Saturday, December 10, 2022

Can Mason Rudolph take over as Steelers signal-caller?

After 18 of counting on Ben Roethlisberger to hold down the fort at quarterback, the seasons Pittsburgh Steelers enter the 2022 offseason with a potential QB conundrum.

And according to general manager Kevin Colbert, the starter for next season could already be on the roster in the form of Mason Rudolph.

But that potential move isnt being met with open arms across the board.

In fact, former Steeler Ryan Clark went as far as to say he would distance himself from the franchise if Rudolph is named the starter.

Rudolph has appeared in 17 career games, 10 of which were starts, and has a record of 5-4-1 as a starter.

He has 2,366 career passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 61.5% of his passes — not exactly earth-shattering numbers. Those stats might make it difficult for the Steelers and their fan base to believe in a bounce-back season after losing handily in the wild-card round this past season.

Colin Cowherd is among those who believe Pittsburgh has to do better than Rudolph if it wants to compete in a tough AFC North, and pointed out what he sees as a scary trend developing among several NFL franchises.

“Ryan Clark is absolutely, positively, 100 percent right,” Cowherd said on “The Herd.” And this goes with something that has becoming a very disturbing trend for fans of the NFL when it comes to defensive coaches. Vic Fangio thought his defense and Teddy Bridgewater could win. [Fangio] just got fired. Mike Zimmer thought Dalvin Cook running and my defense can win. [Zimmer] just got fired.”

Steelers have to do better than Mason Rudolph to replace Big Ben at QB – Colin Cowherd I THE HERD

Steelers have to do better than Mason Rudolph to replace Big Ben at QB - Colin Cowherd I THE HERD

The Pittsburgh Steelers are at a quarterback crossroads, and Colin Cowherd analyzes the franchise should think twice about doing in the wake of Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement.

Beyond just Burrow, the Steelers will also have to contend with a possibly healthy Lamar Jackson in 2022, who won the division with the Baltimore Ravens in 2019 and 2020, while winning the MVP award in 2019.

“Mike Tomlin can’t possibly think [Rudolph’s] good enough when Joe Burrow emerged as arguably the best young QB in football,” Cowherd added. “Every division was won by the best quarterback this year. Every single one.”

In addition to Burrow — who took his team to the Super Bowl — the division-winning quarterbacks from last season include Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Ryan Tannehill (Deshaun Watson didn’t take a snap this season), Dak Prescott, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford, who won the Super Bowl.

Chances are that if Rudolph was the starter for the Steelers, he wouldn’t fit into that group. And by Cowherd’s logic, that spells doom for Pittsburgh.

“Mike Tomlin is a great coach. He’ll be a Hall of Famer I imagine. But you gotta get it. That ain’t good enough.”

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