Mike Tomlin has yet to make it official, and it should certainly not come as a surprise, but it appears that second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph won the preseason battle to be the primary backup to starter Ben Roethlisberger.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Friday that Rudolph had secured the gig, and it should have been obvious to anyone that watched the Steelers’ four preseason games who the more-effective passer was.
Dobbs finished the preseason 18 of 33 (54.4%) for 280 yards (8.5 yards per attempt), no touchdowns and two interceptions for a 57.6 passer rating.
Rudolph was 28 of 43 (65.1%) for 368 yards (8.6 yards per attempt), four touchdowns and one interception for a 113.3 passer rating.
That should just about do it, but not only was Rudolph the more effective passer, the offense ran better when he was on the field. Despite making two starts to Rudolph’s one, Dobbs never led a touchdown drive this preseason.
In fact, it could be argued that fourth-string quarterback Devlin Hodges had a better preseason than Dobbs did. Playing against lesser competition, but also throwing to lesser receivers, Hodges was 20 of 38 (52.6%) for 190 yards (5.0 yards per attempt), two touchdown and one interception for a 73.4 passer rating.
That led to some fans thinking Hodges had a chance to make the team, but general manager Kevin Colbert cleared that up even before the preseason finale, saying the team has three NFL caliber quarterbacks on the roster.
There is always the possibility of a surprise move or trade, but as the Steelers enter the regular season, it seems they’ve settled on a three-deep at quarterback.