If one former Pittsburgh Steelers’ defender has his way, fifth-year quarterback Mason Rudolph won’t be the one calling the signals offensively in 2022 in the black and gold, let alone any other time after that.
Former Pro Bowl and Super Bowl champion safety Ryan Clark, who is rather outspoken throughout his time on various ESPN shows, appeared on 93.7 The Fan’s afternoon show Thursday with hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller, had some harsh words for Rudolph and the thought of the young quarterback being the starting QB in the Steel City in 2022.
Asked Thursday what it would take to get the Steelers back to being a Super Bowl contender if he were in charge of building the roster, Clark didn’t hold back, stating that the Steelers must absolutely figure out the quarterback position first and foremost, before doing anything else.
“You figure out your quarterback position, and not necessarily find your solution, but figure it out and see what you can do,” Clark said. “I don’t believe that Mason Rudolph is the quarterback; I don’t believe that Dwayne Haskins is the quarterback. So is there a free agent that you can get to compete?
“The thing about the Pittsburgh Steelers in the last five years or so, they’ve been able to compete without true, elite quarterback play,” Clark added. “It was just competing though. There was never any of those teams that we really thought was championship caliber. … So, do we believe Kenny Pickett? Do we believe Malik Willis, Matt Corral? I don’t really know, I don’t really think so either. I also don’t believe that guy is in the building, so what do you do to help yourself? Do you get a middle of the road, middle-age quarterback that’s good enough that can at least be as good as Ben was? That’s the first thing you have to do.”
Clark went on to add that the Steelers have to find some elite pedigree guys along the offensive line to complete the rebuild in the trenches, and added that Pittsburgh must replace Joe Haden, as well as adding to the linebacker room inside with Devin Bush, Joe Schobert and Robert Spillane.
It all comes back to the quarterback though, and Clark did not hold back with his assessment of Rudolph.
“I would not want Mason Rudolph as my starting quarterback,” Clark said. “I watch the tape, it’s not good.”
The tape Rudolph has put out there isn’t very good, but he also hasn’t been given a full shot overall, regardless of the situation in 2019. Though many remain rather low on Rudolph overall, he’ll get a full, fair crack at the starting job this season, sink or swim. That doesn’t mean he’s the next franchise QB either, just that he’ll serve as the defacto bridge QB, much to many like Clark’s dismay.