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Thread: Who will back up Big Ben this year?

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Bye bye Dobbs
    I think that's an unlikely outcome. But I also thought we'd keep Jones last year.

  2. #122
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    Tomlin ‘Working With The Intentions’ Of Getting Devlin Hodges Playing Time, Says Moments ‘Haven’t Been Too Big For Him’

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on August 8, 2019

    The Pittsburgh Steelers have 21 rookies on their 90-man roster right now, including nine draft picks and 11 college free agents. I think that few of them have been talked about more so far since the start of training camp than Samford college free agent quarterback Devlin Hodges, who is running fourth behind Ben Roethlisberger, Joshua Dobbs, and Mason Rudolph.

    While the odds remain quite stacked against him to make the 53-man roster, the 6’1”, 210-pounder continues to simply go about his business, and he has been able to make plays when he has gotten the opportunity to get on the field—which has been about half as frequently as the rest of the quarterbacks.

    Prior to yesterday’s practice, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked yet again about Hodges, which is about the third or fourth time at least since training camp opened. “The moments out here haven’t been too big for him”, he said, though he added that, “obviously, the confines of a stadium are different”.

    That is significant because the Steelers have just one final practice today, which is largely a walkthrough, before they participate in their first preseason game tomorrow at Heinz Field as they play host to Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tomlin also said during that press conference that Dobbs would be the starter, and Rudolph would follow, but from that point on, they will have to essentially play it by ear. “We’d like to get him some play”, he admitted.

    “We’ll see how the flow of the game goes. We’re working with the intentions of doing that, but sometimes things unfold a little bit differently once you get inside that stadium”, Tomlin added. “Those are the intentions. He’s been deserving of the opportunity. I’m sure he’ll get it here this week or the next”.

    So, whether it’s this week or next week, Hodges figures to get some playing time in the preseason. Typically, the number four quarterback will see between 20 to 40 snaps over the course of the four-game preseason schedule, but rarely has that player attracted as much attention as has Hodges to date.

    One can only hope that he does get into the game and is able to justify the hype that is mounting around him from both those who have actually gotten the opportunity to see him play in training camp, as well as those who have simply read about it.

    There are those who are hopeful that he can make a push to make the 53-man roster this season, which would allow them to trade one of their other quarterbacks. Jason LaCanfora even previously speculated early in training camp, seemingly off the cuff, that they could be in a position to trade Dobbs, their 2017 fourth-round pick, who subsequently watched the Steelers trade up in the third round last season to take Rudolph.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/08/to...o-big-for-him/

  3. #123
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    Mason Rudolph ready for Year 2 close-up with Steelers

    3:08 AM ET

    Jeremy Fowler
    ESPN Staff Writer

    LATROBE, Pa. -- With quarterback Joshua Dobbs starting the Pittsburgh Steelers' first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mason Rudolph isn't sure when he'll get the ball.

    He just knows he wants it.

    "I don't care (about the rotation), I'm ready to play and execute," said Rudolph, who figures he'll start a game and fourth-stringer Devlin Hodges might get a nod, too.

    Preseason action probably will decide if Rudolph can unseat Dobbs as the No. 2 quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger. Though Dobbs showed he was a gamer last August by completing 29-of-43 passes for 434 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, Rudolph has had some strong camp moments. In Friday's session, Rudolph threw for three straight scores in the "seven shots" goal-line drill, including a throw off a scramble to his right. He was missing deep balls early in camp but has started to find his rhythm with those.

    The third-round pick in 2018 said he feels "10 times" more comfortable in year 2, and now he knows it's time to show it.

    "I try to make it hard on myself but it is getting easier," Rudolph said. "Second year with experience helps with a lot of things. I'm not as hesitant. There were some times last year I was too (hesitant) based on not having a complete feel for protection and routes. I'm ripping it and letting it go and am very aggressive now."

    Ripping it can lead to the occasional mistake, and he has thrown his share of interceptions. But Rudolph almost embraces those miscues, because of his play-the-next-play mentality. A few times he has followed a mistimed throw with a downfield gain or a touchdown in 11-man work.

    Rudolph throws with authority when he's decisive and isn't waiting in the pocket too long. Something to watch Friday: He's not going to stop squeezing the ball in between defenders.

    "The challenge of trying to fit the ball into tight windows, I feel like I'm good at that and I love doing it," Rudolph said.

    Other young Steelers to watch

    S Kameron Kelly: With Sean Davis out, the 6-foot-2 safety has gotten a lot of run with both the first and second team. He shined in the Alliance of American Football last year and has a chance to create a role.

    WR James Washington: Reminding of his ability to make contested catches would be timely with veteran Donte Moncrief earning first-team status, rookie Diontae Johnson showing flashes and Ryan Switzer having a solid camp.

    OL Fred Johnson: The massive former Florida Gators lineman can play guard or tackle and has pretty good feet.

    CB Justin Layne: The third-round rookie isn't afraid to play physical and his length helps him in coverage. In a crowded defensive back room, quality games will help his cause.

    RB Benny Snell Jr.: He came on late last week with improved blocking after a few rough moments and a physical first-down run in 11-man work that elicited a reaction from coach Mike Tomlin.

    Cluster of ILBs: Devin Bush is the focus, of course, but a bunch of third-stringers -- Robert Spillane, Tegray Scales, Ulysees Gilbert III -- can hit.

    https://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/31065/mason-rudolph-ready-for-year-2-close-up-with-steelers
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  4. #124
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    QB — B+

    Joshua Dobbs, Mason Rudolph, and Devlin Hodges all flashed on the night, resulting in a strong performance across the board by the Steelers’ quarterbacks on a night in which star Ben Roethlisberger sat out.

    Dobbs opened the game as the starter and hooked up with James Washington right away on a 43-yard bomb down the middle of the field to get the Steelers out of the shadow of their own goal line. Dobbs did undershoot the pass just a bit, resulting in Washington needing to readjust, but he gave Washington a chance and that’s all that really matters.

    Aside from the deep ball, Dobbs was a bit scattershot, as Alex Kozora says. Dobbs missed on a couple of throws and avoided an interception by Vernon Hargraves III thanks to a penalty wiping out the pick. Where he did his best work though was with his legs, including an impressive 36-yard scramble after avoiding pressure.

    Entering his second full season in the league, Rudolph was expected to take a big step forward in his development and Friday night’s performance against the Buccaneers was a very positive step in the right direction.

    Rudolph was calm in the pocket and delivered strike after strike, including two impressive throws to Washington and rookie tight end Zach Gentry for touchdowns. Rudolph looks so much more comfortable in the system in Year 2.

    Hodges, the darling of training camp so far, at least at the quarterback position, had himself a strong night, throwing a touchdown to Tevin Jones while also showing good decision making in the pocket and the ability to throw accurately on the move with ball placement and zip. It was great to see the Steelers get him so much work in the second half, and he certainly didn’t disappoint.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/08/st...onal-grades-2/

  5. #125
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    Jeremy Fowler
    ESPN Staff Writer

    With Steelers QB Mason Rudolph getting the start Saturday against the Chiefs, here's what coach Mike Tomlin likes about him: Aggressive mentality.

    1h
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  6. #126
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    Thursday, Aug 15, 2019 02:30 PM

    It will be Rudolph's turn to start


    Bob Labriola

    Steelers.com


    LATROBE, Pa. – The way Coach Mike Tomlin sees it, the expectations for the second preseason game are somewhat similar to the expectations he has for second-year players.


    Last Friday night, the Steelers opened their 2019 preseason with a 30-28 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Heinz Field, and on Saturday they will host the Kansas City Chiefs at 7:30 p.m. at Heinz Field.


    “Looking forward to the growth,” said Tomlin today during a news conference inside Benedict Hall. “Often times I talk about the second-year players. They’ve had a lap around the track, and so it’s reasonable to expect a jump in performance, execution, detail, etc. The same thing could be said about a group after they all have been in a stadium. As we march into a stadium for the second time, it’s reasonable to expect an upswing in all areas.”


    For this second outing, Tomlin said Mason Rudolph will start at quarterback, and he will be followed by Joshua Dobbs. Then “we have every intention of playing Devlin Hodges,” said Tomlin. “We’ll see how all of that unfolds, because some in-game things are going to dictate some of that.”


    Besides the quarterback rotation, what could prove interesting is the way players are grouped in this game against the Chiefs. As an example, those who performed well as part of the third group against the Buccaneers – which means they likely didn’t see much playing time until late in the third quarter – could get onto the field earlier against the Chiefs and therefore get a chance against better competition.


    “Guys who performed well in their last exposure will get more playing time in this game and probably more exposure against stiffer competition,” said Tomlin. “That has been what this process has been about. We’re getting more deliberate about where we put people and the situations we put people in and the group they’re running with. It has been a good process, but we came here to ready ourselves for the season and take 90 to 53, and so it’s time for some of those things to take place.”


    It used to be that teams were required to cut rosters from 90 to 75 players before the final preseason game, and then go from 75 to 53 players almost immediately after the fourth preseason game. That was changed a couple of years ago, and now there is just one cut-down – from 90 to 53 – and that has to happen by 4 p.m. on Aug. 31.


    With training camp essentially over tomorrow, and with half of the preseason over for the Steelers following Saturday night’s game, time is flying by if you happen to be someone fighting for one of those 53 roster spots.


    There will be a bit more game-planning for the Chiefs than there was vs. the Buccaneers, but it still will be nothing compared to what is normal game-planning for a regular season game. The idea is to keep things as fundamental as possible so that players are not paralyzed by not knowing what to do or where to be, because the most important thing at this stage still is to add evidence to the evaluation process.


    “Opportunities are starting to get scarce as we come to the conclusion of camp and start to continually step into stadiums,” said Tomlin. “The sand is running through the hourglass, and guys are losing opportunities to state a case for themselves. So there is a certain urgency. We’ve been in a stadium, and so guys have a litmus if you will in terms of where they are from an actual football perspective. It will be exciting to see guys build upon that.”


    STEELERS NOTES: As far as the kicking competition, Tomlin said the intent is to alternate the kickers on every opportunity, which is the way it was handled in the preseason opener. But Tomlin added that the kickers were going to be challenged during the last couple of on-field sessions at Saint Vincent College and that the outcome of those challenges could alter the plan for the kickers on Saturday night … Rookie receiver Diontae Johnson has practiced infrequently throughout this training camp because of a few different injuries. Tomlin said Johnson was able to practice on Wednesday and that he’s scheduled to practice on Thursday as well … No decisions on the status of any of the injured guys will be made until a lot closer to kickoff vs. the Chiefs because Tomlin wants to be as inclusive as possible and give everybody an opportunity to play.

    https://www.steelers.com/news/it-will-be-rudolph-s-turn-to-start
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  7. #127
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    Mason Rudolph to start Steelers second preseason game

    Posted by Darin Gantt on August 16, 2019, 7:32 AM EDT

    The Steelers aren’t going to play their actual quarterback yet, so they’re trying to decide who the backup is going to be.

    Via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Mason Rudolph will start at quarterback in Saturday’s second preseason game against the Chiefs.

    Josh Dobbs started the preseason opener, and starter Ben Roethlisberger is expected to make his lone preseason appearance in the third one, allowing the team to sort out the backup derby.

    “They’re being evaluated with everything that they do,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “But you acknowledge the in-stadium play is weighted a little bit differently because it’s not football-like. The situations aren’t scripted. It’s football, it’s fluid. Intellect and the ability to adapt and understand the ever-changing situations are part of the evaluation. That’s why in-stadium action is weighted a little bit heavier and appropriately so.”

    Rudolph had the better stat line last week, while playing with and against a lesser grade of competition.

    He was 5-of-8 for 91 yards, with two touchdowns. The Steelers scored 17 points during his four possessions.

    “I think one of the things that really attracted us to [Rudolph] out of Stillwater [Oklahoma State] was that level of aggression, the way that he attacked defenses vertically and threw the ball,” Tomlin said. “I know that that’s his style, that’s his demeanor — and it’s showing more and more consistently.”

    Dobbs was 5-of-8 for 85 yards, and added two carries for 44 yards, and the Steelers scored three points during his two possessions leading the offense.

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/08/16/mason-rudolph-to-start-steelers-second-preseason-game/
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  8. #128
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    I guess we have the answer after that last drive

    Dobbs may be battling for a roster spot

  9. #129
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    Huh? I don’t think Mason did anything special in this games to separate himself from Dobbs.

    Edit: that int definitely didn’t help tho.. lol.
    Last edited by Oh wow; 08-17-2019 at 09:52 PM.

  10. #130
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    Got to see how the final two preseason games shakes out but Rudolph looked impressive. He looked comfortable in the pocket and made some nice throws.

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