Mark Madden

Mark Madden

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THE BALLAD OF MASON RUDOLPH


If the season started now, Mason Rudolph would be the Steelers' starting quarterback, and the natives are restless: 

“…made my damn stomach hurt.” Get a life. 

This nerd’s weak gut is symptomatic of the citizens’ preoccupation with the Steelers’ quarterback position, their willful ignorance of the many weaknesses that otherwise dot the roster, and the blame that’s going to cascade upon Rudolph if he does, indeed, start and the Steelers do anything shy of making the playoffs. Rudolph will be the scapegoat whether he merits it or not. 

Such disrespect has been fueled by teammates like T.J. Watt and Najee Harris imploring the Steelers to get another quarterback.

Rudolph deserves better, and deserves a chance. 

He’s 5-4-1 as a starter. But the locals only recall the bad. The tie vs. Detroit this past season. The incident with Cleveland’s Myles Garrett in 2019. Rudolph’s facemask being removed after he got concussed against Baltimore that same season. 

You don’t remember how Rudolph actually played. You can’t conjure that vision in your mind’s eye. You can’t wait to hate Rudolph, so you’re already imagining a bleak future.

Rudolph looking like the heel in a John Hughes teen movie from the ‘80s doesn’t help. He's the William Zabka of quarterbacks. (That's a compliment.)

When he’s played, Rudolph has mostly done OK. Given an entire training camp of first-team reps, he figures to be a competent starter. 

“Made my damn stomach hurt.” For heck’s sake.

Take a good look at the Steelers’ offensive line. You’ll need emergency abdominal surgery. 

Pittsburgh Steelers v Green Bay Packers

Photo: Getty Images


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