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A Letter From the Editor: The “who” doesn’t matter, it’s the “when”

This past Pittsburgh Steelers offseason has been wild, and I don’t think there is anyone who follows the team who wouldn’t agree with this sentiment. We all knew the team was going to try and improve their roster by any means necessary, but I don’t think many saw the team starting over from scratch at the quarterback position.

With Russell Wilson and Justin Fields now in the fold, fans have turned from celebrating how the Steelers were able to acquire these two talented quarterbacks as cheap as possible, to arguing about which one is better/worse.

Log onto social media and you see a group of Steelers fans, who are buoyed by Chicago Bears fans, talking about how horrible Justin Fields is as a quarterback. You also have a sect of Steelers fans, buoyed by Denver Broncos fans, who call Russell Wilson “washed” and how he isn’t ever going to be able to regain his Super Bowl form he had with the Seattle Seahawks.

These debates rage on, but I feel as if we are debating the wrong thing as fans of the black-and-gold.

It’s not the who, but the when. In other words, who cares which quarterback performs well, as long as a quarterback performs well.

Russell Wilson is 35, and will turn 36 in November, but if Wilson goes out and plays at a Pro Bowl level throughout the season, helping the Steelers not just make the playoffs but win playoff games, would you care if he was given a 2-year contract after the 2024 season to help the organization potentially win a championship before he reaches 40?

Justin Fields is 25 years old, and with a March birthday won’t be celebrating another year on this earth during the upcoming season. If Fields gets an opportunity to play significant snaps this season, and plays well, does it matter to you if the team gives him a 4-year contract after the season? Would it be a bad thing if this young talent was the new quarterback of the future?

Sure, you can have your rooting preference in this battle. Many will root hard for Fields based on his age, and this makes sense. Father Time will catch up to Russell Wilson at some point, and that day/time is never known. As for Fields, he still has at least a decade left in his NFL career, barring injury or early retirement. Getting a guy who can answer the quarterback question for the next 10+ years is certainly appealing.

Nonetheless, to me, and this is just my opinion, I just want the Steelers to get high level quarterback play.

If it’s Russell Wilson? Awesome.

If it’s Justin Fields? Tremendous.

To me, the question isn’t “who” will be delivering the high level play, but “when” will we, the Steelers fan, finally get to experience a level of quarterback play which hasn’t been seen in Pittsburgh since before Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow injury in Week 2 of the 2019 season.

What’s the worst-case scenario? It isn’t if the quarterback you are rooting for in the Steelers quarterback room plays well, or doesn’t, it’s if neither plays well and the organization finds itself in the same position next offseason. Asking the same questions about the most important position in all of team sports since Roethlisberger retired after the 2021 season.

Will we get the answer? Will we finally get out of quarterback purgatory? Let’s hope the answer comes quickly throughout training camp, preseason, and the regular season for the Steelers, and their fans. If not, next offseason will truly be unbearable…


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