Rudolph is developing into a fine quarterback in this league and has every right to fight for a starting job
I know plenty of you probably had a brain aneurism reading the title of the article, but it is absolutely true. Mason Rudolph has proved himself worthy of at least getting the shot to become Ben Roethlisberger’s successor. Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert has continued to praise Rudolph throughout this offseason, words which he deserves. His development as a quarterback in this league has been on an upward trajectory ever since he was drafted. Sure, there were some bumpy moments for a third round quarterback, but that player won’t truly reach his potential until his fourth/fifth year in the league.
GM Kevin Colbert on Mason Rudolph: The game he started this year (in Cleveland) was the best game he has played for us. It was very encouraging to see him play the way he did in the Cleveland game.
— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) February 17, 2021
Let’s just look at some facts on the former Oklahoma State Cowboy. For starters, Rudolph has completed 61.7% of his passes, which is right around league average. But he was able to do this within the terrible 2019 Steelers offense, and with the Steelers backups in the 2020 season finale. His career touchdown to interception ratio sits at 15-10, but if you take out his worst career game (at Cleveland in 2019) the ratio is 14-6. To top things off, Rudolph has a canon of an arm and throws a really nice deep ball. His ability to hit guys like Chase Claypool on deep routes changes the entire complexity of the offense.
Mason Rudolph to Chase Claypool 28 yard TD. 24-16 Cleveland. One possession game pic.twitter.com/cMFlfwIjau
— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) January 3, 2021
Players can, and will, improve. I know a lot of the disdain toward Rudolph comes from his time as the starter in 2019. But you have to keep in mind Ben Roethlisberger received the bulk of the training camp snaps that year, and Rudolph hadn’t quite grasped the offense yet. This forced the team to simplify what already was a bland offense. He stood no chance that year, and was placed in a terrible position. His last two games against the Jets in 2019 and Browns in 2020 could be the key into seeing what Rudolph really could become. Someone who takes care of the ball, but has developed a wicked deep-ball. Don’t let early performances cloud your judgement of this kid. Imagine what he could do if he had an entire training camp to practice as the starter within a better offensive system.
With Matt Canada now at the helm of the offense, Rudolph will be in a system much better suited for his skillsets, and will be put in a position to succeed. Unlike Randy Fichtner, who nearly had his head taken off each and every week back in 2019.
Pittsburgh Steelers QB ‘Mason Rudolph’ Gets KO’d After Hard Hit By Baltimore’s Defense! pic.twitter.com/uX2WwUPtz0
— SFTY+ (@sftyplus) October 6, 2019
Now, by no means am I suggesting the Steelers should forgo drafting a quarterback in the near future. Nor am I saying Rudolph is the future of this organization. But, the Steelers have already invested plenty of time into developing Rudolph, and should at least get a look. If he fails, the Steelers can move on to Dwayne Haskins or whomever they have waiting in the wings. But if he takes that next step, the Steelers can keep on rolling without having to worry about the games most important position.
But what do you think? Are you willing to give Mason Rudolph one more shot at the Steelers starting quarterback role? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.