Heading into Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, the quarterback competition appeared to be a two-man duel.
Mitch Trubisky, the veteran passer signed during the offseason, versus Kenny Pickett, a Heisman Trophy finalist and the 20th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Pitt. But there’s another guy in that quarterback room –that’s been in that quarterback room — who has a shot to be under center in Week 1.
According to offensive coordinator Matt Canada, that would be Mason Rudolph. Canada said on 93.7 The Fan Friday that Rudolph has a “great shot” to be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback.
“Mason’s getting the second reps right now, almost equal to, maybe slightly less than Mitch,” Canada said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “He’s being given a very fair shot. To this point in camp, it might have been exactly equal. Mason has made a lot of plays at times, he’s played very well at times for us. He’s got a great shot at it. He’s being treated that way. His history with our plays, with our system, is a positive for him.”
Mason Rudolph Has Sat Behind and Learned From Ben Roethlisberger
While Trubisky, who signed for two years and $14.285 million this offseason, has been taking first-team reps, Rudolph has been featured with the second-team. That’s left Pickett, who has reportedly struggled, to guide the third-team offense.
Whereas Trubisky and Pickett are learning a new playbook and scheme, Rudolph has an advantage. He’s been with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last three seasons, sitting behind future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger. And when Roethlisberger was plagued by injuries during the 2019 season, it was Rudolph who filled in. He started eight games, going 5-3, throwing for 1,765 yards with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Rudolph appears to have the seal of approval from his teammates, who have been impressed with his performance in camp thus far.
“It’s crazy how accurate he [Rudolph] is,” receiver Chase Claypool said Friday, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “He doesn’t get enough praise and attention. He’s just as in the running as each of those guys.”