Jogadores do Steelers 'impressionados' com QB Rudolph na estreia


It wasn’t an ideal situation for quarterbackMason Rudolphto see his first regular-season action, but the second-year pro impressed teammates in the28-25 lossto theSeattle Seahawks.

“Mason did a really, really, really good job today,” tight endVance McDonaldsaid,via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“I was really, really, really impressed,” guardDavid DeCastroadded “He did well (Sunday).”

That’s a lot of ‘reallys’ after a loss, but the way the former third-round pick performed after settling in during the third quarter suggests theSteelerswon’t be completely lost at sea ifBen Roethlisbergeris out for weeks.

“Mason is capable,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “He’s been a part of this thing. He’s the backup quarterback. We’re capable of functioning in a very normal manner when he’s in there.”

Rudolph took over forBig Benin the second half after the starter repeatedly grabbed his elbow at the end of the second stanza. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Roethlisberger is set for an MRI today.Per Rapoport, there is some real concern regarding the QB’s status moving forward.

Rudolph took over in the third quarter. His first three passes fell incomplete, but he got little help from his receivers, includingDonte Moncrief, who had a perfect sideline pass slip through his hands for an interception. After that Rudolph showed poise in the pocket, an ability to get to his second read, solid pocket movement and a great rapport with tight endVance McDonald.

In his first pro action, Rudolph finished 12-of-19 passing for 112 yards, 5.9 yards per attempt, two touchdown tosses, and the one interception for a 92.4 QB rating.

“He handled himself really well,” DeCastro said. “Really proud of him, how he came in ready to go. He knew the playbook, had a big command, and he mixed some of the cadences, too. That was impressive.”

The best news for theSteelerswhile preparing to be withoutBig Bennext week potentially is that the stage didn’t appear too big for Rudolph, despite some struggle moments, which were expected given the lack of practice reps with the starters.

“You have to be prepared for those situations whenever your number is called,” Rudolph said. “I thought I was ready. I had a really good feel for our gameplan and what we worked on all week. … I didn’t feel like I was unprepared in any means.”

The bigger issue for Tomlin is that his supposedly reworked defense couldn’t stopRussell Wilsona lick in the second half. If theSteelers‘ D remains a sieve, QB play will be moot moving forward.

UPDATE:Ben Roethlisbergerwill undergo surgery on his elbow and be placed on season-ending injured reserve, the team announced Monday.


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