Rumors: Steelers all-in on Mason Rudolph? In a flooded QB market where there’s going to be more QB’s available than No. 1 jobs available, someone looks primed to fall through the cracks of being a great bargain as a No. 2. With Ben Roethlisberger coming back from a major injury at age 38, will the Steelers really turn their back to QB market in March? The messaging that continues to come out of Steelers’ headquarters is to bank the same QB room coming back. Team owner Art Rooney II being the latest to double down that the organization is comfortable with the current group of QB’s.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s centennial class Saturday. In a made for TV moment, Cowher was informed of being enshrined by the Hall’s President David Baker live during the CBS NFL Today pre-game show. Last coaching in 2006, Cowher who has always been one of those on the fence candidates, accumulated 149 regular-season wins, 12 playoff wins, 1 Super Bowl title (2 appearances) and appeared in six AFC title games.
One of the top burning questions surrounding the Steelers this off-season will be how heavily if any that the Steelers invest$$ into the backup QB position. Mike Tomlin in his season ending news conference was all-in on Mason Rudolph being the backup quarterback in 2020. “I’m comfortable with Mason Rudolph,” said Tomlin. “Mason’s had an opportunity to grow in a lot of ways and get a lot of experience. Mason’s the backup [in 2020].” When asked about Devlin Hodges, Tomlin responded “Um….Mason’s the backup.”
Running back James Conner and center Maurkice Pouncey have been officially ruled out for Sunday’s must-win vs the Baltimore Ravens. Conner will finish the regular season with just 446 rushing yards as the team was not able to count on him during the second half of the season. Conner will end the season missing six of the Steelers final 9 games.
Mike Tomlin had an interesting take in blaming the division of labor prep at running back in the leadup to the Bills game as an issue that will be changed this week. Citing the questionable status of Jaylen Samuels and James Conner last week, Tomlin said it played a factor in having issues with picking up the Bills blitz packages. “We gotta divide the labor better [in practice],” said Tomlin. “Thought we had some issues from a blitz standpoint. More stable division of labor will allow us to be more stout.” James Conner who struggled mightily in this area, is 100% healthy Tomlin said.
There will be no QB change in Pittsburgh. Mike Tomlin this afternoon announced Devlin Hodges will remain the starting QB Sunday afternoon vs the New York Jets. Tomlin talked of expected growth from Hodges in getting an opportunity to rebound from a negative experience. “We’ll proceed with Duck,” said Tomlin. “I look forward to giving him the opportunity to rebound.” This the right move from Tomlin. You don’t want to create chaos with your team this late in the season and there’s still just more pros in sticking with Hodges to at least start the game vs the Jets than going back to Mason Rudolph at this point.
A nightmare QB performance, A nightmare night for Randy Fichtner & More Buzz The Duck crumbled as the Buffalo Bills (10-4) picked off Devlin Hodges four times, en route to a 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) on Sunday night. The Bills in clinching a playoff spot, went Duck Hunting in quarter 4, picking off Hodges three times over the Steelers final five possessions, as a 10-7 Steelers lead to open the 4th quarter, evaporated to a 17-10 loss. This was just a maddening game for the Steelers on a number of levels and in all three phases, yet, here they were with a three point lead entering the 4th and drove into Bill’s territory twice when trailing by seven on their final two possessions. When you dissect this game, it starts with the offensive game plan. It was either too conservative (1st/2nd QTR), just plain overthinking things (AllRead More »
Mike Tomlin Moving up the Coach of the Year Power Rankings Coaching, Coaching, Coaching. You want to see an elite coach in crisis management go head-to-head vs a rookie coach over his head, go watch the game tape from Steelers – Browns again. Mike Tomlin for the second straight week put on a coaching clinic as he’s emerged near the top of the Coach of the Year chain. Falling behind 10-0 to the Cleveland Browns with Devlin Hodges as your QB might have looked like a death sentence but the final 35 minutes of play saw a complete reversal. What changed first was a defensive adjustment. Pittsburgh had great difficulty in stopping the Browns 2-back formation with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the misdirection passing game. The first quarter-in-a-half looked like it was going to be a long day for the Steelers defense where Pittsburgh could not pick upRead More »