Is Steelers Mason Rudolph going to lose his spot as backup QB?
By Austin Lloyd
In his first two preseason games of 2021, Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph has done very little to prove his worth as backup.
Following their win over the in-state foe Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a lot of positives to go off of regarding offseason acquisition Dwayne Haskins.
Upon first impressions, the young OSU alum was a mediocre talent with a questionable attitude, but this was all followed by promising feedback throughout his Pittsburgh training. Said feedback has been proven at least somewhat accurate due to his showing on the gridiron last night.
If a preseason game is at all valid when looking for indications of a bright future, Haskins certainly has something to hold his head up high about, at least for the moment. But what about fellow QB Mason Rudolph?
Rudolph is not some no-name in this matter; he’s been the starter in both preseason games so far this year and has been the clear frontrunner to succeed Steelers legend, Ben Roethlisberger, upon the latter’s retirement. However, not one person would have known any of that based on his last two performances.
So far, three quarterbacks have represented Pittsburgh’s offense in this year’s preseason slate. Of the three, Rudolph is the only one yet to throw a touchdown pass over the span.
Now his passing in itself has not been bad, but if it is not scoring the team any points, how can it possibly compare to the passing games of his colleagues that are?
At this point, the question has to be asked: once the preseason stretch has come to an end and the real deal is ready to commence, does Mason Rudolph stand a chance at being backup if his quality of play has seen no change?
Realistically speaking, the answer should be no. Dwayne Haskins had an outstanding game against Philadelphia, and if Rudolph cannot even manage to keep up with him, there is no reason for him to be trusted in much bigger moments than the ones currently at hand.
Nonetheless, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has appeared to be all-in on Rudolph being the go-to guy when a QB is needed. But even Tomlin has been known to reach his limit after a wide enough window of inconvenience.
If it were up to me, Rudolph would be in serious danger of losing the backup spot, if not having already lost it for the time being. However, Tomlin is the man in charge for a reason, as there is also a reason for him never suffering from a losing record. If he still sees something in Rudolph that results in no changes on the depth chart, then perhaps everybody else just has their eyes closed.