Justin Fields has eyes on Steelers' starting quarterback job: 'Russ knows that'

Justin Fields doesn’t care what the depth chart might say for the Pittsburgh Steelers — he wants to start Week 1. 

When Fields was traded to the Steelers back in March, he was relieved that the Chicago Bears gave him another opportunity elsewhere, considering all signs pointed to what they did in the 2024 NFL Draft: Take quarterback Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall. 

But Fields joined a quarterbacks room in the Steel City that added Russell Wilson, a Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowler, and he’s the expected starter heading into training camp. 


However, it’s not the way Fields views the situation. He wants to start, and he’s competing with Wilson for that role — something he says his competition knows.

“I’m definitely competing,” Fields, who is entering his fourth season in the league, told reporters on Tuesday. “Russ knows that. We’re competing against each other every day. 

“I definitely don’t have the mindset of me just sitting all year. I’m coming in here every day giving it all I got and pushing him to be his best, and he’s pushing me to be my best every single day.”


Now, this isn’t Fields trying to drive a wedge between him and Wilson, but rather proving that he isn’t content being a backup. His coaches may put him in that position after training camp, but any player knows competition in the summer is inevitable, no matter the position. 

It’s especially the case at quarterback for the Steelers despite what Wilson’s career resume says. He struggled during his time in Denver, so much so that the Broncos are eating tons of dead cap money to make their way to a new era under Sean Payton with Bo Nix, their No. 12 overall pick, lined up to start his career at the position in 2024. 

The Steelers, a team desperately looking for consistency at quarterback, cleared house on their depth chart and brought in Wilson and Fields. With Wilson only on a veteran minimum deal, any struggles from him could lead to the Steelers cutting ties, making way for Fields who was happy he got the call that he was heading to Pittsburgh this offseason. 

“We were in the same situation last year with having the No. 1 pick, and it was just a little bit different this year,” Fields said Tuesday, which was his first time speaking since the trade. “I’m not naive to the fact that — I can read body language and stuff like that. It wasn’t really just a shock to where it’s like, ‘Oh, I got traded.’ I knew what was going to happen beforehand. So I’m just glad I got traded to the spot that I wanted to be at.

“Shoutout to [Bears GM] Ryan Poles. We communicated to him through my agent, and I told him where I wanted to be, and this was a place I wanted to be. He honored that, and I appreciate him for that and glad he was able to put me in a spot where I wanted to be at.”

Fields acknowledged the “ups and downs” he experienced with the Bears, which included a career 10-28 record. But while inconsistency has been a theme with Fields early in his career, he has shown flashes of greatness, whether it be beautiful deep ball touchdowns or using his legs to mesmerize defenses. 

For all that didn’t go well in Denver last season, Wilson still had the team in playoff contention with a 7-8 starting record, 3,070 yards passing and 26 touchdowns to eight interceptions. However, in 2022, Denver struggled mightily with Wilson finishing the year 4-11. 

It will be one of the most spotlighted position battles this offseason, as Wilson and Fields are already getting to work with their new receiving corps. But for all those thinking it’s Wilson’s job to lose, Fields is clearly gunning for the top spot, and he doesn’t care if a seasoned veteran is in his way. 

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