The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Mason Rudolph in the third-round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the idea in mind to groom him as the potential replacement for veteran Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger was unhappy with the move, publicly criticizing the selection and asking how it helped the Steelers win now.
That’s a fair concern for a 36-year-old quarterback who has openly discussed retirement in recent seasons, but it could also lead to a cold welcome for the rookie signal-caller.
However, Mason Rudolph does not seem bothered.
Instead, Rudolph showed maturity and acknowledged that he would probably respond the same way due to the competitive nature of being a high-level player.
“If I was Ben, I’d probably say the same thing,” Rudolph said during an appearance on the NFL Network, via CBSSports’ Sean Wagner-McGough. “He’s a competitor. Obviously, he has a lot of confidence in himself, like I do. Yeah, he’s going to be a future Hall of Famer and I would expect him to say that.
“So, I’m just looking forward to going in there and learning the system, competing, raising my level of play, preparing like I’m the starter, even though obviously I won’t be the starter. And just waiting and being prepared for whenever I get my time, whenever my time comes, to be ready and take advantage of it.”
It will be interesting to see how the dynamic in the quarterback room develops throughout the season.
Pittsburgh opens its 2018-19 campaign on Sunday, Sept. 9 against the division rival Cleveland Browns in what could be a tough test for No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield in his first official NFL start if he wins the No. 1 job.