Outgoing Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert gives QB Mason Rudolph vote of confidence

PITTSBURGH — With the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback occupation is formally up for grabs.

On Monday, outgoing normal supervisor Kevin Colbert gave previous backup Mason Rudolph a vote of self-confidence.

“If we started a year now, Mason would be our starter, and we are enthusiastic to see where that can go,” Colbert stated in his once-a-year availability with local media prior to the NFL merge. “Mason’s 5-4-1 as an NFL starter, albeit in a backup sort of part, but we are thrilled to see what is subsequent for Mason.”

Rudolph started out one particular match for the Steelers in 2021, an 11th-hour choice soon after Roethlisberger examined beneficial for COVID-19 a day in advance of the 7 days 9 sport from the Detroit Lions. Rudolph concluded 30 of 50 makes an attempt for 242 yards with a person landing and one interception in a recreation that concluded in a tie. In 2019, Rudolph begun 8 game titles after Roethlisberger’s period-ending elbow injuries. It was a tumultuous season for the then-second-year quarterback that concluded with him completing 62% of his attempts with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

But the Steelers invested in Rudolph’s growth, hiring Matt Canada as quarterbacks coach for the subsequent year. Immediately after Canada was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2021, the group brought in respected quarterbacks mentor Mike Sullivan to get the job done with the group.

“I am cozy that Mason has gained additional game titles than he’s dropped as a starter,” Colbert claimed. “Where by that can go, we will see. To be an NFL starter that you can gain with, you gotta prove it more than 16 online games. I am nervous to see that, if which is the scenario.”

Rudolph, who is getting into his fifth calendar year with the business, is the only quarterback on the roster currently less than deal for the 2022 period, but Colbert additional that he expects the team will tender former initially-round pick Dwayne Haskins, who used most of 2021 as the scout-staff quarterback.

“We’re energized to see what Dwayne can offer possibly from level of competition, or possibly he evolves as a starter,” Colbert mentioned.

But the Steelers aren’t halting there.

“We know we’re heading to increase to the place,” Colbert explained. “I can not convey to you how, but at this place we will go to camp with 4.”

With two quarterback spots seemingly up for grabs, Colbert, Art Rooney II and Mike Tomlin have talked about every possible avenue for introducing to the team. The workforce could find a quarterback with their No. 20 total decide, or it could discover absolutely free company and the trade industry.

“The draft class of quarterbacks, you will find very good good quality accessible — probably not as lots of as there have been in latest several years, but it is what it is,” Colbert reported.

The Steelers received a superior glimpse at some of people potential clients at the Senior Bowl, such as Liberty’s Malik Willis and North Carolina’s Sam Howell. Colbert has also saved an eye on Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett, owning a front-row seat to his Heisman-finalist period from the amenities the Steelers and Pitt share.

“This group, there’s great gamers in it,” Colbert claimed. “And you will find good players that all have a different talent established. Which is what was seriously special about looking at them compete at the Senior Bowl, simply because the the vast majority of them were being there, and they are all distinctive. I know some of them will be starting quarterbacks, successful quarterbacks, and that is interesting.”

Colbert’s — and the team’s — top rated priority this offseason is locating a article-Roethlisberger plan at quarterback, but the Steelers also have to replace Colbert. The longtime typical manager is stepping aside just after April’s NFL draft. Colbert informed Tomlin and Rooney II that 2021 was heading to be his past year as typical manager in May well 2021, but he may well continue to be all around the corporation in a different job, he claimed.

“It’s time, I imagine, from a own standpoint, and I assume it can be time from a experienced standpoint,” Colbert stated. “We generally have to be open up to new methods to do issues and additional recent ways to do issues, fairly honestly. And I motivate our young scouts to force me in that regard, but the far better answer may be outdoors the business. We really don’t know, but I just feel from a personalized facet, for confident, it is really time, but even from a experienced facet, we have to be open up to trying to stay forward of the recreation.”

To uncover Colbert’s replacement, Colbert and Rooney II are interviewing candidates. The initially spherical of interviews will be executed by early March, with the 2nd round expected to be accomplished after the NFL draft. Tomlin is involved in the course of action now, but Colbert stated the head mentor will have an even increased job in determining the subsequent common supervisor following the draft.

So significantly, the Steelers have interviewed 7 external candidates for the posture alongside with two internal prospects in Omar Khan and Brandon Hunt.