During this year's OTAs, third-year quarterback Mason Rudolph made his overall goal very clear, "to be a starting quarterback in this league, and for my team." The pending question is whether that team will be the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Since being selected in the third round of the 2018 draft, Rudolph's career has been a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. During the 2019 season, he became the team's starter as veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sidelined for the season after a serious elbow injury. Instead of establishing himself as the future successor for Roethlisberger, he struggled in various facets, which included going through progressions and reading defenses.
Rudolph's play that season only created doubts of him becoming the team's future franchise quarterback.
Another factor to consider is Dwayne Haskins. The fallen 15th overall pick from the 2019 NFL Draft was brought to the team in January after being released by the Washington Football Team. During this year's OTAs and minicamp, Haskins made a big impression on the players and coaching staff, notably with head coach Mike Tomlin, who has taken a keen interest in his overall development.
Though Rudolph may have the right mindset, his play on the field has not reflected this.
Bleacher Report's Brad Gagnon noted in his piece, "1 Player Each NFL Team Should Consider Trading Before the 2021 Season", that the Steelers focus should be on Haskins.
"It's time for the Steelers to give Haskins the clearer path by moving on from the 2018 third-round pick in favor of their reclamation project from Washington. "
This year's training camp should present and intriguing battle between Haskins and Rudolph. The stakes, in this case, are higher than winning the backup job, it may determine the team's next franchise quarterback. If Rudolph's play of the field is as strong as his mindset, he could certainly make a strong case to stay.