Dunlap: Steelers QB Situation Is Very Simple

Colin Dunlap
August 19, 2019 - 1:55 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - The quarterback position is complex. Very complex. And not just in the NFL – but at all levels. 

Heading into this season, however, the Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the simplest quarterback situationsin the world. If they want to make it that. If they want to keep it simple. You know, if they just listen to me, I have the solution. 

First off --- and this isn’t breaking any news --- Ben Roethlisberger is the unmitigated, pure and absolute starter. He plays every down that he is healthy and hopefully plays them well. I would, though, like to see Mike Tomlin get Big Ben out of games at the very end if the game has already been decided. It seems in the past both Ben and Tomlin have been reluctant to do that, but with Roethlisberger getting older it might be time to allow him a little down time at the tail end of blowouts. 

Now to the meat of all of this for 2019: Mason Rudolph needs to be the backup. The “second-year man from Oklahoma State” (say it in Bill Hillgrove voice) is obviously the most talented of the remainder of the Steelers’ quarterbacks. And for me, it isn’t close. 

Rudolph is one of those athletes who appears to elevate his play and fit in better around better players. When the speed of the game and advancement in skill of his teammates occurs, so too does the play of Rudolph. He reminds me of some basketball point guards in a way. If you watch them in individual drills you aren’t so much wowed or overly-impressed, but when you put some guys in a game situation with good players you can really see how they make people around them better and fit right in. 

Rudolph is precisely that. 

He fits in with the big boys.

He can make the big throw when he’s in there with the gifted players and/or first teamers. 

To me, Josh Dobbs is exactly the opposite. It’s no knock on him personally, but when the level of play spikes, it feels like he is overwhelmed. It feels to me like I am waiting for Dobbs to make an errant throw when he’s in there with the top of the depth chart. 

That’s why the Steelers have a very simple quarterback situation.

Keep Roethlisberger (of course) and keep Rudolph as the backup and successor to the starter job. 

Trade Dobbs for anything you can get. And do it today. 

If he can fetch you a late-round pick, look at that as a win. But if the Steelers are going to dress two quarterbacks, Dobbs serves no purpose on this team.

More to the point, if the Steelers are going to keep a third guy around for the practice squad, it should be Devlin Hodges. 

Hodges is good enough to give you a good scout team look --- and really that’s all you need from a guy like him. 

I know I’m in the minority, but I actually do think if (God forbid) Roethlisberger got hurt, Rudolph would be someone who would give you a chance to win a couple games and all would not be lost. 

On top of that, Hodges would never see the field for the Steelers because if it ever came to the point where he would go into a week as even the No. 2 guy, the organization would go outside and bring in a veteran rather than have him play. 

So there you have it; it’s so simple. 

Rudolph is the backup and trade Dobbs for anything you can get. If you can’t trade him, cut him at the end of camp. 

Let’s not make this too complex. ​

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