LATROBE, PA (93.7 The Fan) – Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph knows the trade talk and talk of his future with the Steelers is out there. He tries to stay away from social media and asks his family and friends not to tell him about the rumors.
It’s got to be hard to ignore and at times obvious by the crowd reaction last Saturday and by when he’s used in the QB rotation. So, the direct question to Rudolph Thursday-do you feel like you’ve been given a fair shot to win this job?
“Obviously I would have like to have some more first team reps,” Rudolph said. “You’ve seen how practices have gone. I think I’ve made the most of the reps I have gotten.”
If turnovers are the ultimate judge, he threw his first interception of the entire camp on Tuesday on a tipped ball by a linebacker. There were a couple that could have been picked, but he’s been the best in ball security. If you are one to track every throw of camp, he probably has the highest completion percentage. He continues.
“I thought I’ve performed well this camp and want to continue to do so individually as well as collectively as an offense on Saturday,” Rudolph said. “That’s the next test. We are playing a team that’s played two preseason games already, so they are a little more battle-tested at this point in the season. It will be a challenge for us and I’m excited.”
Mike Tomlin confirmed Thursday, Rudolph will get the third-team reps after Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. Does he get to a point where goes to the coaches to ask why he doesn’t get more?
“I think there is a balance,” Rudolph said. “There’s times in my career looking back over high school, college and even with the Steelers the last few years you’ve had conversations with people that can make those changes-whether it’s Mike T. or coordinators. But also there are times where you say you are going to do the best with what I’ve got. Many times, that’s the best.”
“You don’t want to be whining, but you want to voice your opinion that you are serious about this and I put a lot of work into this. But also, I’m going to make the best of the guys around me and we are going to score points and execute.”
Rudolph isn’t looking for sympathy. He’s always said the right thing even when he could have helped his case (especially publicly) by pointing out things he did better than another quarterback. In the end he says even being in this competition he probably had no chance to win, he’s lucky.
“I’ve very blessed to be in this position to be on a team, to be in the NFL, to play football to be able to play a sport for a living that I love,” Rudolph said. “I love going out and finding new ways to throw the football. I like using the off-seasons to work on arm slot, footwork and mechanics. I’m excited about today’s practice no matter what reps I get, no matter what group.”
“I’m going to light it up and that’s my mindset. I’m excited to do that on Saturday.”