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Steelers22

Mason Rudolph's play thus far

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Rather than focusing on the heinous brawl last night, I was curious as to what the general consensus is on Rudolph's play thus far.  I'm sure it will be skewed negative after Rudolph's worst performance so maybe not the best timing.  While he was horrendous last night, it seems like that performance was a few games in the making.  He's been protected fairly well thus far and last night when he wasn't, he looked more lost than ever (to be fair, most QB's do).  Even though nearly every one of our starting skill position guys ended up getting hurt, Rudolph still missed easy throws when our guys did get open.  To my surprise, Greg Cosell, who many consider the best mainstream analyst our there, actually had really positive things to say about Rudolph.  From my vantage point, I just don't see it.

Pros:
+Stands strong in the pocket
+Doesn't turn the ball over much
+Fairly accurate in intermediate throws

Cons: 
-My biggest gripe with him is that he consistently looks lost post-snap.  If his primary read isn't there, he's in trouble
-Arm Strength isn't great.  Accuracy is far more important than arm strength but there is clearly a lack of zip on his throws
-Slow release
-Too conservative?  I don't know how much of this is due to coaching vs. his general mentality at QB.  With the steelers defense playing like they are, I can see this being a product of coaching
-Pocket Awareness--He stands tall in the pocket but there are so many times where he just can't step into a throw because he can't manipulate the pocket in an effective way.  This might be the most confusing to me since this seemed to be a strength of his prior to his injury in the ravens game


Going forward: 
Fortunately, steeler fans haven't had to evaluate/make judgments on a young QB for a long time.  With Rudolph, I just don't know what is fixable here and what isn't.  It feels like the physical tools and general toughness is there.  However, the mental aspect and subtitles of the game are lost on him; I don't think this is unique for a young QB and this seems fixable.  However, I get the overwhelming sense that this isn't going to change.  You hope to see improvement as the number of games played increases but I can't help but feel like he's regressing

Where is everybody else on him right now? 
 

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I think best case he ends up like a case Keanum type QB who you can win with if you have a talented roster, but he will only take you so far. I'm not optimistic in him being "the guy" to take over once Ben retires, but I can see him sticking around on the roster as a good number 2 QB like Charlie Batch. Hopefully we find a QB with a higher upside through free agency or the draft in the next 2-3 years.

Edited by August4th

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There really are no Pros. He isn't accurate at all. He under throws on deep passes, throws behind on slants or crossing patterns and overthrows on seam patterns. He is way to conservative and panics anytime there is pressure. He can't scramble he has legs like Brady. No pocket presence or field vision. He stares down primary receiver. Throws short passes to hard and does not throw a catchable ball. Poor field awareness, no finesse or pump fake. Just not a heady QB, no fire. Even when Ben was young in his first year you knew he had the "it" factor. Rudolph is like a less athletic Mark Malone. At least we know he isn't the long term answer. Yes the run game has not been great and the line and the receivers have not been great. But the only changes were Ben and Antonio not in the lineup since last year. I am convinced if you had those two back our line would look better and so would our running game.

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I hate to say that Steelers fans are spoiled, but I think a lot of people that look at Rudolph seem to look past a lot of things that are NOT in his control.  Sure, he has issues.  And, I am not saying that he IS or ISN'T the long term answer at QB.  What I am saying is that I do not know.

Before last night, he was 4-2 with 14TD/2INT.  You can win with that.  Sure, he is not elite, but many of the teams in the NFL would love to have a second year QB with those kind of numbers.  Hell, a lot of teams would love to have a starting QB with those numbers.

Bottom line... he HAS to get better.  But, the offense HAS to get better.  The offensive strategy and planning HAS to get better.  Weapons around him HAS to get better.  Coaching HAS to get better.

What do we know?  He IS tough.. He CAN command the offense (in spurts)... He does NOT turn the ball over (most of the time).  Obviously, we know now that he can NOT win a game on his own and he CAN get rattled.

We know he has things that he has to fix.  Footwork, filmwork, offensive awareness and chemistry with his WR.  But, in my opinion, all of these ARE fixable.  He has to want to work, and he has to have coaches that can fix these issues.

 

For me, the jury is still out.  I think he is at least a capable backup that can win you games.  I like the Keenum comp from @August4th.  I hope he grows into what we want in PItt, but I think it is WAY to early to make a judgement at this juncture.

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we really have been spoiled with QB play with ben tho

last time I was concerned about the future of the position was back in 2002-03 when I was middle school lol I vaguely remember the bad Kordell years and that was not fun. I really hope we don't go through another 20 odd years with mediocre QB play again when ben retires

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He looks different post-concussion. A lot of "heavy legged" talk going on now but I recall him moving around and getting out of the pocket regularly prior to. In fact, I believe on that play he had done a nice job escaping the rush. He's a different player now. Hopefully he can get back to where he was and then continue to progress. 

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It's his first meaningful game experience (this year). He's been ok.
I agree he doesn't have a special arm, nor is he going to, at this stage,
carry you with so many other offensive issues. But it is year one of real
game time. Is he special? No, but he can be a good player. It's unfair for
him to be expected to carry us with no running game, a recently poorer
performing OLine and most problematic, a very depleted receiving core.
He's a gamer though and he works hard. I think he's likely a decent starter
or very good back up. Problem is I don't see a better option where we draft
in 2020. 

Side note: Receiver is a growing concern for me. We need someone to start
along with JuJu that can actually separate and open up the field. I like Johnson,
but he's not enough. Washington is a fourth receiver to me. Just not quick enough.

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I'm not gonna lie, I have 0 expectations for him moving forward. I dont think he is fairly accurate on almost any throws. He absolutely turns the ball over too much and also simply puts the ball on the ground too much. He has shown very little if any improvement on his mechanics. His reads are terrible. He has no pocket mobility at all. So far, he has not been worth the 3rd round pick spent on him. 

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As far as Receiver and TE. We have 3 guys at WR that should even be on the roster and more than likely 2 of them wont play vs. The Bengals.

Vance is a good receiver but we need someone much more dynamic. Someone the OC is going to want to involve.

Our running back options are terrible. James Conner is not a long term option and Jaylen Samuel's is a 3rd down back at best. Edmunds... is a practice squader.

The OL, I know they're gonna pay AV, they shouldnt. He, Ramon Foster, Pouncey, and Feiler can pound rocks, all 4 of them need to be replaced that OL is terrible. I take my hat off to Pouncey for going to war for Mason but he isnt very good anymore.

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4 hours ago, Steelers22 said:

Where is everybody else on him right now? 

I am giving mason the benefit of the doubt since:

1. he has looked decent at times

2. OC is terrible

3. OL is terrible

4. RB's have been out/hurt

5. WR's are lacking

6. He has played some legit teams, but thats the NFL

 

however, I am not liking a few issues I noticed that others have eluded to, particularly is the pocket awareness.  Throwing the INT's that he has, that too is a problem.  He isn't getting a fair chance by any means,  he has the worst OC this team has ever had possibly.  The OL is the worst since 2011. 

I would like to see if Duck can turn this around, but there are so many issues, I can't see it. They need to get the running game going and protect the QB, and they aren't doing either now. That vet OL with 3 probowlers is terrible, the biggest letdown on this team in 2019

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46 minutes ago, mwalker said:

Side note: Receiver is a growing concern for me. We need someone to start
along with JuJu that can actually separate and open up the field. I like Johnson,
but he's not enough. Washington is a fourth receiver to me. Just not quick enough.

I actually feel ok about the WR's going forward.  Diontae Johnson has been our best WR this season and I think his talent is pretty obvious.  The bigger question mark for me is Juju--I just don't know what he is going forward and that's going to make contract negotiations pretty difficult this summer.  The QB play obviously makes it impossible to evaluate him properly; however, when a rookie WR is outproducing you, that is slightly concerning to me.  I still don't have any idea if he's a number 1 guy (and I think its impossible to make that determination considering the state of the offense) but I'm a lot more hesitant than I was heading into the season

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37 minutes ago, wwhickok said:

Our running back options are terrible. James Conner is not a long term option and Jaylen Samuel's is a 3rd down back at best. Edmunds... is a practice squader.

if they had the OL we had 2-5 years ago, I think it would be much different. Don't forget to add the coverages that AB drew back then too, so it's not all the RB's fault here thats for sure

 

38 minutes ago, wwhickok said:

The OL, I know they're gonna pay AV, they shouldnt. He, Ramon Foster, Pouncey, and Feiler can pound rocks, all 4 of them need to be replaced that OL is terrible. I take my hat off to Pouncey for going to war for Mason but he isnt very good anymore.

Thats the way I see it , the OL is trash once again. Pouncey looks as though he could care less out there, and him standing up for Mason was decent but the way he did it was wrong. So what, he doesn't play C worth anything anymore and should be traded in the spring.  Maybe this was his ticket out of pittsburgh?  

I would like the OL to get a complete makeover and new OL coach in the offseason. Keep DDC, but thats it. Feiler was usually solid but lately has slipped too. Maybe keep as a back up? I would try Finney at C and Banner at LG or maybe LT if he can play that.  This OL and OC/OL coach has me almost feeling like it's 2011 all over again

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I don't want to devolve this further into the OL rabbithole, but I am just not ready to throw them out with the bathwater.

There is so much that goes into the compostion of an OL.  These guys were built and coached to play one way.  Ben gets hurt, and now they have to play an almost totally different way.  Yes, they are built to pass block and that's what we are having to do since our running game is crap, but it is not the same.  Ben and Mason are not the same guy.

Plus, as was said in another thread, the gameplan sucks for them as well.  Leaving AV alone on Garrett for the whole game was a very bad call.  After the first hold, he should have had help on EVERY dropback pass.

Do they need to get better, yes.  But they do not SUCK.  I am not ready to go that far.

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