The day we all dreaded came on Wednesday. Mike Tomlin's last press conference of the 2020 season. The Steelers could not bring home the Lombardi trophy for the 12th season. There has been much speculation surrounding the quarterback position once the Steelers were eliminated by the Browns last Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger would not comment just yet on his future. He says the loss is still too fresh and he would like to sit down with his family to talk about what he should do in regards to football. If Ben does decide to retire in the offseason it will leave a huge hole in the Steeler's offense.
The question is would the Steelers feel comfortable with Mason Rudolph taking the reigns from Ben? Well, we didn't get much of an answer during Tomlin's press conference when he was asked if he was comfortable with Mason Rudolph being the Starter next season. Tomlin decided to talk more about Rudolph's growth than give a definite answer.
Mike Tomlin on Rudolph: “I thought Rudolph displayed that he took a step in growth and development with his performance, even though it was a small sample size,” Tomlin said. “And I would imagine he’s going to continue with that growth and development, and so we’ll see where that leads us in terms of what he’s able to provide us. I’m excited he was able to display that, and I think it’s reasonable for me to expect, and for him, to expect that general trajectory to continue.”
Does Tomlin have too big of an ego to admit Rudolph is not the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers? He was somewhat impressive against the Browns in Week 17 with his deep ball, but his pocket awareness and ability to escape the sack looked atrocious. That is where the Steelers needed to see the most growth out of Rudolph the most. At this point, no one has an idea what the Steelers have planned for this offseason. They will be in the market for a new offensive coordinator because they decided not to resign Ben Roethlisberger's hand-picked coordinator Randy Fichtner.
As for Rudolph, he has one more year left in his contract remaining with the Steelers. He has been sitting behind Ben Roethlisberger for 4 years now and went 8-8 in a prove-it season when Ben went down. So for now it sounds like Tomlin is not ready to commit with Rudolph at this point. If Ben retires the Steelers may have no option, but to start Rudolph. Steelers could also look for a free agent or try and pry Sam Darnold from the Jets. Adam Schefter said today they are looking for at least a second-round pick. Either way, they need to stop kicking the can down the road and find their quarterback of the future.