Thinking of the Pittsburgh Steelers moving forward with Mason Rudolph as the undisputed QB1, the words of tennis legend John McEnroe come to mind.
McEnroe’s famous linehailing from Wimbledon, is:
“You can’t be serious.”
🗓 June 22, 1981: 39 years old today…
John McEnroe thought the ball was in, the chair umpire on the other hand… 😬
🗣 “You can’t be serious man, you CANNOT be serious!”pic.twitter.com/xyP9EWcNHi
– The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) June 22, 2020
There are so many reasons the Steelers can’t get serious with this strategy.
Here are a few.
3. Rudolph was once on the bench for a duck nicknamed QB
Do you remember Devlin Hodges better known by his nickname “Duck”?
He spent one season in the NFL; it was in 2019.
Rudolph was benched and replaced by Hodges for six games.
Mason Rudolph lost his starting job to Duck Hodges. https://t.co/R6Scpo7hb1
— Luke (@LStewOneTwo) February 21, 2022
Hodges threw for five touchdowns and eight interceptions in that six-game performance, so Rudolph got his job back and was considered the lesser of two evils.
Mason Rudolph is 5-4-1 as a starter with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was benched before for Duck Hodges who can’t even make the lower leagues now. We’re calling 🧢 Kevin Colbert saying they’re excited for him to start. #Steels #NFL
— Blitzburgh (@Blitz_Burgh) February 22, 2022
2. Rudolph didn’t play well
It’s as simple as that.
When given the chance, his stats aren’t good.
He appeared in 17 matches and started 10 of them.
Rudolph has a 61.5 percent completion rate with 16 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and 16 sacks.
The Steelers reached the playoffs with Roethlisberger after his prime, and he’s still a better quarterback than Rudolph and he’s pushing 40.
I’d rather Ben Roethlisberger come back a year than watch Mason Rudolph
—HaskinsQB IDK🤞🏽 (@HaskinsIsland3) February 21, 2022
There will be diehard fans who will say that Rudolph has always looked over his shoulder, and with Roethlisberger officially gone, maybe it’s time to shine now.
If Rudolph has a bit of the Kurt Warner mojo, I guess it’s possible, but it still feels like a reach.
1. There are many QB options
The biggest and best reason the Steelers aren’t blindly chasing Rudolph is that there are plenty of options.
This looks like an offseason where successful veteran quarterback trades could happen.
These notable quarterbacks include Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray and Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Rams have proven that trading a quarterback can win a Super Bowl, so other teams will be more adept at doing it.
Tom Brady proved that a free agent can join another team and win a Super Bowl right away.
It could mean that the era of drafting a young quarterback and transforming him into the face of the franchise is coming to an end.
Some would say Rudolph will be competing with Haskins for the starting job.
It’s not a real competition as both have proven to be below par in their NFL careers.
“If Mason Rudolph is the Pittsburgh Steelers starting QB entering 2022, it’s no longer the Pittsburgh Steelers I love or the Pittsburgh fans I love.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 22, 2022
Real quarterback competition will come from the trade for one of the great named veteran players who is poised to lead the team to the Super Bowl.
The Steelers are a bit old school in their approach, and historically it has worked for them.
That means they could try to sign a quarterback and create some competition that way.
It won’t be the same caliber of competition, and it would be a much longer-term project that could keep the Steelers from making the playoffs for the foreseeable future.