(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
On Thursday, Andrew Stockey of WTAE had a one-on-one interview with Steelers president Art Rooney II, and the possibility of Mason Rudolph taking over the reins as the Steelers' starting quarterback was a big talking point.
It's still early in the process, as it's only February, but Rooney wouldn't have an issue with Rudolph being QB1.
“Mason is someone that we feel comfortable with," Rooney said. "He does have some mobility and has shown it from time to time. … He’s mobile enough to get the job done.”
Rooney mentioning that Rudolph is "mobile enough" is interesting, as quarterback mobility can be defined in a number of ways. All signs point to Mike Tomlin wanting a mobile quarterback, but that doesn't mean they're looking for a Lamar Jackson clone. They just want a quarterback who can make plays with his legs and extend plays. Similar to how Ben Roethlisberger did it early in his career.
“There are different degrees of mobility, and we’ll be looking at guys who have different abilities,” Rooney said.
Rooney also said that the Steelers are looking for a quarterback with traits of a franchise quarterback.
“We want somebody who can grow into someone thought of as the franchise quarterback. The goal is somebody who fits that description," Rooney said.
Is Mason Rudolph capable of being a franchise quarterback? Time will tell, but it's extremely unlikely. He's 5-4-1 as a starter and hasn't really lived up to the first-round grade that Kevin Colbert gave him when he came out of Oklahoma State in 2018. However, Rudolph hasn't started a full season as the starting quarterback yet. He had eight starts in 2019 when Roethlisberger had season-ending elbow surgery and was benched for undrafted rookie free agent Devlin "Duck" Hodges. Hodges now plays for the Ottawa Redblacks of the CFL. I mean, that tells you a lot about Rudolph.
It's not surprising that Rooney and Colbert are backing Rudolph right now in February. What else are they going to say? They're not going to put him under the bus. But, hopefully, for the Steelers' sake, Rudolph won't be QB1 in 2022. If so, they're staring at a 5-12 or 6-11 season."