Diontae Johnson: A lot of upside to Mason Rudolph

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Sunday night’s loss to the Chiefs ended the Steelers season and anyone who watched the 42-21 Kansas City win is surely aware that it almost certainly also marked the end of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s career.

The prospect of life without Roethlisberger was a topic of conversation during wide receiver Diontae Johnson‘s final media session of the season. Johnson said it will be “different” without Roethlisberger around and that he knows he’ll have to “get that connection down” with next year’s starter.

Johnson mentioned that will be the case with “whoever they bring in,” but the team will have Roethlisberger’s backup Mason Rudolph back with the team. Johnson was asked how much upside he sees in Rudolph’s game.

“I see a lot. Mason is a great player, great quarterback,” Johnson said. “He’s smart. Playing with him my rookie year, he’s shown he can win us games. In those tough moments, too, he can make plays. He’s relaxed. And at times on the sideline this year, he was always on it, telling us what to look for, what coverages they mostly were in. Just throwing out plays we could use to beat certain coverages and whatnot. So, he’s a great player. I’m sure he’s going to work his tail off to compete for the starting job. I’m pulling for him.”

The Steelers also have Dwayne Haskins on the roster and it remains to be seen what other moves they make in the coming months to fill out the group. The size of those swings will likely determine how much of a chance Rudolph has to be the next man up in Pittsburgh.

24 responses to “Diontae Johnson: A lot of upside to Mason Rudolph

  1. Sounds like he’s a valuable backup. Based on what we’ve seen so far, that’s the ceiling.

    Alright Steelers fans, let’s play a game. I’m a Vikings fan, but let’s pretend I’m the GM. Kirk Cousins is available. He makes a $35M fully guaranteed base salary next year in the last year of his deal. You have $43M in cap space. I’m open to eating some of the salary, which obviously costs you more in picks. What’s your offer?

  2. Hmmm. A QB who can’t move in the pocket throwing to a receiver who can’t catch. What could go wrong.

  3. Steeler fans he to look at a major rebuild that won’t take just one year. Rudolph needs to have a decent O line to showcases his talents and with a so so QB class this year it’s better to keep him and address the other areas of need first…O-line, d- line, LB’s and CB’s. We wait a long time for Ben and those types are rare and worth waiting for.

  4. If the Steelers play next season with either Haskins or Rudolph as their stating QB it will be very ugly indeed

  5. Pittsburgh obviously has no problems with the off-the-field concerns that other teams may have, so Jameis Winston seems like the perfect replacement for Big Ben.

  6. Alright Steelers fans, let’s play a game. I’m a Vikings fan, but let’s pretend I’m the GM. Kirk Cousins is available. He makes a $35M fully guaranteed base salary next year in the last year of his deal. You have $43M in cap space. I’m open to eating some of the salary, which obviously costs you more in picks. What’s your offer?

    If you will agree to pay $15M of this seasons salary, I will give the Vikings a ham sandwich in 2022 and, if he gets us to the playoffs, a ham and cheese sandwich in 2023.

  7. OK Trunorth

    Steelers offer w/b Rudolph and a 2nd rd pick, and Vikes picking up $5m/yr of Cousins contract.

    Despite that, the Steelers need to invest a LOT of $ in their O-line, and Cousins is, at best, an 9-8 or 8-9 QB in Pitt.

  8. If the Steelers play next season with either Haskins or Rudolph as their stating QB it will be very ugly indeed

    You mean like this years Patriots? Don’t forget the Steelers D will only get better…..and of course no cheating.

  9. Everyone was making the same jokes about Josh Allen after his first 2 1/2 seasons. Now they’re quiet. The difference is experience. Let Rudolph get a couple years under his belt, and he’ll be similar to Big Ben. The Pittsburg fans will love him, just as Bills fans love Allen. Doesn’t happen overnight with young QBs.

  10. Diontae you are very talented but please when you catch the ball next year can you learn how to run forward please?

  11. The Steelers can be no worse on offense next year with Rudolph as qb as they were this year. The Steelers actually went close to 10 games in the 1st half this season without scoring and still makes the playoffs. The arrow can only point up.

  12. What does Mason Rudolph’s teammate from Oklahoma State, James Washington, have to say about him?

  13. tiredofcowards – you are a tough negotiator. I think the Vikes will get more than that for Cousins, but will admit that if your offer were the best offer, I would take the deal!

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