3 moves Steelers can make to give Justin Fields a true second chance

The Pittsburgh Steelers can set up Justin Fields for success with three simple moves.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Steelers can bench Russell Wilson and fully embrace Justin Fields


The Steelers plan to start Russell Wilson out of the gate. It's a bit strange to go so far as to avoid the "competition" label heading into training camp. Why shouldn't Wilson have to earn his stripes after two rocky seasons in Denver? Wilson was better than Fields last season, straight up, but the age and contract factors are undeniable.

Wilson is nothing more than a bridge quarterback and, frankly, the gap in talent and immediate ability is probably not vast. Why not see what Fields can offer and at least gauge his readiness in a new system? Arthur Smith's offense should play to Fields' strengths. If he's going to be the long-term guy at QB, it's best to start on that path right now. Don't waste time on a mediocre-to-okay vet.

The public perception on Wilson has skewed far too negative. He tossed 26 touchdowns to only eight interceptions last season and completed 66.4 percent of his passes. Factor his resumé into the equation, and it's not difficult to understand why Pittsburgh plans to roll with him. But, if the Steelers are serious about investing in Fields, he should start. We are talking about a three-year NFL starter in Fields, not some unproven commodity straight out of college.

Fields offers more dynamism outside the pocket and on the ground, plus the inherent developmental upside of a player 11 years Wilson's junior. Pittsburgh would need to carefully navigate Russ' ego, but he signed a one-year minimum contract. His leverage is nonexistent. The Steelers can cut him without a second thought. So, Fields can still get first team reps while learning from Wilson in practice and on the sidelines. It's a solid mentor-mentee setup.

The Steelers should embrace the inevitable and start Fields. They won't — not yet, at least — but they should.

STEELERS RUMORS. WR target in view, Another already signed, Pickett more valuable than Fields?. WR target, another signing, Pickett more valuable than Fields. dark