The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.
These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Does anybody in the organization actually like Mason Rudolph, or think he’s a starter?
When is the last time that anybody outside of a coach or an owner talked about the Steelers’ quarterback situation and said that, ‘Hey, maybe Mason Rudolph is the guy, at least for the 2022 season?’ Frankly, I can’t even recall. We have had players, including current players, discussing the situation and not even mentioning Rudolph, as though it’s a given that he is not starter material.
I’m not saying that I agree or disagree, but it’s certainly been somewhat interesting to see how there really hasn’t been much public support at all behind Rudolph, their leading in-house candidate for starter at quarterback in 2022.
Sure, you’ve had Mike Tomlin talking about him and Art Rooney II, yet even their comments were framed within the conversation of competition. The best that can be said about Rudolph at this point—and not to suggest that it’s anything but entirely fair—is that he will be in the mix to compete for the starting job later this year.
And depending on who they add, he may not even be the favorite. A very limited and informal overview of the team would lead me to believe that a good number of current players would favor a free agent signing as a starter, or a rookie first-round pick, over Rudolph.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind fast forwarding ahead a month and getting this thing started, seeing if the Steelers do sign anybody in free agency at the position or acquire one via trade. I think we can safely take it as a given that, at some point this offseason, a quarterback will be brought in that will compete to start.