The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books. It ended in spectacular fashion — though the wrong kind of spectacular — in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.
Since then, they have lost several players in free agency who were key members of the offense and defense. Multiple starters retired, as well. They made few notable additions in free agency, and are banking on contributions on offense from their rookies, as well as perhaps a last ride for Ben Roethlisberger.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions. Right now, they lack answers. They know that they have Roethlisberger for one more year, but was that even the right decision? How successful can Najee Harris be behind a questionable offensive line? What kind of changes can Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm bring to the offense? And how can the defense retain the status quo with the losses of Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Mike Hilton?
These are the sorts of questions we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football is a year-round pastime and there are always questions to ask, though there is rarely a concrete answer. This is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all of their uncertainty.
Question: Who will follow Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback during the third preseason game?
Head coach Mike Tomlin has retained a consistent plan so far through the first two preseason games. Mason Rudolph starts the game and plays into the second quarter before being relieved by Dwayne Haskins, who plays into the fourth quarter before Joshua Dobbs comes in to mop things up.
Assessments have been mixed as to how each quarterback has performed, but I think most would say that Haskins has done better than Rudolph so far. When trying to evaluate two different players, it also helps to see them in different environments.
So will Tomlin do something different going forward? Ben Roethlisberger is going to play in the Steelers’ third preseason game, but will he still keep Rudolph as the next in, followed by Haskins, or might he decide to reverse the order this time?
Haskins said after the last game that he hopes to have an opportunity at some point to play with the ‘ones’. It’s likely that many starters, especially the offensive line, will play longer next week than Roethlisberger does, so if he comes into the game second in the order, he could get that opportunity then.