Steelers Could Have Ben Roethlisberger's Replacement

OSU QB Mason Rudolph picked by Steelers in third round

Jeff Hathhorn
April 27, 2018 - 11:36 pm
Mason Rudolph

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

It became a major topic for months leading up to the draft, with other needs, will the Steelers draft Ben Roethlisberger’s replacement this year?  While they waited until the third round, they may have, in second-team All-American Mason Rudolph.

“I would assume that Ben is always going to be mindful and thoughtful that we are going to take the best players that are available at that given time,” said Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, who had yet to talk to Roethlisberger, but says he’d love to have him for four to six more years.  “He’s going to love the idea of the competition.  I know how he always has.  It’s great for him.”

Roethlisberger has said he’s coming back for the 2018 season and that he may want to play up to three more years or even more. 

“I keep my fingers crossed that he will play as long as Lord is willing and that he is healthy and that he wants to play,” Fichtner said.  “That would be awesome.  That would be great for us and great for me because he’s a guy who is awfully hard to replace.  If it takes three guys in competition to replace him some day, then so be it.  What a better position to be in right now than to keep developing quarterbacks.”

The Steelers have four drafted quarterbacks on the roster besides Roethlisberger and Rudolph, the team selected Josh Dobbs in the fourth round last year and Landry Jones, who is in the final year of his contract, in the fourth round in 2013.

“I know you can’t keep four, but any coach is going to say give me as much talent as you possibly can,” Fichtner said.  I’m going to be as excited as hell about this.”

The 6’5”  Rudolph was 32-9 as a starter at Oklahoma State, and like his college receiver chosen by the Steelers a round ahead of him, Rudolph is a record holder at the school.  To be precise, the South Carolina native holds 54 Cowboys records.

“I’m just going to do whatever the coaching staff wants me to do,” Rudolph said.  “I’m going to prepare like I’m the starter, whether that’s the case or not.  Put myself in the best position I can and let the chips fall where they may.”

“I’m a competitive person.  I’m a competitor to the bone.  I’m going to come in and work my butt off to learn the system as quick as I can and have a great rookie mini-camp.  Get whatever reps I can through OTAs and make strides.  It’s not Ben’s job to teach me, it’s my job to learn.  That’s the way I’m going to look at it, obviously you’re sitting behind an unbelievable player and a good dude.  We’ll just kind of take it day-by-day and learn what I can each and every day.”