IS MASON RUDOLPH ON HIS WAY OUT THE DOOR

Photo courtesy of Useless Daily

According to Gerry Dulac of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, veteran quarterback Mason Rudolph most likely will not be on the 53 man roster at the start of the season. Something that became evident after the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Kenny Pickett(20th) and Chris Oladokun(241st) picks overall.

I mean let’s face it, we all saw this coming, it’s just that Rudolph just doesn’t fit the Pittsburgh mold. But even Mitch Trubisky, who was signed by the Steelers in the offseason as the apparent front-runner as the starter will have to battle for that spot.

“Regardless what role Pickett will eventually assume in the offense, the reality is his arrival puts Trubisky in an awkward, tenuous position,” Dulac said on Sunday. “Six weeks ago, Trubisky’s signing in free agency was met with much hope and anticipation — a former No. 2 overall pick looking to pull a Ryan Tannehill-like resurrection with the Steelers. Now, after one bad game, maybe even just one interception, all he will hear is the fans crying for Pickett. The same is true for Rudolph, though he is likely to be traded before the season rather than be the starter.”

Now retired General Manager, Kevin Colbert expressed his semi-faith in Mason Rudolph after the retirement of proverbial Hall of Fame quarterback “Big” Ben Roethlisberger. But the signing of the former Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills, Trubisky showed he was not all that confident as he made it out to be.

“If we started a season today, Mason would be our starter,” said Colbert. “He’s 5-4-1 as a starter. We’re excited to see what’s next for Mason.”

“We know we’re going to add to the position, I can’t tell you how at this point. We will go to camp with four. If we had to start today with Mason as our starter, let’s go. We’ll try to build the best team around him.”

Mason is due to earn just over $3 million this season. But, if Pittsburgh were to cut Rudolph , it would only result in a dead money cap hit of just over $1 million. Which means the Steelers could trade or release him with little damage to the salary cap.

Look at it this way..if Mason Rudolph completely outshines 7th round draft pick Oladokun, then he has a chance. But if Oladokun comes into OTAs and training camp the way the Steelers expect him to, Rudolph is definitely gone. IMO #HereWeGo

PITT ALUM RIDDICK IN LINE TO REPLACE COLBERT AS STEELERS GM

Photo courtesy of sportsmediawatch.com

We all as Pittsburgh Steelers fans were most likely in tears with the retirement of long time General Manager, Kevin Colbert. But we also know the saying..”All Good Things Must Come To An End.” And at those endings..always brings on new beginnings.

ESPN analyst Louis Riddick has been mentioned as one of the front-runners for the new General Manager for the Steelers. This becoming well known after the University of Pittsburgh alum and football player made his speech at the Pitt commencement ceremony on Sunday.

Riddick, called Pittsburgh draft “great”..but because he knew that some would make a connection between him and the general manager vacancy for which he has interviewed.

“It’s funny, I tried not to concentrate on their draft too much,” Riddick said with a grin. “Because I didn’t want anyone going, ‘Ah, look at him, I see what he’s trying to do.”

I completely understand what Louis is trying to say. He is saying if he spoke too much on the Pittsburgh Steelers draft, the media would try to put 2 and 2 together..only to come up with 5. Because let’s face it, that’s exactly what the NFL media does.

But Riddick, a safety from Pitt drafted in the 9th round of the 1991 NFL draft interviewed with the Steelers back in March. And is actually only one of four candidates not currently tied down with any other NFL franchise. Still..he kept “tight-lipped” on the entire situation.

“I can’t say very much,” Riddick said. “Simply because this is something that it needs to play itself out. Obviously, everyone knows what my connection is to [Pitt] and this city — what that would mean for me, what that would mean for my family and how it would be kind of like a full-circle moment for me.

“But we’ll just let this play out. Obviously, there are a lot of other good candidates. Mr. Rooney is someone who I don’t think anyone here has any lack of trust in making the right decision, and he’ll do just that. However it shakes out, it won’t change my connection to this city, this university and anything else that’s involved. We’ll see what happens.”

Riddick. 53, has 13 years of front office experience beginning with the then Washington “Redskins” Commanders back in 2001. He then rose to director of player personnel in 2005 to 2008, before joining the Philadelphia Eagles as a pro scout.

After being promoted to Director of Pro Personnel, General Manager Howie did not renew his contract in 2013. Since then, Riddick has moved into the media world, with the occasional report that a team is considering him to be its general manager.

In my opinion, someone with such NFL experience both on the field, as a scout, in the front office and as an analyst should get a second or third look as a General Manager in the National Football League. And being a Pitt alum and Pennsylvania native, Louis Riddick should fit right in with the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HereWeGo

Should CB Surtain II Be Steelers First Pick Over RB Harris?

Look, I am not going to lie. I believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers should use their first round pick (24th overall) on a running back. That running back being none other than, Najee Harris out of Alabama. But what if Harris is off the board at number 24? What position should the Steelers address besides the much needed RB position?

Enter Patrick Surtain II. The 6’2″..208 lb cornerback also out of Alabama is definitely one of the elite defensive backs in the 2021 NFL Draft. But, is he an absolute necessity for Pittsburgh at such a high price? Personally, I don’t believe he is an absolute NEED!

Since it has been stated “you go with the best player on the board” (Surtain ranked #16/Harris ranked #22) you also go by team needs. I mean, if the best player on the board is an inside linebacker, and you have three Pro Bowl ILBs and five potential starters on your roster are you picking an ILB? No. Having said that, the Steelers have a number of talented players in the DBs position.

With interchangeable defensive backs like Joe Haden, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmonds, Cam Sutton and Justin Layne..plus James Pierre licking his chops, I think we can hold off from picking up a corner until the second round.

After all it wasn’t the pass defense that was the problem last year, it was the lack of a run game that exposed Pittsburgh offense for what it was..one dimensional.

The Steelers had an abysmal running game last season, ranking 32nd in the National Football League. THIRTY SECOND! You don’t believe me? Look it up. Now ask yourself, when has that ever happened?

Of course, a lot of analysts and “so-called fans” blame the lack of a running game on the offensive line. A line coated with Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro..you know the rest. Cutting it short to focus on the the facts.

But..running back, James Conner (who I think was a great story) was not the answer. Hell, LeVeon Bell wasn’t the answer to Jerome Bettis, Willie Parker or DeAngelo Williams. Najee Harris can become that answer we are looking for.

Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin and general manager, Kevin Colbert have expressed interest in both Crimson Tide football studs. But the reality is Harris along with a veteran free agent like an Adrian Peterson to mentor the young backfield could be exactly what the doctor ordered.

So in my honest, biased opinion I think if Najee Harris is still on the board at number twenty-four, we pick Najee Harris. If not? Then you can only hope another “pro ready” running back is available. Only then do we entertain the CB position, but hey..it is just my opinion. I am not the ones behind the scenes making the decisions. Finger crossed for Najee. #HereWeGo