Mike Tomlin explains why Russell Wilson is ahead in Steelers' pecking order

Mike Tomlin explains why Russell Wilson is ahead in Steelers’ pecking order

Following the offseason transformation of the franchise’s quarterback room, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explained why veteran Russell Wilson will get the first shot at being the No. 1 guy over Justin Fields.

Tomlin explains why Wilson is ahead in Steelers' pecking order

“[Wilson’s] just got a lot of experience in terms of what it takes to be the guy over the course of a 12-month calendar and I just think that that’s something that a younger guy like Justin could learn from,” Tomlin told Brooke Pryor of ESPN.

Tomlin added that Fields will compete “when it’s appropriate.”

While good for Wilson, the head coaches’ words aren’t super positive for Fields, whom the Steelers have seemingly tagged as the backup for the foreseeable future. Regardless, Tomlin’s statements aren’t that much of a revelation.

After Russell Wilson agreed to join the Steelers on March 11, many believe he’d be the guy. Less than a week later, they traded for Fields, prompting talks of a quarterback battle despite reports indicating that Wilson would be the starter.

Wilson would not have come to Pittsburgh without the reassurance that he’d be the starter. Fields or no Fields, the Steelers appear to be keeping that promise.

That same promise led the Steelers to trade Kenny Pickett. After reports surfaced that Wilson wouldn’t have to compete for the starting job, the 2022 first-rounder allegedly preferred to go elsewhere.

With two better options at QB, the Steelers obliged Pickett, dealing him to the Philadelphia Eagles. Tomlin didn’t get into specifics regarding conversations between the two sides but did confirm that the 2022 first-round pick wanted out.

“From his perspective, he felt like a change of scenery would be a good thing,” Tomlin said. “Obviously when we felt the trajectory of the business with Chicago moving in the right direction, those dominoes started falling.”

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