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Mason Rudolph ‘Proud’ Of The Way He Has Competed This Offseason For Steelers Starting Job

Even when the chips seemed to be stacked against him in the three-man quarterback competition for the Pittsburgh Steelers, fifth-year quarterback Mason Rudolph performed admirably throughout the offseason, training camp and through two preseason games, even while being widely considered to not be in the running for the job overall.

Despite some of the outside noise and a lot of the doubts, Rudolph — who spoke with Steelers.com Thursday prior to practice at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side — stated he’s “proud” of the way he’s competed throughout the summer, showing the Steelers (and the rest of the NFL) just what he’s capable of at the position.

“Yes, I am,” Rudolph said when asked if he was proud of the way he’s competed this summer, according to Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley. “I am proud. We still have a few more practices and a game on Sunday and I want to put the finishing touches on it. I am excited for whatever the Lord has for me.”

Throughout training camp, Rudolph looked like the best quarterback of the three with Mitch Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett in the three-way quarterback competition. While he believed all along that it was an open, fair competition — at least publicly — it felt like Rudolph was consistently at a disadvantage in the battle. The Steelers knew what they had in him, which led to some limited reps at times in training camp at Saint Vincent College, and limited reps in preseason action until the second half of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Currently, Rudolph leads all three quarterbacks in snaps in preseason action with 55 through two games. Pickett has 42 and Trubisky has 28. Still, it doesn’t feel like Rudolph is truly in the competition for the starting job when the Steelers open the 2022 regular season on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals Sept. 11.

The reps haven’t fully been there for the fifth-year quarterback. Still, he’s taken advantage of every single rep he’s gotten, leading to a rather strong training camp and preseason. In 16 preseason practices, Rudolph completed 42-of-63 passes for 421 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions, averaging 6.7 yards per attempt during his time at Saint Vincent College.

That strong showing carried over into preseason action, where Rudolph is 26-of-36 for 220 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, a 72.2% completion percentage and a sparkling 106.2 QB rating, which is surprisingly the third-best at the position for the Steelers through two preseason games.

“I said it previously in camp, I would have enjoyed to take more first team reps, but that didn’t happen,” Rudolph said, according to Steelers.com. “I think I made the most of the reps I did get, and that is all you can do when you play quarterback.”

Rudolph should be proud of how he responded to the opportunity to compete this offseason for the starting job. He got off to a strong start and kept it rolling. While things are out of his control at this point in the quarterback competition, as far as who gets the ultimate nod at the position, all he can keep doing is performing well like he has all offseason and throughout preseason action.

Sunday will be his final tune-up ahead of the 2022 season. It could help him solidify the backup quarterback job, or could be one final audition for other teams across the NFL looking to upgrade their QB situation through a trade. Hopefully Rudolph goes out with a bang on Sunday in the preseason finale, giving him more reason to keep his head held high based on the job he’s done throughout the summer.

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