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Steelers QB Mason Rudolph Reveals He Hasn’t Gotten As Many 1st-Team Reps As He’d Like

Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (JSKO_PHOTO Twitter)

Steelers QB Mason Rudolph Reveals He Hasn’t Gotten As Many 1st-Team Reps As He’d Like

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback competition has been fierce throughout the proceedings of training camp. Before getting into the performance of each of the three options, the plan has been clear all along. That is, Mitch Trubisky will likely start the season as the team’s QB before rookie Kenny Pickett eventually takes over.

Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett

Credit: Jordan Schofield/SteelerNation (JSKO_PHOTO Twitter)

It’s what always happens when teams use high draft picks on a quarterback if they don’t start right away. A seasoned veteran starts the season for the team, and when the first chance presents itself, the rookie takes over. Head coach Mike Tomlin hasn’t exactly been shy about it either, as he wants Pickett to get more “varsity action,” beginning this weekend.

If you notice, Mason Rudolph’s name is not included in that. While he’s had the best training camp of his professional career, as well as arguably the team’s most consistent QB, the Oklahoma State product has never had a chance at winning the job. Trade rumors have even circulated throughout the off-season due to the fact that he’d be the No. 3 option. Those rumors ramped back up this week, as the Detroit Lions were the latest suggestion on a potential destination.

Relegating Rudolph to the No. 3 role in the quarterback room officially began this week. Despite Rudolph’s solid performance against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium on Saturday, Pickett impressed as well. As a result, Pickett was promoted to the main backup in practice, and that’ll continue into the upcoming game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. As for Rudolph, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Brian Batko, the quarterback isn’t exactly happy with how things have gone down this off-season:

Rudolph’s career has been underwhelming, to say the least. He was picked in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft to be the successor for legend, Ben Roethlisberger. Unfortunately for him, Roethlisberger stayed for another three years before retiring, eliminating Rudolph’s chance at starting early in his career.

Steelers quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) looks at a replay on the scoreboard with head coach Mike Tomlin, second from right, former offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, second from left, and quarterback Mason Rudolph during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger did not play in the second half. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

As a result, he was unable to get first-team reps for a few years, which can certainly slow down a guy’s growth. When Roethlisberger finally retired this off-season, the Steelers proceeded to draft Pickett 20th overall. Once again, Rudolph had no chance to start before he even got to the practice field.

This isn’t all meant to defend Rudolph. He’s shown minimal signs of being a capable, consistent starter in this league when he’s been on the field. With that being said, he’s never really been given an opportunity to prove just that. As a result, it’s hard to blame Rudolph for being frustrated on not getting more first-team reps this off-season.


Is Rudolph’s frustration warranted in wishing for more first-team reps? Do you think he’ll stay as the team’s No. 3 or be traded? What do you want to happen? Let us know your continued thoughts on the quarterback competition in the comment section below, as well as on our social media!




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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!



  1. Joseph Haney

    August 19, 2022 at 9:01 am

    Well, he did get first team reps for most of the year that Ben went down, sadly, he was also assaulted on the field by that classless Browns player, whom I will not mention, and I think that derailed his first real shot to some degree. I hope he does well somewhere, but I doubt it will be here.

  2. Chris

    August 19, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    I think we should keep 3 qb’s this year. If Mitch gets hurt and Pickens is not ready Rudolph can step in. Not a lot of quality F.A. out there if there are injuries

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