just think that provides clarity for all parties involved. Russell is a veteran, man. He’s got a proven process of readiness. He’s been in this league a long time, and he’s capable of rallying troops…”

The love that Wilson and Tomlin have for each other is undeniable but without playoff success in 2024, this may be Wilson’s only season in Pittsburgh due to his age and likely contract demands next offseason.