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Steelers QB Russell Wilson Earns Big Ben Comparison

One Steelers insider believes that Russell Wilson is looking like Ben Roethlisberger later in his career at times at OTAs.



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Russell Wilson
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Russell Wilson at the team's first OTAs practice, May 21, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Russell Wilson comes to Pittsburgh looking to carve out his legacy and, more importantly, bounce back from a tough two years with the Denver Broncos. But until that occurs, Wilson will fight for the starting job while he holds the pole position label from Mike Tomlin. His first week of OTAs showed what the Steelers could expect from Wilson, with one insider stating that Wilson looks similar to late-career Ben Roethlisberger.

Mark Kaboly joined 93.7 the Fan to discuss Wilson’s first with the team and compare his accuracy to that of Roethlisberger in his late career, even if he is not what he used to be at the height of his career with the Seattle Seahawks.

Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson

Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson at OTAs on May 21, 2024. — Ed Thompson/Steelers Now

“He was pretty accurate with some deep balls there. Tight spirals, very accurate. He was to that point where Ben [Roethlisberger] was later in his career, where he threw to a spot, threw to get guys open. That’s just veteran, that’s being around throwing 20,000 balls in your career where you can throw guys open a lot,” Kaboly said. “You can tell that Russell Wilson has a lot of those characteristics.”

Will Wilson be handed the starting job, and more importantly, how much will new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith cater the scheme to Wilson’s needs? Those remain huge questions, though Wilson seemed to hint that he believes he will have the chance to imprint the offensive game plans and scheme. With his moonball and deep ball still flashing, that will be the strength of his game and the crux that Smith uses.

I think the Roethlisberger comparison is an intriguing thought, but Roethlisberger won with out-of-structure play and lost some of his sauce in what was once a strong arm after his surgery in 2019. Wilson has lost some of the athleticism but has all the arm strength in the world at 35. That is where they differ significantly.