Mason Rudolph mum on Steelers' QB plan vs. Eagles

Mason Rudolph said the Steelers have a plan for the quarterbacks for Thursday’s game. He just won’t say what it is. 

During a meeting with the media from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe on Tuesday, Pittsburgh’s rookie quarterback said as much when asked about the quarterback situation for the team’s first game of the 2018 preseason. Moments later, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin ruled out Ben Roethlisberger for Thursday night’s game while adding that, while he wants to play Pittsburgh’s other three quarterbacks against the Eagles, he isn’t promising that that will happen. 

“That is our intentions, but again, I’ve said that you before in game circumstances [and] it play out differently,” Tomlin said when asked if Landry Jones, Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs will receive playing time on Thursday night. “I’m just being as transparent with you guys as I can. That is our intentions.”

Tomlin was asked if the team’s current quarterback depth changes how he may use his quarterbacks this preseason. In 2015, Jones received most of the team’s preseason snaps, something that isn’t expected to happen this season given the depth of the position and the competition between Rudolph and Dobbs for a spot on the team’s 53-man roster. 

“We’re just taking it week to week, because week to week the variables can change,” Tomlin said. “Who is available to us and stuff can change next week. So I don’t look at the totality of it. I have a plan in terms of how I wanna approach this week. I’ll harden that plan as I get closer to game time, and really, I don’t get any deeper than that.”

As he has been on multiple occasions during camp, Tomlin was once again asked about Rudolph, who has gone through the typical ups and downs that a quarterback experiences during his first NFL training camp. 

“Mason’s done a really good job, but again, he hasn’t been hit,” Tomlin said with a chuckle. “There will be attempts to hit him on Thursday night, so stay tuned. That’s another one of the reasons why this is weighted differently. An offense’s ability to maintain possession of the bal. The ball security is much more difficult in stadiums than it is in a training camp environment. A training camp environment is controlled in a lot of ways. You don’t touch or get to close to the quarterback, for instance. So a quarterback’s ability to secure the football really don’t get tested until they play preseason football in stadiums. That’s why these opportunities are so precious, because that is a big element of the evaluation process of the position.”

Jones is currently tabbed as the team’s No.2 quarterback on Pittsburgh’s first depth chart of the 2018 season, with Dobbs No.4 and Rudolph No.4 on the depth chart. The team’s current depth chart, however, has no bearing on where each of the three quarterbacks currently stands with regard to making the 53-man roster coming out of camp, as Tomlin has said on multiple occasions that the top three quarterbacks during the preseason will utility be on the roster when the 2018 season begins. 

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