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Mason Rudolph Winning with Consistency in Steelers QB Battle

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Steelers QB Mason Rudolph

UNITY TWP., Pa. — Most athletes, being at least somewhat superstitious in nature, do not like to talk about streaks, and you can count Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in that number.

Rudolph, playing mostly as the Steelers’ second-team quarterback through the first two weeks of 2022 training camp, is battling with Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett for the starting job, and while the team spent free-agent money on Trubisky and used its first-round draft pick on Pickett, Rudolph came into the competition with relatively little fanfare.

He has used his status as the team’s most experienced quarterback in offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system to his advantage, though. Rudolph has been the most consistent of the team’s three quarterbacks through the first two weeks of training camp, and is the only one of the three that has yet to throw an interception in practice.

When asked about his two pick-free weeks on Monday, Rudolph was unusually reticent to discuss his performance.

“Knock on some wood, come on,” he joked.

Rudolph said that while every quarterback is always looking to minimize turnovers, he didn’t say that he’s put special emphasis on not throwing any this year.

“You want to eliminate the turnovers,” Rudolph said. “Coach talks about, ‘if you take care of the ball, today is going to be a good day.’ Everyone is going to throw interceptions. It’s going to happen. But you try to limit them and hopefully, they only happen when you get a deflection here or there.”

Of course, it’s not that surprising that Rudolph has looked the best of the three quarterbacks for the Steelers in the early part of camp. Rudolph is in his third season with Canada and second with him as offensive coordinator.

Rudolph has also been a better practice performer than an in-game quarterback in his three seasons playing as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup. So when it comes to evaluating his performance, what happens in practices matters a lot less than what happens in games.

“You always want to have an impressive, collective body of work, but games are more important,” Rudolph said. “So far, there’s some things I want to clean up, some things I want to be better at.”

In that regard, the third week of Rudolph’s 2022 training camp will mean a lot more than the first two, with the preseason opener on deck this Saturday.

“Every chance you get, you want to show what you can do,” Rudolph said. “It’s one thing to do it in practice, it’s another thing to do it in a stadium.”

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