Steelers QB Mason Rudolph Talks Trade Possibilities, Helping Team as 3rd String
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph didn’t deny requesting a trade from the team after being listed as the third-team quarterback on the initial depth chart ahead of the season opener at Cincinnati this Sunday, but said that he would keep those discussion in private.
“Those are decisions that are between my agent and Omar (Khan) and the front office,” Rudolph said. “I’m going to leave that to those guys. For now, I’m on this team and I’ll do the best I can to help the guys prepare and do everything I can from a mental perspective to help the other two guys if they need any help.”
Rudolph said that he was aware that he was going to be third before the team released a depth chart on Monday that had him second. Rudolph said he got some congratulatory messages, and had to tell people that it wasn’t true. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin called the issue a “clerical error.”
“I got a lot of texts from people going, ‘You’re the backup,’” Rudolph said. “I’m like, no I’m not. That’s fake news. Don’t listen to that.”
Rudolph said he thought he “competed well” throughout the training camp and preseason, and didn’t have many regrets about the performance that landed him third in the pecking order.
“I was happy with the way I played in camp, in practice and in games,” Rudolph said. “I thought I did the best I could with it. I controlled what I could controlled. I thought I performed.”
Rudolph is instead choosing to focus on helping the team he’s currently on win, which means serving as the scout team quarterback and No. 3 option on game days.
“That is the hand I was dealt,” he said. “I’ll do the best with it and see what happens.”
The Steelers are just a few years removed from needing all three of their quarterbacks in 2019, and unlike when Ben Roethlisberger was the team’s top passer, there is plenty of opportunity for the players above Rudolph to falter and be replaced. So he’s staying ready, even though he’s third on the depth chart and even though he might prefer to be playing elsewhere.
“I’m going to stay physically ready with the reps I get,” Rudolph said. “I’m going to stay sharp mentally, take advantage of the meeting time. Pretty much the same mode of operation (as last season), but you’re two plays away.”