PITTSBURG – With the future of the quarterback position uncertain after the 2021 season, reserve Mason Rudolph is ready to take the reins of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“It’s my goal to be a starting quarterback in this league and for our team, and I’m working to achieve that goal every day,” Rudolph said on Tuesday when asked about Ben Rotlisberger’s potential successor next season. “I can only control myself and the way I prepare and the way I approach and play in OTA and in the camp, and that is in the foreground in my mind.
“I’m not worried about the 22nd or anything like that. I’m trying to live in the moment and be the best I can be for my team.”
The 25-year-old Rudolph is Steelers’ only quarterback under a contract in 2022, after signing a one-year extension of $ 5 million in April. The Steelers also added Washington’s former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins to a free agency and re-signed reserve Josh Dobbs, both for one-year deals.
“I think you’re always excited and looking forward to the race,” Rudolph said. “You know it will be there every year, it’s just a matter of who … The competition makes everyone better and you look forward to it, especially out of season.”
Although he only started in week 17 last season, Rudolph showed improvement. In 2019, with more than 10 appearances, including eight starts in place of the injured Rothlisberger, Rudolph had nine interceptions and 13 touchdowns. In his start of week 17 in 2020, a loss to the Browns, Rudolph made 22 of 39 attempts for 315 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
With the help of then-quarterback coach Matt Canada, Rudolph said he felt better last season.
“Having Matt Canada as a quarterback coach has really helped me take some steps forward and develop and have a confidant from week to week where to go and ask questions,” Rudolph said. “Small sample size, one game. Obviously you want to win every ball game, but you can move on.”