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Former NFL GM Believes Steelers Can ‘Win A Lot Of Games’ With Justin Fields

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Excitement is still quite high for the Pittsburgh Steelers following the acquisition of Justin Fields from the Chicago Bears via trade. The Steelers gave up very little to land the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, and now have a very high-ceiling quarterback on the roster with some tantalizing physical traits.

Though Fields is on the roster, there is the question of his role. While some believe that he’ll be the starter eventually in 2024 for the Steelers and then beyond, there are many who believe he’ll sit and learn from veteran Russell Wilson, which is something that the Steelers reportedly made clear regarding his role after acquiring him.

But even with that reportedly being the situation and Wilson being in the “pole position” as QB1 entering the offseason, former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum believes that Fields will ultimately win the starting job in Pittsburgh and will “win a lot of games” for the Steelers in 2024 and beyond.

Appearing on the “Extra Points” podcast with host Dave Dameshek, Tannebaum spoke highly of Fields, echoing comments he’s made throughout the offseason on ESPN’s Get Up.

“I say it’s a grade of incomplete [for Fields]. Forty touchdowns, 30 interceptions, 25 years old. Tremendous character. And I think what we’re gonna see is Arthur Smith design an offense where, first of all, it’s gonna be run based. They’re not gonna ask him to do too much, and there’s gonna be three or four throws a game he’s going to have to make,” Tannenbaum said of Fields with the Steelers. “But he can also make plays outside the pocket. He can make plays with his legs. So I think context is everything. I’d be surprised if he didn’t win the job at some point.

“He may not be top eight or top 10, but I think we’re gonna say, ‘Wow, they can win a lot of games with him.’”

To this point in his career, Fields has offered quite a bit of flash, but consistency has been the issue. That played a part in why the Bears moved on from him and are resetting things at the quarterback position now that they hold the No. 1 overall pick.

But that flash is so enticing. In 40 career games, he’s thrown for 40 touchdowns and rushed for another 14 touchdowns. He’s thrown 30 interceptions and fumbled 38 times in his career, which is rather alarming.

He seemed to clean it up a bit late in the season with the Bears in 2023, but he needs to really hone in on limiting the mistakes with the football now that he’s in Pittsburgh, because the system is ideal for him under new Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

While Fields is entering the offseason as the backup to Wilson, head coach Mike Tomlin stated that Fields will get an opportunity to compete at an appropriate time. When that is remains to be seen, but once he gets his opportunity, some like Tannenbaum believe he’ll win the job and go on a run with the Steelers.

That certainly could be the case. But he’ll have to show he can cut down on the turnovers and stop trying to do too much on every play to fit into what the Steelers want at the position overall.

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