With the announcement of the AFC North being the in-season “Hard Knocks” focus for HBO and NFL Films, much of the attention shifted quickly to the fact that the world will get a behind-the-scenes look in-season at Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. 

Tomlin is expected to be the star of the in-season “Hard Knocks” even above quarterbacks like Joe Burrow in Cincinnati and Lamar Jackson in Baltimore.

But for former NFL defensive lineman and longtime talking head Mike Golic, the biggest storyline for the Steelers in “Hard Knocks” will be centered on quarterback Russell Wilson and how he looks behind the scenes in the season, especially with Justin Fields potentially breathing down his neck.

“I would also go again with Russell Wilson. Can you recapture anything that he had in Seattle? What will his teammates think about him? We hear stories from Seattle that followed to Denver. Now he’s in Pittsburgh,” Golic said of the Steelers and “Hard Knocks,” according to video via DraftKings on YouTube. “Pittsburgh, we think, is in the toughest division in the AFC North. What’s he going to bring? Can he revamp or bring back what we saw in Seattle?

“I don’t know if he can or not. And then obviously with Justin Fields just kind of sitting there over his shoulder. But to me, it is: how is Russell Wilson gonna look?”

Wilson potentially recapturing his high level of play in Seattle while being back in a similar offensive scheme under Arthur Smith that relies on the run game and play-action passing, which led to so much success in Seattle for Wilson, is the biggest question for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

While he played well in Denver in 2023, the 2022 season with the Broncos was an abject disaster, and his final season in Seattle was marred by injury and poor play, leading to Seattle moving on from Wilson.

Now, he finds himself in a new location, aiming to revitalize his career. He’s stated to the media that he feels rejuvenated and believes he’s found the fountain of youth in Pittsburgh as he is very much in the early honeymoon phase of the marriage with the Steelers. 

That all goes out the window once the games start.

With it being the in-season “Hard Knocks” it’s not even a guarantee that Wilson will be the starting quarterback when the show debuts Dec. 3. But if he is, it will be very interesting to see how he’s like behind the scenes with teammates and coaches, and how he handles adversity behind the scenes.

He’s been exceptional in front of the camera throughout his career and has said and done all the right things in Pittsburgh so far.


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