When asked just 11 days ago where Mason Rudolph would play in 2023, Chapter head of the Pittsburgh Pro Football writers association Mark Kaboly assured readers, “It won’t be the Steelers.”
During the team’s recently concluded rookie Mini Camp the Steelers gave Tanner Moran jersey number 2. Many took this as further confirmation that the one-time heir-apparent to Ben Roethlisberger’s days in Pittsburgh were over.
- And just like that the Steelers resigned Mason Rudolph to a one year contract.
Hum, maybe we should have listened when Omar Khan addressed the press way back on February 28th when he responded to reporter’s asking whether Mason and the Steelers were done, “No, not at all. We have a great relationship, good conversation with Mason. The door is still open.”
Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin left the door open, and Mason Rudolph has decided to walk through it. Although its fair to say that Rudolph’s decision was driven by necessity rather than desire.
While Rudolph (and his agent) couldn’t have been expecting an find an opportunity to start in free agency, a shot at a backup job somewhere seemed reasonable. Apparently, 31 NFL General Managers thought differently.
- Nonetheless this is a good move for both the Steelers and Mason Rudolph.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team that believes in keeping 3 quarterbacks. Sure, Chuck Noll might have started 1989 with only Bubby Brister and Todd Blackledge on the active roster and Bill Cowher might have begun 1992 with just Bubby behind Neil O’Donnell, but are exceptions.
Mike Tomlin briefly flirted with a 2 quarterback system when he traded Joshua Dobbs after the 2019 season opener. Ben Roethlisberger’s season was over 2 quarters later, and Duck Hodges joined the active roster and was throwing passes before the leaves had begun to fall along Brownsville Road.
Yes, this is a wise move indeed.
Since he arrived in Pittsburgh, Mike Tomlin has carried Dennis Dixon, Charlie Batch, Landry Jones and Devlin Hodges on the active roster as third string quarterbacks and started each of them in meaningful games in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2019.
- That means once ever three years, Mike Tomlin’s 3rd string quarterback starts a game.
The last time that happened was 2019. So the Steelers are due…
Welcome back Mason Rudolph.