NFL insider highlights why Mike Tomlin will keep Russell Wilson out of his comfort zone

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NFL insider highlights why Mike Tomlin will keep Russell Wilson out of his comfort zone

The Steelers' Russell Wilson era will officially begin when they face the Atlanta Falcons on September 8, 2024 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

With a quarterback under center and Mike Tomlin's future settled, all eyes will be on Pittsburgh to see if Wilson can put the stench of a failed Broncos era behind him and start afresh. It won't be easy, though. Not with Justin Fields breathing down his neck.

In his weekly column on Sports Illustrated, NFL insider Albert Breer pointed to that fact, writing:

"[Russell] Wilson will enter camp as the starter, but the Pittsburgh Steelers’ belief would be that what’s best for him, and ostensibly the team, is for him to have to fight for the job. In other words, keeping Wilson out of his comfort zone should help them get the best out of him in the summer, and the best from him in the fall."

Breer added that the Steelers staff is still reserving any judgment on Wilson's capabilities in the new offense until they set up full, padded practices with both Wilson and Fields in action.

Steelers' offseason in review: Russell Wilson, Justin Fields in, Kenny Pickett, Diontae Johnson out

There were sweeping changes in the offseason for all to see. With Steelers brass not convinced of Kenny Pickett's potential, the young QB was shipped off to the Philadelphia Eagles.

In came Russell Wilson to take his place. And when the Chicago Bears made Justin Fields available for trade (only to find few suitors), the Steelers bought low on the dynamic (yet erratic) Ohio State alum.

Signing Wilson on a one-year, $1.2 million deal was a no-brainer. Bringing Fields to town for a conditional sixth-rounder is also a no-brainer. But the Steelers will be competing in a pretty damn strong AFC North.

Post the bye week in Week 9, the Steelers will go up against division rivals Browns (twice), Ravens (twice), and Bengals (twice), AND face the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17.

Adding linebacker Patrick Queen to the roster on a three-year, $41 million deal may not prove to be quite enough to compete in the AFC North, especially with the Hard Knocks cameras in tow.

Entering Week 1, our algorithm puts the Steelers' playoff chances at a mere 19%.

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Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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