Steelers QB Says He Aims To “Passionately Pursue Christ”
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the winningest franchises in NFL history. Current Head Coach Mike Tomlin took over the team in 2007 and has never had a losing record. Considering the quarterback carousel since Ben Roethlisberger retired after the 2021 season, that is quite an accomplishment. The team swung and missed with supposed franchise quarterback Kenny Pickett and benched him after an ineffective, injury-plagued half of a 2023 season.
In 2022, the team picked former first-round bust Mitchell Trubisky out of the bargain bin from the Bears with hopes he could be fixed and be a short-term solution until Pickett was ready. As expected, that move didn’t work either. That left Coach Mike Tomlin no other option but former third-round pick from 2018, Mason Rudolph. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy has played sparingly since coming into the league, and the team didn’t view him as any long-term option.
Fortunately for Tomlin and Steeler fans, when called upon this season, Rudolph has shined brightly and guided the team back to the playoffs, where they haven’t won a game since the 2016-2017 season. If the legendary head coach, who is rumored to be considering retirement after this year, is to taste success in the post-season, he is going to have to be led by Mason Rudolph.
For the quarterback’s part, he has looked to be every bit capable of snapping the drought. The Steelers were foundering at 7-7 when Pickett got hurt again, and the team decided Trubisky wasn’t the answer. Rudolph promptly rattled off wins against the Bengals, Seahawks, and Ravens in snagging a Wild Card game against the heavily favored Buffalo Bills in frigid upstate New York.
Rudolph had been largely the missing man since the controversy that happened during the 2019 season. Browns star Myles Garrett clobbered Rudolph over the head with his helmet and later accused the Pittsburgh quarterback of using a racial slur. The claim was never corroborated, and Rudolph wasn’t disciplined but essentially was an afterthought in the wake of the accusation.
After the win against the Bengals, Rudolph expressed his gratitude to his Creator for giving him another chance. He said: “Just so thankful to my Creator, Jesus Christ, for giving me the opportunity to play this game and for carrying me through the dark times and getting me back here for this special moment.” Rudolph has been the infusion of energy that the team needed, and even though Pickett is healthy, the team is rolling with Rudolph.
At his Tuesday presser, Coach Tomlin said: “At the quarterback position, we’ll stay with Mason Rudolph. Much like in the spirit in which we worked a week ago, we’re just simply staying with the hot hand and not disrupting the apple cart.” Perhaps recognizing that this could be his last playoff run with the Steelers, Tomlin’s insistence on sticking with the hot hand could prove to be very wise.
In 2021, Rudolph talked about his Christian upbringing: “I couldn’t have had a better situation from a Christian-based perspective with two rock-solid parents. My mother was raised a Christian, my dad gave his life to Christ in high school.” Clearly, Rudolph is a prime example of what a traditional, Christ-centered household can do. It is highly unlikely that Rudolph actually uttered that word that got him clocked over the head, but if he did, he seems to have found his way and appears to be extremely thankful and blessed for another chance to play NFL football and maybe win a playoff game for the Steelers.