With Ben Roethlisberger sitting out the Hall of Fame Game, Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins received plenty of chances to show Mike Tomlin each deserves the backup job. It remains a tight race after the quarterbacks’ first “test” as Tomlin refers to game action.
“I thought they did a nice job, particularly from a play clock standpoint,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “New verbiage and things of that nature. First time in the stadium with a real play clock. It’s difficult for us to simulate in practice settings. I thought they did a nice job managing some of those things, but largely, I thought all of their performances were positive.”
Rudolph played the first three series against the Cowboys and completed 6 of 9 passes for 84 yards. The Steelers scored no points, and Rudolph lost a fumble on a botched handoff to Chase Claypool.
Did he do enough to maintain a lead on Haskins, who joined the team in January?
“That’s not for me to decide,” Rudolph said. “That’s a coaching decision and way above my pay grade. There were good things and a couple mistakes, like there is often. I’ve got to clean it up and go build off better things. Listen, if you’re good in this league, you’re going to find a seat at the table, no matter what team.”
Haskins, the 15th overall choice of Washington in 2019, completed 8 of 13 passes for 54 yards. He played four series and led the Steelers to nine points in their 16-3 victory over the Cowboys.
“I liked his demeanor,” Tomlin said. “I thought he was a really good communicator. I thought he was present and kind of cerebral, the way that you like the quarterback position to be.”
Tomlin also noted that no one should sleep on Josh Dobbs, who went 4-for-6 for 37 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“He’s been with us before and performed similarly when given an opportunity,” Tomlin said. “This guy is not going to back down from the competition. You guys keep asking me about Rudolph and Haskins, man, he’s not going anywhere.”