The notion that the Steelers don't have a quality backup quarterback seems to be pulled along by the results of the 2019 season. No longer is the expectation of Mason Rudolph to support Ben Roethlisberger - the starter - but be good enough to lead a team in Roethlisberger's role.
Rudolph didn't find the success many expected when he was given his first opportunity to start in the NFL. Stepping in for Roethlisberger in Week 2, the second-year quarterback went 5-3 as a starter, but the lack of offensive success left the team with too much worry to keep him in all 15 games.
Now, everyone is concerned that the Steelers don't have the high-quality backup they should. Rudolph doesn't fit the job title as well as a nine-year NFL starter like Cam Newton does.
But what if he leaves the Steelers right in the middle of backup quarterbacks?
In CBS Sports' backup quarterback power rankings, Rudolph holds Pittsburgh at No. 15, right in the center of the league.
"When Rudolph got his chance to usurp Ben Roethlisberger this past season, it didn't go as planned," Sean Wagner-McGough wrote. "While the Steelers went 5-3 with Rudolph as their starting quarterback, their success was almost entirely about their defense. In 2019, Rudolph completed 62.2 percent of his passes, averaged 6.2 yards per attempt, and threw 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions for an 82.0 passer rating. For a backup quarterback, those numbers are fairly pedestrian. For a starting quarterback, those numbers are horrific. Luckily for the Steelers, he's their backup."
Head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert have assured the media that Rudolph will remain the backup for the 2020 season.
Roethlisberger is throwing without pain for the first time in years, according to himself, and the team feels confident the one-two punch they went into 2019 with can lead them this season as well.
Hopefully Rudolph doesn't need to play a regular season game this year, but if he does, his record remains something you can build from. And to CBS Sports, he doesn't completely take away the Steelers chances if he. needs to start.