Impending Steelers camp battle: Mason Rudolph vs. Dwayne Haskins

Former Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Former Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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The signing of Dwayne Haskins has garnered a plethora of mixed reviews among Steelers nation.

While I may come off as biased after saying the Steelers must sign Dwayne Haskins just days after his release from Washington I do understand the questions surrounding Haskins. Yet, in whichever way you slice it, Haskins and Rudolph will be competing with each other for a spot on the depth chart. Ben may retire and if he does, those two will likely be competing for the starting spot. Even if Ben does come back in 2021, there is still very little keeping Haskins from competing with Rudolph for the #2 spot.

I understand how Haskins’ exit from Washington looked to the outside, yet a lot of teammates and former coaches, even from his college days, paint a different picture about his character than Ron Rivera was painting just before his release. It isn’t hard to tell that the situation was messy. He got benched in Week 5 after playing pretty well in Week 4 against Baltimore. While he didn’t throw a touchdown pass against the Ravens he threw for over 300 yards making him one of only 3 quarterbacks in 2020 who managed to do that. The other two were Baker Mayfield and Pat Maholmes.

It is no secret Haskins played behind an abysmal offensive line in his tenure with Washington. He had no stable pass-catchers outside of former college teammate Terry McLaurin, and the running game didn’t start working until Antonio Gibson became the go-to rusher. The defense was of no help either, outside of boasting a stable pass rush, it was rather inconsistent against good offenses.

He went from one coach that didn’t like him to Ron Rivera. Rivera nearly hated him, ousting his quarterback in interviews while trading for his former undrafted signee who broke out at the beginning of 2019 only to fizzle in Carolina. Just as Haskins started finding his footing, he was benched and wouldn’t see action until injuries forced him in the lineup in Week 14. He would win before dropping the next two games and would be cut after pictures surfaced of him at his sister’s birthday party in an adult club. We were told it was a culmination of things, while I truly believe Rivera just wanted a fresh start at quarterback in a roster that needs rebuilt in most areas and retooled in the rest.

Yet, none of us were there, we don’t know him personally, so the best we can do is look at what Haskins provides and compare it to Mason Rudolph.