Here's an excerpt from my TribLive.com column about the Steelers' loss at Kansas City. To read the entire piece, click HERE.
Most of the column is about the folly of giving the oft-injured T.J. Watt that huge contract extension just before the season. This part is about Mason Rudolph, the Steelers' starting quarterback next season. (Like it or not.)
We got to see a cameo of Mason Rudolph when he deputized at quarterback for Ben Roethlisberger late in a game that had long since been a lost cause.
The hoi polloi may dream of the Steelers acquiring a veteran or drafting Pitt’s Kenny Pickett. But Rudolph will be the starting quarterback at the beginning of next season.
Rudolph showed little at Kansas City. He completed five of eight passes for 34 yards. His yards-per-attempt average of 4.4 was almost identical to Roethlisberger’s, as was Rudolph’s passer rating of 72.4. (That’s not good.) Rudolph’s lone highlight was a 17-yard run off a scramble.
Doomsayers feel the Steelers will be cannon fodder with Rudolph at QB. But they haven’t been so great this season with Roethlisberger behind center.
Here’s predicting that after a full training camp of first-team reps and a few preseason games of first-team reps, Rudolph will perform at least as well as Roethlisberger did this season. He’s got a much stronger arm and a lot more mobility. He’s also 26. Rudolph won't be bad.