NFL training camps are headlined by position battles, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting the most interesting one between quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett. Plus Mason Rudolph.
Rudolph is the only QB who is not a newcomer, but he's not seen as the one with the best chance to win the battle. However, it's definitely time people realize he's right in the thick of it. During a radio interview on 93.7 The Fan, Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada said Rudolph has a "great shot" to win the job.
"Mason's getting the second reps right now, almost equal to, maybe slightly less than Mitch," Canada said, (via Pro Football Talk). "He's being given a very fair shot. To this point in camp, it might have been exactly equal. Mason has made a lot of plays at times, he's played very well at times for us. He's got a great shot at it. He's being treated that way. His history with our plays, with our system, is a positive for him."
The 27-year-old started just one game last year, completing 30 of 50 attempts for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a 16-16 tie with the Detroit Lions in Week 10. In four seasons, Rudolph has started a total of 10 games, winning five of them.
A reason Rudolph hasn't been seen as a top contender in this battle is because he hasn't done enough in his maybe somewhat limited opportunities to earn the title of Ben Roethlisberger's successor. It's why Pittsburgh clearly targeted Trubisky in free agency, then drafted Pickett in the first round.
The way CBS Sports' Bryan DeArdo sees it, Trubisky is in the driver's seat of this battle, but he also says Rudolph has been helping his cause. That shouldn't come as a surprise since he's the most experienced quarterback in this system, and it's early in training camp. There's plenty of reps to be had and plenty of drills to go, but keep an eye on the signal-caller who knows this franchise best.