PITTSBURGH — The drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback position has been a trigger for the fanbase, with Steelers faithful dividing into warring factions every time one of them is brought up on social media.
That level of divisiveness has not spread to the quarterbacks themselves.
Mason Rudolph has become the third Steelers quarterback to start a game this season, following Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky. All three quarterbacks are in their second season together in that position room.
This offseason, Rudolph was a free agent and Trubisky was asked to restructure his contract. They both did so, in part because they enjoyed playing with Pickett and with one another.
So it’s hardly surprising that even though the Steelers quarterback room has had a turnstile of a depth chart, the three players have steadfastly supported one another.
“There’s never been an awkward air,” Rudolph said on Tuesday. “Those guys are your friends, always professional and they know they I did nothing but support them and make them laugh in the three role the last couple of years. It’s just great to see that reciprocated. They’re all competitors and we all know that, but they’re just great, great dudes to go to work with.”
Pickett said that he was helped by Trubisky and Rudolph when he was the starter, and now it’s his turn to return the favor.
“We have a great friendship, truly,” Pickett said. “I spent two years with Mitch and Mason. It’s been nothing but awesome coming in here every single day, sharing laughs, sharing memories. When I come to the sideline, we would talk and now when he comes to the sideline, we’ll talk. I don’t over-do it, overstep, I don’t want to give hime too much where you’re thinking. He bounces ideas off me. I bounce them back. It’s a good relationship.”
To do that, and be that good teammate, Pickett has had to put aside his own desire to get back into the starting lineup. Part of the reason that Pickett was upset about reports that he turned down the opportunity to be Rudolph’s backup last week was that he doesn’t think that’s in character for him.
“As a competitor, you want the ball,” he admitted. “I want the ball in the most crucial situations of the game. I want the ball in the biggest games of the season. This is what you work for. This is what you do. One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. Mason played well when he got in there. I have a ton of respect for Mason and everything he’s done and what our team has been doing.”
So while the fanbase continues to roil over the present and future of the team’s quarterback position, the three men assigned to that task right now, are seeing eye to eye.