Steelers’ Mason Rudolph Attacking Offseason With A ‘Different Mindset’ With Starting Job In Reach

This offseason for Pittsburgh Steelers’ fifth-year quarterback Mason Rudolph is much different from any offseason he’s experienced in the NFL to date.

For the first time in his NFL career, Rudolph has a clear path to the starting job in Pittsburgh (for now) after sitting and learning behind Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the last four seasons. Of course, Rudolph got a taste of the starting job in 2019 due to Roethlisberger’s season-ending injury, but he’s never had the opportunity to go through an entire offseason preparing like he’s the starter of an NFL football team.

Now though, he has that opportunity, which — according to an in-studio interview Friday with CBS Sports’ Jim Rome — has him attacking the offseason with a “different mindset.”

“Yeah, I think it’s having an entire offseason with a different mindset compared to the last few years,” Rudolph said to Rome, according to audio via CBS Sports Radio and the Jim Rome Show. “The last few years, are you preparing like I’m the starter? Yes. Yes. But you know, when you get back to camp, you know, there’s a Hall of Fame quarterback there that is the starter. So, I think I’m excited for the opportunity, and I know having a chance to be the starting quarterback that’s all you can ask for.”

With the opportunity in front of him to seize upon an opening and try to show the Steelers that he is a potential longterm quarterback in the Steel City, Rudolph is leaning heavily into his offseason routine, which includes a trip to California to train with 3DQB while also giving him a chance to see his family in the process.

“Yeah, I like to come out here, you know, two months out of the year when the season ends and work on some mechanical things, some tweaks, arm slot, you know, mechanics throwing the ball on the run, trying to improve,” Rudolph said to Rome. “Try to improve that 5% and find that edge where I can. I’ve done that the last four offseasons with the guys at 3DQB.”

“And I’ve got a brother in Hollywood who’s an actor, so it’s great to see him this time of year and kind of get some family time in.”

As he prepares for his biggest offseason of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, battling for not only a starting job in the NFL, but a chance to land another NFL contract after the 2022 season, Rudolph believes he has a good grasp on what it takes to be a franchise QB in the NFL, outside of the obvious on-field performance from a stats and wins perspective.

“…I think it’s being that guy day in and day out,” Rudolph added. “I think a lot of guys can have a good couple of games, but you know, you look at a guy like Ben and who’s a long-time starter, Hall of Fame player, you gotta have consistent success and you gotta be a leader, you gotta be a guy in the building that’s motivating others and making others around him better. And that’s the kind of guy I want to be. And I think I can be.”

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