Rudolph Ready to Pounce on ‘Scared’ Eagles

Steelers rookie QB confident heading into first game

Josh Rowntree
August 07, 2018 - 6:45 pm
Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph throws a pass at training camp in 2018

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan


Confidence? Yep. Nerves? Not so much.

Steelers rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph is ready for his first NFL preseason game and will get a chance to show what he can do when Pittsburgh visits the Eagles Thursday night. 

His coach, Mike Tomlin, said Tuesday that Rudolph will be one of three quarterbacks the team plans on playing, joining Landry Jones and Josh Dobbs, as Ben Roethlisberger will sit. 

“It’s exciting, I think we’ve got a good plan,” Rudolph said. “I think our guys are dialed in and I’m looking forward to Thursday.”

Rudolph is looking forward to seeing something other than Pittsburgh’s yellow practice jerseys when he looks across the line of scrimmage.

“You get out there you’re playing your own team every single day, you get frustrated because they start to learn your calls,” he said.

He is also ready to take advantage of young players on the other side.

"You get out there in a game and it's easy because those guys are scared and they're all tight and they want to be in their spots,” Rudolph said. “They don't want to get yelled at by their coaches and then you end up scoring points and driving down the field. So, that's the way I feel this will go.”

Clearly, with words like that, the rookie has a ton of certainty in himself. But he knows there’s a lot of preparation to be done before the ball is kicked off.

“We’re excited about it,” he said. “A lot of us will be playing in our first NFL game, but we’ve got to take care of the next 48 hours to give us our best chance of success.”

Rudolph has spent considerable time working under center. At Oklahoma State, and in high school, Rudolph operated solely out of the shotgun.

“I feel a lot more comfortable under center,” he said. “At OTAs, to be expected, we had some under center quarterback exchange issues. But we’ve cleaned it up for the most part. I’m just starting to feel a lot more comfortable after not doing that for the last eight years of my life.”

It would be understandable if Rudolph was nervous about his first pro snaps. His former Oklahoma State teammate, Steeleers wideout James Washington, admitted that there will be some. But Rudolph appeared rather calm, at least on the surface. 

“I think we’re going to have a good plan,” he reiterated. “It’s football. I think everyone has a little bit of nerves with this being the first one back. But, just like your debut in college, you get out there, you make a completion and it starts flowing, like football has always been.”

Hear more from Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph below.