Ben Roethlisberger is right about Mason Rudolph. He won’t help the Steelers win now. Then again, that wasn’t the team’s objective in drafting him.
Ben Roethlisberger is right about Mason Rudolph. He won’t help the Steelers win now. Then again, that wasn’t the team’s objective in drafting him. Pittsburgh moved up to take him in order to protect the franchise’s long-term future. It wasn’t a pick designed to maximize Big Ben’s window in Steel Town.
Big Ben has talked to the media quite a bit about the Rudolph pick since the draft. His latest comments questioned the team moving up to take the quarterback because of his lack of ability to “help the team win now.” Per Roethlisberger, there were other players available in the third round who could have helped the Steelers win more games this season.
He’s not wrong. Unless Roethlisberger misses time due to injury it’s unlikely that Rudolph will even see the field this season. Even if Big Ben is forced to miss a game or two, it’s entirely possible Mike Tomlin would go with Landry Jones or Joshua Dobbs over the rookie.
That doesn’t mean the team was necessarily wrong to take Rudolph, though. The purpose of the NFL Draft isn’t just for teams to select the players who will help them win the most games in the following season. That must be a consideration for every NFL franchise, but it isn’t the only consideration.
Teams must also try to positions themselves well for the future. That means front offices have to project what their franchise might need three or four years down the line. When Pittsburgh officials looked that far ahead, they clearly saw a need for a starting quarterback. Roethlisberger is tough but Father Time is undefeated. His career with the Steelers is clearly winding down.
It would be nice if Roethlisberger would let his career age a bit more gracefully. Instead, he’s playing the role of petulant child. He needs to stop talking to the media about Rudolph and start worrying about preparing for next season. In a perfect world he’d also serve as a mentor for Rudolph but that doesn’t seem likely at this juncture.
Rudolph isn’t going to help Pittsburgh win games this season, but its hope is he can ease the team’s transition away from Big Ben in the future. Roethlisberger doesn’t like that philosophy, but it doesn’t make it any less valid for the Steelers.