Former NFL QB compares Justin Fields to Cam Newton, says Steelers will start youngster by Week 10

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck believes that new Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields will see action as a starter by Week 10 in the upcoming season — and maybe even earlier.

The Steelers have added both Fields and veteran quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason, and while Wilson is expected to be the starter to begin the season, Hasselbeck thinks Fields will eventually end up taking the job.

“I’m gonna say Justin Fields is the starter for Pittsburgh by Week 10,” Hasselbeck said. “I think, to be really bold, say, Week 5 — maybe that’s the case. … I think ultimately, he ends up being their starter.”

Hasselbeck also said lightheartedly that Week 1 could be on the table. He may have been serious to some degree, saying that Week 1 maybe isn’t “that out of the realm of possibility.”

“I think he has Cam Newton-like qualities,” Hasselbeck said of Fields. “Cam Newton was a league MVP, in large part because he was a remarkable runner of the football, and that in turn helped him develop as a passer. There was a stretch where Cam was the best goal-line back in the National Football League. I think in terms of the fit, with the personnel that’s there…and then what Arthur Smith wants to do, yeah, I think it’s maybe the best spot for Justin Fields to go.”

After a rocky stint with the Denver Broncos, Wilson is looking to start fresh with the Steelers. His second season with Denver went better than his first, but he still has something to prove as he prepares to take the reins for Pittsburgh.

Fields, meanwhile, is a bit of a wild card at this stage of his career. He’s just 25 years old, and while he has a long way to go as a passer, he has shown that he can be incredibly dangerous with his legs.

In the 2022 season, for example, Fields rushed for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns. To sweeten the deal, he was extremely efficient when he chose to run the ball, leading the league in yards per carry at 7.1.

Fields may be able to gain some valuable guidance from Wilson, who has put together a decorated NFL career thanks in part to his passing ability. While the veteran’s best days may be behind him, it will still be a special opportunity for Fields to be around him.

The quarterback room could get interesting in Pittsburgh if both players start being mentioned for the starting job. Wilson might need to have a slow start to the season in order for the team to start thinking about turning to Fields, but stranger things have certainly happened.

The Steelers are looking to return to the playoffs in the 2024 season. They’ve done a nice job of reaching the postseason in recent years, but they’re still trying to earn their first playoff victory since the 2016 campaign.

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