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NFL: Mason Rudolph: Goal is to succeed Roethlisberger as Steelers’ starter

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Mason Rudolph may be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ No. 2 quarterback entering the 2021 season, but he said he’s preparing to start for the storied franchise when the time arrives.

“That’s my goal, to be a starting quarterback in this league and for our team, and I’m working toward that goal every single day,” Rudolph said Tuesday. “I can only control myself and the way I prepare and the way I approach and play in OTAs and camp, and that’s on the forefront of my mind.

“I’m not worried about ‘22 or anything like that. I’m trying to live in the moment and be the best I can for my team.”

Ben Roethlisberger is entering his 18th season in the NFL after signing a restructured contract that included a pay cut over the offseason. He’s spent the entirety of his pro career in Pittsburgh and won two Super Bowls with the Steelers.

But Roethlisberger — who in 2018 was critical of the team’s decision to take a quarterback, Rudolph, in the third round of the draft — is 39 and not signed beyond 2021. Two other quarterbacks on the Steelers’ roster, Dwayne Haskins and Joshua Dobbs, are also only signed for one season.

Rudolph signed an extension in April that will take him through 2022 with the Steelers.

Rudolph started eight games in 2019 after Roethlisberger needed season-ending surgery on his throwing elbow. He led the Steelers to a 5-3 record in those games, and for the season, he finished with a 62.2 percent completion percentage, 1,765 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Rudolph also started in Week 17 for Pittsburgh in 2020.

“I think you’re always excited and looking forward to competition,” Rudolph said. “You know that it’s going to be there each and every year, it’s just a matter of who. … Competition makes everybody better, and you look forward to that, especially in the offseason.”

–Field Level Media

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