Mason Rudolph appears to be keeping his backup QB job for Steelers this year

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Dwayne Haskins flashed at times this summer, but here’s why Mason Rudolph is going to hold onto the number two QB job for Steelers this year. 

Many Steelers fans were thrilled when Pittsburgh quickly signed Dwayne Haskins after being released from the Washington Football Team. Though Haskins had some issues over the past two years, the price was right and the reward greatly outweighed the risk.

As the former 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, many thought it would be just a matter of months before Haskins boosted himself up on the depth chart over Mason Rudolph. However, that didn’t happen. And if we are being quite honest with ourselves, it doesn’t look like it’s going to this year.

In my opinion, Mason Rudolph has been completely unspectacular since joining the Steelers as a former third-round pick in 2018. In addition to a severe lack of mobility at the quarterback position by my standards, Rudolph has just an average NFL arm and hasn’t made enough effort to push the ball down the field when given the opportunity over his first two seasons.

But despite all of this, Rudolph appears to be comfortably in the driver’s seat for Pittsburgh’s number two quarterback job this offseason. I can see how a case could be made for either player to back up Ben Roethlisberger in 2021.

Over the summer, Haskins and Rudolph have gone back and forth in an effort to deliver their best performances each day at Steelers training camp. Though Haskins had his moments in the spotlight over the past month, he apparently hasn’t done enough to move the needle on the depth chart.

Why Steelers are going to roll with Rudolph at QB2

It’s hard to say exactly why the Steelers seem content on giving the backup quarterback job to Mason Rudolph this year. To be fair, I think he has slightly outplayed Haskins during the preseason (though he hasn’t been able to muster up many scoring drives).

What’s important to remember is that we don’t see how everything operates behind the scenes. Though Rudolph appears to be on a level playing field on the surface, we don’t know what each of these quarterbacks is doing to impress in the film room or how they carry themselves on a day-to-day basis. After all, Haskins wasn’t released from his former team for no reason at all.

While some fans blindly think that Haskins has grossly outplayed Rudolph this summer, I think the competition has been very close. During the game against the Lions, Haskins did nothing to improve his chances of becoming the number two quarterback this season, while Rudolph looked competent.

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At the end of the day, this QB race might be close enough that the Steelers just feel more comfortable with the guy who is entering his fourth season with this team. We will see what happens beyond the 2021 season, but for now, it looks like Mason Rudolph will be Pittsburgh’s backup quarterback.