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Mason Rudolph Improving in Training Camp, Building Chemistry With Other Receivers



On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Steelers will get their first taste of preseason action against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. It will also be Mason Rudolph’s first chance to suit up for Pittsburgh on something other than a practice field.

A bumpy start has given way to smoother sailing for the third-round pick. Rudolph, who struggled early with accuracy while somewhat leaning on James Washington as a crutch, has improved on both fronts and has strung together several solid practices.

On Saturday, he went 5-or-6 for 52 yards with his sole incompletion being the ball that was aimed at his former OSU teammate. Rudolph finished the two-minute drill with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Samuels.

In fact, Rudolph has made a concentrated effort to grow his connection with targets that didn’t hoist last year’s Biletnikoff trophy.

“You kind of got to have that chemistry with other guys as well,” Rudolph said according to PennLive. “You almost put James on hold a little bit to try and work that connection with other guys, but obviously when he’s in the ballgame, it’s a whole other dimension of trying to get him the ball.”

Whether it’s familiarity with new teammates or just the adjustment to bigger, stronger, faster defenders (and smaller, quicker passing windows), Rudolph has definitely looked better in Week 2 than he did in Week 1.


“There is no sudden leap to greatness,” Rudolph told The Athletic. “Every day you have to chip away at it and if you learn something every single day, which I have, we are going in the right direction.”

These things take time and no one knows that as much as Rudolph’s offensive coordinator and longtime quarterbacks coach, Randy Fichtner.

“He’s working. He’s doing a nice job,” said Fichtner according to TribLive. “It’s in-helmet perspective. That takes time to develop. Change of pace. The whole game is different. It’s always going to be different. That transition isn’t easy, and he is playing the position where the transition is the hardest.”

Even though he’s still currently Pittsburgh’s QB4 when it comes to snaps, there is a lot of training camp left and even more meaningful reps during preseason games for Rudolph to chip away at veteran backup Landry Jones and second-year QB Josh Dobbs.

If Rudolph continues on this trajectory and can continue to show poise in the midst of adversity, he’ll be on the right track to challenge for Pittsburgh’s contested QB2 spot sooner than later.

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