Steelers’ Mason Rudolph making most of first-team reps

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Quarterback Mason Rudolph might not play extended snaps for a few years, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are expediting the learning curve, and Rudolph is responding.

Rudolph, a 2018 third-round pick competing with Josh Dobbs for the No. 2 quarterback job behind Ben Roethlisberger, said after OTAs that he’s getting “a lot” more first-team reps in practices than a year ago.

The Steelers like to rotate quarterbacks in efforts to get Roethlisberger — who signed a three-year, $85-million extension in April — more rest.

“(Offensive coordinator) Randy (Fichtner) feels more comfortable with me and my knowledge,” Rudolph said. “I’m going to go in there and run the play and execute.”nike cheap nfl jerseys

Rudolph looks more comfortable and in command in year two. Despite a few forced throws, Rudolph has maintained good accuracy. He spent part of his offseason tracking down receivers for passing sessions — he found Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jaylen Samuels — and texting questions to coaches.8

“Second time around, you know how it works and it’s going to be 100 times better,” Rudolph said of his second training camp in late July. “Just going to be fun to throw the ball, have real practices. … You’ve got to do everything. … You’ve got to be able to manage (time) well, spend time in the playbook, the rulebook even.”

Rudolph stresses he isn’t concerning himself with two things: a quarterback competition, and his future outlook in light of Roethlisberger’s extension.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

He knows the preseason will largely determine who backs up Roethlisberger, and he plans to make his most compelling argument, without thinking about the race itself.

“I’ve always been a big believer in being the best version of yourself and competing,” Rudolph said. “Looking at yourself in the mirror, being a lot better than you were before. … (Competition) is never going to disappear. We all compete against each other and love each other and we have fun.”

Doing the math is easy: Roethlisberger and Rudolph have contracts that expire in 2022. Whether Roethlisberger plays out his new deal can complicate Rudolph’s future. The Steelers believed Rudolph was one of the best quarterbacks in the 2018 class and want to crystallize the project.