Rudolph Making Most of First Team Reps

Steelers second-year QB in competition with Josh Dobbs

Josh Rowntree
June 06, 2019 - 1:11 pm

Related: Dobbs Focusing on Himself in QB Competition

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Mason Rudolph is able to see the progression he has made from his rookie season to 2019. And Steelers coaches appear to be taking notice, as well. 

Rudolph has been getting times with the first team during Pittsburgh OTA sessions, which were completed Thursday. 

While he is not a threat to overtake Ben Roethlisberger’s starting job, he could win the backup role, currently held by incumbent Josh Dobbs. 

“I focus on preparing like I’m the starter every week, knowing that you’re one play away,” Rudolph said. “You have to help your team, whenever that time comes, and be prepared for that moment.”

Pittsburgh took Rudolph in the third round during last year’s NFL Draft. Reportedly, the team had a first-round grade on the signal caller from Oklahoma State. But Rudolph never saw the field in the 2018 regular season, as Dobbs beat out Landry Jones for the backup job. 

Now Rudolph is looking to be the one to win that spot, but Dobbs is in his way, though he may be looking at it that way.

“I’ve always been a big believer in being the best version of yourself, competing, looking yourself in the mirror and being a lot better than you were the day before,” Rudolph said. “In college, I was trying to compete against guys and I was the clear cut starter, so that’s never going to disappear.”

Rudolph spent the offseason working out with teammates, like former Steelers wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey and current running back Jaylen Samuels. He feels that time has benefited him greatly. 

“That’s always been my motto, to not just be a little bit better, but make huge strides from the previous year,” he said. “Whether it was high school or college and that’s what I’ve done this year.”

Even within these three weeks of OTAs, Rudolph been able to step into, how he describes it, a veteran role. 

“I thought I improved a lot with comfortability,” he said. “A lot of receivers out here making plays out here, a lot of new faces. We got a lot of reps down, valuable reps that’ll give us a primer for Latrobe. 

“I thought I threw the ball very well. I thought I took care of the ball with barely any turnovers. Especially in the red zone, that was an emphasis for myself, to speed everything up in the red zone, make sure my ball placement was good. We’re giving guys a chance to make plays, so I thought I did that and was accurate.”

His evolution has warranted more time with the first team when Roethlisberger is either absent or resting.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s different faces, especially the number one offensive line (players), it’s good to hang out with the for a change and get in the huddle with those guys. They’re always fun and fun to be around. But whoever you’re getting reps with out here, you get a chance to maximize your rep every single day.

“(Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner) feels more comfortable with me and my knowledge and that I’m going to go in there, run the play and execute. I think that’s just what happens in year two. It’s been awesome to be with those first guys, it’s very valuable.”

Hear all of what Mason Rudolph had to say below. 

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