After Mason Rudolph‘s first start as the Steelers quarterback, offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner lamented the second-year player’s reluctance to throw the ball down the field.
Fichtner again pushed Rudolph to take more risks after a win over the Colts by saying the quarterback has to “be prepared to pull the trigger and live with that consequence” as an NFL quarterback. Fichtner didn’t have any similar criticisms of Rudolph’s performance in Week 10.
The Steelers put the ball in Rudolph’s hands often during a crucial eight-minute drive in the fourth quarter of the game and it paid off for them. He was 6-of-7 for 64 yards while converting two third downs and a fourth down from the Steelers’ 34-yard-line with the team clinging to a two-point lead.
“I think it was his best game of consistently making decisions and putting the ball in proper spots,” Fichtner said on Tuesday. “That led to opportunities down the field. And he did a nice job with it, put balls in places we could catch them.”
Rudolph remains a work in progress six starts into his NFL career, but the trajectory is a good one and the Steelers’ growing belief in the quarterback was on display late in last Sunday’s win.