Which Pittsburgh Steelers player would be impacted the most should the annual NFL offseason program ultimately be wiped out due to the coronavirus pandemic? Brooke Pryor, who covers the Steelers for espn.com, thinks she has the correct answer to that question.
In a Wednesday article on espn.com in which NFL Nation reporters were asked to identify a player on the team each covers who might be hurt the most by this unprecedented offseason schedule as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Pryor chose backup quarterback Mason Rudolph for the Steelers and below is her reason for doing so.
With Ben Roethlisberger still rehabbing his elbow, Rudolph was slated to get the majority of the first-team reps in the offseason programs. It’s not only a chance for him to show his progress after his own offseason surgery to repair his shoulder, but it would also be a chance for him to work with new QBs coach Matt Canada. The Steelers didn’t have a dedicated quarterbacks coach last season, and it showed when two young players had to take over for Roethlisberger. The organization has expressed confidence in Rudolph as the No. 2, and guidance from Canada would give Rudolph a chance to develop further and show more of his potential.
That’s a fair enough choice by Pryor and in all honesty, probably the correct one and especially on the offensive side of the football. After all, even if the OTAs were to happen this offseason, starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would likely have his participation in them limited heavily as he continues his elbow rehab. Because of that, Rudolph would have been in line for quite a bit of first-team offensive snaps, something he could really use.
Assuming Rudolph is the correct answer when it comes to the Steelers offense, which player on the defensive side of the football for the Steelers will be impacted the most should the entire offseason program ultimately be wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic? My answer would be inside linebacker Devin Bush and I don’t believe I’ll get much push-back by choosing him.
After a 2019 rookie season that saw him slowly get more comfortable in the defense as a starter, Bush really could use the 2020 offseason practices to perfectly grasp all elements of the team’s defensive scheme and work heavily on becoming the full-time play-caller, as he’s expected to start wearing the helmet with the green dot in 2020.
With Bush probably being the correct choice on the defensive side of the football, we can now question if the second-year linebacker should have been the primary choice by Pryor. After all, Bush is a starter, while Rudolph is a backup.
Would you have chosen Bush over Rudolph? Is there any other Steelers player that should be in the running as the correct answer?