Mason Rudolph re-signed with the Steelers last week in what could be called a surprise, but now it is assumed by most that Rudolph will be on the 53-man roster. However, one former Steelers linebacker is saying not so fast on that thought.
Arthur Moats detailed his thought process on his podcast, The Arthur Moats Experience With Deke, about how he sees the dynamic between Rudolph and new UDFA QB Tanner Morgan working out moving forward. He says that while the Steelers certainly appreciate Rudolph, Morgan can not be counted out.
“As a veteran quarterback, they’re going to say, ‘Yes we appreciate you, but we love that nice new shiny toy that we have with the young guy and we’re going to give him every opportunity to beat you out,'” Moats said. “All of a sudden, that third preseason game, they’re going to say, ‘Play the first half and prove that you can still play.’ That’s how [Rudolph] is going to make the roster, is in that third preseason game.”
If it comes down to that late in the process, Morgan is doing something right. It should be noted that in years past the fourth quarterback has received so few reps in Latrobe that they sometimes never play. That was the case last year with Chris Oladokun, who ended up being released. Still, Moats believes that the team could be intrigued by what Morgan brings to the table and give him a fair shake.
“Can you beat out a guy that you should beat out,” Moats said. “This is so that Morgan doesn’t get a straight green light at third quarterback. For Rudolph, we know he’s been good enough to stay on an NFL roster. We’re going to get a chance to see if Morgan can be better than him.”
More importantly, though, Moats sees Rudolph coming back as a sign the Steelers still believe in him. Regardless of the other options he had or lack thereof, Pittsburgh wanted Rudolph back for a sixth season with the team. For Moats, that says something about how they view Rudolph.
“I don’t look at this as a whole negative for him,” Moats said. “Some people have spun it that way, but the Steelers still decided to bring him back. They must still see something. Honestly, they feel like he has some type of value for this organization.”
Rudolph will join the team for OTAs on Tuesday. He has been with the team since 2018 when they drafted him in the third round coming out of Oklahoma State. Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky will be slotted on the depth chart ahead of him to start the offseason program.