Footage of Mike Tomlin attending Justin Fields’ Pro Day at Ohio State is chumming the NFL Draft rumor waters.
As the Pittsburgh Steelers prep for the 2021 season, one massive question looms large: What happens in a post-Ben Roethlisberger world?
Big Ben is returning for what is likely his final season in the NFL, which make the more immediate question whether or not he retires with a third Lombardi trophy.
But the future needs to be considered now more than ever, as the Steelers are about to wade into waters that feel uncharted. Pittsburgh has had quarterback change throughout its franchise history, but this incarnation of the team has consistently had Roethlisberger at the helm.
That’s all going to change, which means finding a quarterback of the future is a priority.
Take that context and couple it with footage of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin yucking it up with Ohio State star Justin Fields, and it doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots.
NFL Draft: Will Pittsburgh Steelers target Justin Fields to replace Big Ben?
After getting up close and person in timing Fields’ sprint, Tomlin took a moment to go out of his way to talk to the young quarterback.
“You know who we cam to see,” Tomlin says in the clip. “Have a good day, let us know if you need anything.”
Mike Tomlin and Justin Fields.
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) April 12, 2021
Do you hear that? That’s the sound of engines revving on the rumor machine as it powers up thanks to this clip.
Now logic suggests that this was nothing more than pleasantries being exchanged a veteran head coach and a rookie quarterback. But this is draft season and logic went out the window about 20 miles ago, which means there’s nothing stopping us from barreling into the wall of rumors this will undoubtedly create.
Let’s be as clear as possible: Pittsburgh will need a ton of help to land Fields. Despite being passed up in mock drafts for the likes of Mac Jones and Trey Lance, Fields is still a Top 5 quarterback in this class and a sure-fire first rounder.
Fields falling to No. 18 feels almost impossible, and the idea of him falling far enough for the Steelers to trade up feels next to impossible. But stranger things have happened on NFL Draft night, and the ingredients are there for Pittsburgh to try and trade up to get Roethlisberger’s replacement.