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Mason Rudolf is the great QB I hope you didn't know the Steelers needed



In 2017, Steelers courier Mason Rudolph and Steelers wide receiver James Washington put on the biggest passing performance the city of Pittsburgh has ever seen. Rudolph threw for 497 yards and five touchdowns, leading the team to a touchdown on all seven first-half drives; Washington had five catches for 124 yards, including 39 yards.

Unfortunately, this was not a Steelers game. It was a game at Pete's home, so instead of 70,000 terrible towels, there were about 30,000 fans and 40,000 empty yellow spots. The ratio worsens by the end of the game as it wins so deep that Pete promises a free drink to students left over . (And to this day, I decide to believe that the "drink" is ketchup Heinz.) Rudolph and Washington played for Oklahoma State, winning 59-21.

It may be an accidental coincidence that one of their greatest collegiate performances came to the same stadium where they would one day play professionally. Perhaps the Steelers' Intelligence Division looked out the windows and said, " Holy Nonsense ."

At the onset of the season, it looked like Rudolph would be Pittsburgh's third build. The starter, obviously, was Ben Roethlisberger, as he has been for 15 years. Roethlisberger was actually upset when Pittsburgh drafted Rudolph in 2018, explaining to a local radio station that the team did not need a defender because he already had one. And the backup is likely to be Josh Dobbs, made one year before Rudolph. Last year, Rudolf's rookie year, he got so few pictures in practice that the team made him run simulations of VR football to stay ready. The Stiliuri did not allow Rudolph to play any of his small deer games. But last week, the Steelers traded the Dobbs to the Jaguars to help defuse the latter, only to run into one of them when it was determined that Roethlisberger needed an elbow surgery that would end his season.

Pittsburgh started the season with hopes after the season, but now it is reduced by a couple of discounts and banking is least likely. of sources. On this foggy Pittsburgh night, the Yinzers have to pray: Rudolph, with so many throws, won't you be leading my team tonight?

I'm sorry.

Forgive me and continue reading the article. It's about sports.

For the most part, prognosticators have treated the injury of Roethlisberger as an iceberg breaking through Pittsburgh's steel hull. Week 2, FiveThirtyEight gave Pittsburgh a 46 percent chance of making the playoffs and expects the team to post positive points for the season. The Steelers are now listed with an 8 percent chance of making the playoffs with the third worst projected point differential in the league. On Monday morning, the Steelers were listed at +260 to win AFC North suggesting a 27.8% chance; after the news of Roethlisberger broke, they fell to +700, suggesting a 12.5 percent chance. Throw in the fact that 0-2 teams rarely make the playoffs, and the Steelers look pretty hopeless.

The Steelers are not so pessimistic. After the news of Roethlisberger broke, they swapped their first draft pick in the 2020 draft of safety dolphin Minkah Fitzpatrick. If the Steelers are as bad as FiveThirtyEight and Vegas suggest, this could be a choice of the top 10 or even the top five. Pittsburgh should like what he has in Rudolph, otherwise he would be left with the choice.

In fact, I think the Steelers are in a better position to succeed with Rudolph than they were with the early 37-year-old Rotlisberger at quarterback. For starters, Big Ben was homeless in his limited playing time this season. On 62 passes Roethlisberger had 35 completions for 351 yards and an interception, which put him at 29th or worse completion rate, yards on experience, passing scores and a QBR. The Steelers continued with one touchdown in their three halves this season. That drive started along the 22-yard line and picked up 21 yards on Seahawks sanctions.

Roethlisberger led the NFL in total passing yards in 2018, but this was backed up by the fact that he threw 675 passes, the fourth-most ever thrown in a season. Patrick Mahomes, who finished second in yards, threw 95 fewer passes. Roethlisberger also led the NFL in interceptions and was in the middle of the pack in volume-independent statistics. Then Roethlisberger, at the age of one, lost his best receiver when the team traded Antonio Brown and developed elbow problems. Roethlisberger surgery did not end Pittsburgh's hopes; they probably had no relationship with Roethlisberger.

Rudolph came in and Pittsburgh scored more points in one half than in three with Roethlisberger as a quarterback. Rudolph has thrown an interception, but, well, you can blame Donte Moncryff for that .

Rudolph's summary is strong. He started three years in Oklahoma State, starting with a season where he threw for nearly 4,000 yards while the Cowboys won 10 games and improved from there. As a senior, Rudolph averaged 10 yards per attempt, threw for 4,904 yards and 37 touchdowns with only nine interceptions. You can call it something systematic because Oklahoma State is an Air Raid – y. But the man before Rudolph, Dax Garman, averaged 7.4 yards per attempt on 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and the man after Rudolph, Taylor Cornelius, averaged 8.2 yards per attempt with 32 interceptions and 13 interceptions.

Rudolph was generally considered the sixth best quarterback prospect in the draft in 2018 – a pretty bad thing to say overall about a player, but more understandably, given the five discounts, they were selected in the first round of this project. Rudolph was selected in the third round, but it was probably a second-round talent, overshadowed by the fact that so many quarterbacks selected one of the top five boys. (I actually considered him one of the top five quarterbacks.)

Rudolph's skill set contains a contradiction. On the one hand, one cannot move. He is 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds and had 28 rushing yards in his career in Oklahoma. (It's stunning for the first time on Sunday. Don't expect much from it.) On the other hand, Rudolph's biggest feature is his ability to throw the ball deep and make no mistakes. For his senior season, 23 of his 37 touchdowns were on "post" and "go" routes, according to Pro Football Focus. His quarterback rating was actually higher for deep throws than short throws, as he struggled with accuracy from short to intermediate points. Isn't that disturbing? That a player who can't get rid of the pressure has to play to take a long time? Roethlisberger is a defender who avoids pressure by using his body to throw sacks and occasionally climb into the open air.

The good news is that the Steelers seem to understand this. Rudolph's first big game was a flea flicker:

And during the game Pittsburgh significantly increased the use of game-play – a tool that in principle always makes violations more effective but has never been part of the Roethlisberger offense. Stewards, somehow, escaped only one play-by-play game in his opening season loss to the Patriots . Now they realize that the game needs to buy time for Rudolph, and they execute it.

Pittsburgh's offense looked more modern after Rudolph entered the game. It was no longer a crime created specifically for the traits of an aging franchise, but a crime that proved he could succeed elsewhere.

I'm particularly interested in what Rudolph means to Washington, a second-round pick last year. Despite his high draft position, Washington hardly plays as a rookie, catching just 16 passes for 217 yards. With Antonio Brown's offseason trade, Washington seemed poised to fill in the no. 2 receivers. Instead, he lost the job of Moncryff, who has more drops than a catch in two weeks. There is not enough evidence to prove that the College Receiver duets bring out the best of each other as professional combinations – C.J. Beathard looked good throwing to George Whaleel for the 49ers, but then again, so did everyone – but Rudolph, the deep-ball dealer and Washington, the accelerator worked well together in theory and worked together in practice. Hopefully, Washington becomes the player Pittsburgh thought was last year and is taking some of the pressure off JuJu Smith-Schuster since leaving Brown.

Will Stevers jump from 0-2 to make the playoffs? Probably not, though it has less to do with Pittsburgh going forward and more than the long odds he faces after starting 0-2. But the Steelers won't be as miserable as Rudolph envisions. The Steelers will look better from Week 3 than the first two weeks of the season, and will ultimately be better prepared for the future without Big Ben.


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