RUDOLPH OR HASKINS: Who Should Be Backup To Big Ben

Let’s get it out in the open. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger is getting older and will not be their quarterback forever. So my question is..who will be his backup in 2021?

I understand we all have our ideas of who should be at the helm should Roethlisberger go down (GOD FORBID)..but we have to keep that aspect in mind. So with that, let’s dig into a couple of facts on each quarterback option.

MASON RUDOLPH: Third Round..#76 In 2018 Draft

Photo courtesy of Sporting News

I am not going to beat around the bush, Mason Rudolph was not welcomed with open arms when he was drafted in 2018 by the Steelers. But light came to his drafting when fellow Oklahoma State University wide receiver, James Washington was tossed into the mix. A combination that never came to fruition.

Rudolph has had going on 4 years to prove himself worthy of being Big Ben’s predecessor, but has actually shown very little improvement. I mean..let’s be honest, the only thing we remember Mason accomplishing was getting helmet smacked by Cleveland Browns linebacker, Myles Garrett.

Not saying Mason is not a “decent” quarterback, although former Steelers backup, Devlin “Duck” Hodges had a more impressive run due to his injury. Just saying he hasn’t impressed whatsoever.

In 15 total games, Rudolph has accumulated 2089 yards, 15 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Not bad numbers, but where is the flash? What game do we really remember Mason taking control? There is none.

DWAYNE HASKINS: First Round..#15 In 2019 Draft

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Although Haskins may not have been all that productive with the Washington Redskins/Football Team, he wasn’t really surrounded by any top notch talent. Not to mention the sub-par coaching staff, but all of that can change in Pittsburgh.

ROETHLISBERGER ON HASKINS: “I was just telling Coach [Mike Sullivan] the other day that his release and throwing motion mechanics are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. I told him, I wish I had that. Just everything he does. And he throws the ball, I joked he could throw it through a car wash and it wouldn’t get wet.”

Pretty high praise for the future Hall of Famer, and something I never heard Big Ben say about Rudolph. Then again I never heard any positive words about Mason Rudolph out of Roethlisberger’s mouth. Either that or I must have missed it.

Look..I understand that Haskins’ 2804 yards and 12 touchdowns isn’t all that to stand up and clap about, but keep in mind that was with lesser targets in a 2 year..12 game span. As far as his attitude is concerned? Head coach Mike Tomlin is extremely capable of toning down that aspect. Fact is Dwayne has First Round Talent, it just needs to be honed in by a future Hall of Fame coach like Tomlin.

Long story short..I believe Dwayne Haskins will beat out Mason Rudolph for the #2 spot. This preseason will show Haskins value with his arm strength and mobility. But what do you think? Leave a comment down below telling me who should back up Big Ben and why. #HereWeGo

STEELERS WORLD 1: AFC North Quarterback Rankings

Ok, let’s get it in! I am about to share with you my personal AFC North quarterback rankings. And although a lot of fans from opposing teams may disagree, so what..because it is in fact my opinion. Do with it as you will.

1) “BIG” BEN ROETHLISBERGER: PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Now, you may think that I am just being a “HOMER” since I am a lifelong Steelers fan. But the truth of the matter is he is IN FACT the best quarterback in the division, regardless of what Mike Tannenbaum and Colin Cowherd have to say since they are haters and morons.

Let’s start with the obvious, Ben is the only quarterback in this division to go undefeated during his rookie campaign, only to lose to the New England Patriots (Cheatriots) in the playoffs.

Roethlisberger then went on to be the youngest quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl in his second season. This coming after promising former Steelers running back and Hall of Famer, Jerome Bettis the previous season that he would get The Bus an Lombardi Trophy. That alone should seal the deal.

But what makes Big Ben number one on my list is that after going through Tommy John surgery during the 2019 season, he came back the following year to throw for 3803 yards..33 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. Imagine if he played week 16 versus the Cleveland Browns. (Speaking of)

2) BAKER MAYFIELD(Heisman Winner 2017): CLEVELAND BROWNS

Keep in mind that as a Steelers fan, the ranking of Mayfield as the #2 quarterback in the AFC North really makes me want to puke! Mainly because he is a cocky Heisman Trophy winner who has never accomplished anything in the NFL (besides winning a playoff game against my Pittsburgh Steelers). Not to mention Cleveland Browns fans are like Dallas Cowboys fans..only worse.

But this ranking is about facts, and Baker has shown some improvement since being drafted back in the 2018 NFL Draft. The only problem is, he has yet crack that “ELITE” surface, plus his attitude is still a major issue.

Granted, Mayfield may have had his best QBR 95.9 rating last season, he still threw for less yards and less touchdowns than Roethlisberger. Can’t very well place Baker at the top now can we? Hell..in 2019 he threw 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions with more yards..yet he is improving.

Another reason Mayfield ranks above the others at #2 is due to Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, but one season does not prove a HC in Cleveland..or a?QB.

3) LAMAR JACKSON(Heisman Winner 2016): BALTIMORE RAVENS

Yeah..yeah..how dare me slap the 2019 MVP as the number three(3) quarterback in the AFC North? Well I will tell you why..”LAMAR JACKSON IS MORE OF A RUNNING BACK THAN A QUARTERBACK!” There..I said it

Look, Jackson is quick..elusive and talented, but he is a lesser Kordell Stewart more than anything. Mainly because Stewart had an arm and make the throws Lamar is unable to. It is a fact..prove me wrong. Not to mention, Kordell was quicker and more talented.

Still..this ranking has to do about quarterbacks, something that Jackson still desperately needs to work on. Throwing for 2757 yards, 26 touchdowns (7 less than Ben and tied with Baker) and 9 interceptions.

The problem with this is Lamar ran for 1005 yards on 159 carries, yet he still lost to Ben Roethlisberger twice last season. What other position should he be in other than third? I mean..at least Mayfield luckily won one against Ben (Baker barely beat Mason Rudolph in week 16).

4) JOE BURROW(Heisman Winner 2019): CINCINNATI BENGALS

It is really tough placing Bengals quarterback, Joe Burrow at the bottom of the AFC North list. The only reason I am doing so is because he is still “fresh meat”..who still has a lot to prove. As of yet he has shown he is the only QB in the division to not take his team to the playoffs last year.

Let’s face it, throwing for 2688 yards and 13 touchdowns obviously aren’t stats to place anyone at the top. The five(5) interceptions however is the lowest in the division. But less INTs and less TDs do not win GAMEs.

Case in point Pittsburgh Steelers fan or not, Roethlisberger’s numbers were better, won the division, and is the ONLY quarterback in the division to win two Super Bowls and “WAS NOT” a Heisman Trophy Winner makes him #1 in my book. Like I said before..prove me otherwise. #HereWeGo

Tannenbaum Is A Moron..Big Ben Is The Best QB in AFC North

Well Pittsburgh Steelers fans, ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum is at it again. Hating on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger without a clue of what he is talking about. I mean, the dude did work for two of the worst organizations(Miami Dolphins and New York Jets) but lets stick to the subject at hand.

TANNENBAUM: “Ben Roethlisberger is going to be bad, and I expect him to be benched by the middle of the season. He’s had a great career. It’s over.”

First of all, thank you Deke for putting this video on your YouTube channel. But I would have loved to see/hear what your partner in crime, Arthur Moats would have said on the situation.

The facts is Tannenbaum is in fact an idiot. He is ridiculing Roethlisberger for playing the same “Dink & Dunk” as Tom Brady, but yet Brady is praised for that style of play. As far as calling Big Ben Old? He is going on 39..Brady is 43..so his argument makes no valid point.

Deke also made a tremendous point. LaMar Jackson is not going to surpass his 2019 season. Joe Burrow is an up or down individual, he hasn’t proven himself yet, and Baker Mayfield will be the downfall of the Cleveland Browns. His crappy, cocky attitude will see to that..trust me.

Dan Orlovsky, who understands what it takes to play quarterback in the National Football League hit the nail on the head with his rebuttal to Tannenbaum’s ridiculous statement. Roethlisberger is the Best QB in the AFC North. Going 11-0 with the dink and dunk proved that.

ORLOVSKY: “Big Ben is not the problem with the Steelers offense. The problem with the Steelers offense is that their offensive line stinks, and that they don’t have a schematic identity.”

That has all been corrected in the off-season so far. The offensive line is younger now..stronger now..hungrier now. Drafting Kendrick Green in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft, and adding five time Pro Bowler, Trai Turner vamped the offensive line alone. Plus veterans Zach Banner, Chukwuma Okorafor and Kevin Dotson with notches in their belts makes the line better.

Long story short..Big Ben finished the 2020/21 season with 3,803 yards, 33 touchdowns with on 10 interceptions. With the improved line, and the addition of a “TRUE” running back, Najee Harris..look for those stats to improve. Due to a solid 3 to 4 down RB and a young o-line. Mark my words. #HereWeGo

TANNENBAUM: “Steelers Have The Worst QB In The Division?” 😂

Ok, first I will start with this..”WHO CARES WHAT THE FORMER GENERAL MANAGER OF THE MIAMI DOLPHINS THINKS?” Having said that, let’s get down to business.

For those of you who don’t know, former Dolphins GM, Mike Tannenbaum made a ridiculous prediction yet again. Stating that the Pittsburgh Steelers will finish last in the AFC North because they have..”the worst quarterback in the division.” Laughable.

I say “again” because this moron made the same prediction last season, saying he would choose Joe Burrow and Baker Mayfield over Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. And that Pittsburgh was going to finish last in the division, yet they won the division.

Check the video below with Ryan Clark and Kimberly Martin last August 2020 on ESPN:

Video courtesy of ESPN

“(The Steelers) are going to be last (in the AFC North) because they have the worst QB in that division,” Tannenbaum said. Click to see full article from The Spun.

Yeah? And how did that turn out Tannenbaum? In case you or anyone else forgot, let me remind you all. Because if you see, Roethlisberger finished 8th amongst quarterbacks, one(1) spot above Mayfield, three(3) above Lamar Jackson, Burrow much further down the list.

With that being said, Roethlisberger may be the oldest quarterback in the AFC North..but he is definitely not the worst. I mean..he swept the Cincinnati Bengals, swept the Baltimore Ravens, and split with the Cleveland Browns last season. So how does that make him the worst QB?

MEMO TO TANNENBAUM: STFU! You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Probably why the word “former” appears before GM in your title. #HereWeGo

Big Ben Knows How To Rally His Offense Around Him

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger is doing all the right things when it comes to getting his rookies to rally around him. And that is giving them the confidence as well as the praise they need to pump them up. Something Big Ben has been accomplishing since the beginning of OTA’s last week.

“I think this offense is going to be completely different,” Roethlisberger said, via Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews. “You’re going to see nothing that you’ve seen in the past … it’s new and taking some extra studying, but it’s a fun new challenge.” 

Something you’ve never seen in the past”..is a very strong comment to make, especially since the Steelers have had some high powered offenses in the past. But Ben went on to praise individual players as well.

Regardless of how it turned out for Dwayne Haskins with the Washington Football Team..or what these “so-called” NFL experts have to say about him, I will listen and believe Roethlisberger 10 times out of 10 over them all.

Keep in mind that the future Hall of Fame quarterback is not one to pass out compliments all Willy Nilly. But he did offer some high praise for new Steelers quarterback Haskins..along with rookie running back, Najee Harris.

“He doesn’t seem lost. It’s not too big for him. His head’s not spinning,” said Roethlisberger. “He’s asking questions, which is good, but he’s out there, and he’s playing fast.”

But like us as fans, Ben is also looking forward to Harris actually hitting the field in game mode.

“I think the most exciting part about Najee that we are all going to be excited to see is once he gets it and it clicks, and he goes full speed, man, it is going to be something to see.”

The 39 year old Roethlisberger is the epitome of a class act quarterback, getting his proverbial backup and his star running back ready to do work. And hopefully bring home that elusive 7th Super Bowl Championship. #HereWeGo

No..Mason Rudolph Does Not Deserve A Contract Extension

I know that there are a few fans that may disagree with me, but I am here to prove that the Pittsburgh Steelers do not..and should not offer a contract extension to quarterback, Mason Rudolph.

Since being drafted by the Steelers in the third round (76th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft, it was apparent that Pittsburgh may have studied Rudolph as successor to proverbial Hall of Fame quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Being that they traded their third round (79th overall) and seventh round (220th overall) to move up to pick him.

But then came the actual playing time under center in the National Football League, where Mason showed his mediocrity time and time again in the absence of Roethlisberger. This being basically stated by General Manager, Kevin Colbert when asked by Sports Illustrated.

Not saying that Rudolph’s campaign wasn’t impressive stat wise, going 176 for 283, with 1765 yards. Along with a 62.2% completion, 13 touchdown, 9 interception, 10 game season. But it was the struggle, and actions of the wide receivers that gained him those stats, not his play. Along with how the team seemed to had rallied around Devlin “Duck” Hodges more than they did Mason with his 5-4 record and one incomplete (The Myles Garrett Incident).

You gotta love how my homie, Jomboy brings in the commentary. You also gotta hate one major thing about Mason Rudolph..“In his career against the Cleveland Browns, he has yet to beat them!” And we all know as a QB for the Steelers, if you can’t beat the Clowns..you really don’t belong.

KEY POINT: Rudolph lost away to Cleveland in ‘Helmet Gate’ 21-7. Hodges beat the Browns at home 20-13. Mason then lost the following season to Cleveland in week 17.

Then you have the infamous quote by Steelers President, Art Rooney II that pretty much solidified that Rudolph should not..and will not be on the roster next season.

“We are comfortable that he (Rudolph) is a quarterback who can play in this league and be a starter in this league.”

Not once did Rooney mention “for this team” or “for this organization”..but “for this league” was his choice of words.

Long story short..Mason Rudolph just isn’t good enough. Why would Pittsburgh make the move to pick up Dwayne Haskins so quickly in the offseason? So say goodbye to Rudolph ladies who think he is “HOT!” Because “HOT” doesn’t win football games. #HereWeGo

Big Ben And Steelers Will Prove Naysayers Wrong

Look, I get it. I get that the Pittsburgh Steelers are the most hated team in the National Football League. Why? Because regardless of the (tainted) Super Bowl victories by Tom Brady and The New England Patriots, they are still the Best organization/team in the NFL. But it seems some “so-called” experts want to think otherwise.

These Colin Cowherd, Dan Graziano and Mike Tannenbaum types are obviously clueless when comes to football..especially the Steelers. Because if I am not mistaken, the team has not had a losing season since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted 11th overall in the 2004 NFL draft. But here is their ridiculous predictions.

GRAZIANO: “If this contract is the best the Steelers can do, they’re not in less trouble than they were. Will be very difficult to build around Roethlisberger.”

Really? Difficult to build around Roethlisberger? You mean the quarterback that has spent 18 years in the league? The quarterback in NFL history that accumulated 50 wins in his first 5 seasons? That Roethlisberger?

TANNENBAUM: “I hate this move. It guarantees (the) Steelers will have the worst QB in the division for another 2 years.”

LOL! When has Roethlisberger ever been the worst quarterback in the AFC North? Keep in mind, Ben beat Lamar Jackson twice, Baker Mayfield once after coming off a week off where he did not play. A situation I wish Mike Tomlin would have went against. Mason Rudolph barely losing to the Cleveland Browns the week before the playoffs.

VIDEO BELOW: Now let’s look at Roethlisberger’s accomplisments, and configure in why he restructured his contract..yet again. The last time he restructured, the Steelers went to the Super Bowl a third time with Big Ben at the wheel.

The stats speak for themselves. Ben as accumulated more records for the Pittsburgh Steelers than previous 4x Super Bowl Champion, Terry Bradshaw. Yet these “know it all” idiots think he is going to falter? The man is a machine! He is like a Chevy truck, you may have to apply maintenance once in a while, but it always comes back stronger.

So mark my words, the Steelers will remain at the top of the division next year, and every year Roethlisberger is the quarterback. I think we need to focus more on the offensive line and the running game before you try to break the QB position down.

What Did I Say..Ben Is Going Nowhere

Photo courtesy of The Athletic

You know it cracks me up how all of these high paid media outlets, and “so-called” Facebook GM’s can be so wrong all of the time. Because what I have said has come to fruition once again.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger met with on Monday:

“Ben Roethlisberger and I met yesterday morning and we had a productive meeting,” Rooney said in a statement. “We were able to discuss a lot of things that relate to where we are and where we want to go. Ben assured me that he is committed to coming back to help us win, and I told Ben that we would like to have him back to help us win a championship.

“We both understand that the next step is to work out Ben’s contract situation.”

Roethlisberger, who turns 39 next week, also could opt to take a pay cut to the veterans minimum, which would put his cap hit just over $23 million.

The final year of Roethlisberger’s current deal comes with a $41.2 million cap hit, although a contract restructure and extension could lower that by a maximum of about $14 million.

Regardless of what the media, former Steelers players and fans may think about the situation, their opinions mean absolutely nothing. Mr. Rooney and the coaching staff make the decisions..not them.

Looking forward to another exciting NFL season with Roethlisberger at the helm, and a plethora of wide receiver talent. #HereWeGo

PREDICTION: Najee Harris To Pittsburgh in 2021 Draft

Photo courtesy of the Alabama Crimson Tide

People laughed at me when I made this prediction before the NFL season ever ended. But it seems like more and more people are beginning to realize the importance of Alabama senior running back Najee Harris. Here is the breakdown of Harris according to thedraftnetwork.com

Harris is a versatile threat that was a rare case of a backfield rusher who played all four seasons in Tuscaloosa. A tall and upright runner, Harris is a blend of power, determination, and versatility as both a between-the-tackles runner and perimeter rushing threat. A comfortable pass-catcher out of the backfield, he’s made strides in his pass-catching ability every season. A running back that can have passing concepts designed around his abilities, he can routinely put second-level defenders in a bind with schemed patterns to attack coverage. A runner that always seems to fall forward when taking on contact, he’s a highly determined and physical rusher who forces defenders to tackle him to the ground through the echo of the whistle. Harris isn’t a running back who contains multiple gears, as he’s a flat-footed runner that paces his way through defenses. Another key attribute on his resume is his ability to finish drives with touchdowns. Few match Harris’ will and “want to” with getting into the endzone, as he led the country in scores in that area last season.

Ideal RoleFeatured top option running back.

Scheme FitMultiple scheme fit in both man/gap/power and zone-based blocking scheme.

Now sure the Pittsburgh Steelers do need to address their offensive line, at least they do at some point in time in the 2021 NFL Draft. But there are plenty of quality linemen entering the league this year, yet not many running backs stack up to Harris. The highlights below beginning as a “true” freshman will account for that.

Of course most people see Najee not available on the board at the 24th pick, and since the Steelers are not necessarily known to do the trade hiccup. Those people seem to forget exactly what Pittsburgh did to aquire Michigan linebacker, Devin Bush in the 2019 draft.

True..the Steelers don’t necessarily make moves, or trade away players or picks for one player. But once in a while they come across a gem they would be stupid to pass up. One of those gems was Bush, who before his season ending injury was having an amazing year.

Keep in mind the offensive line was not the problem with running back, James Conner’s production, it was Conner’s inability to stay healthy and move the sticks when needed. But Harris has the power, vision, awareness on the field and breakaway speed much needed to take the pressure off of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Summary: Najee Harris is a mixture of the power of Jerome Bettis, and the quickness..(though not as quick)..as Willie Parker. Passing up on him for an offensive lineman who can block, but unable to put points on the board would be a ridiculous decision. And points are how games are won, Harris will definitely fill that much needed void.