Mike Tomlin framed it as an ongoing battle.
And Randy Fichtner provided the update.
Speaking with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews, Fichtner gave his evaluation of Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs.
“They’re both different types of quarterbacks,” Fichtner explained. “Josh is very mobile and he’s not afraid to break it down with his legs. He’s made some really big plays for us.”
Dobbs’ mobility is unique for a quarterback and he’s already dazzled when pulling the ball down. His 49 yards rushing on three carries makes him the leader in rushing yards through two games. But Dobbs doesn’t look to exclusively run either. He’s shown the ability to hang in the pocket and run only when he has to, not at the first sign of trouble.
Fichtner then discussed Rudolph’s progression in that critical Year One to Year Two jump.
“Mason’s done a nice job improving on pocket passing, pocket movement, delivery of the football and making better decisions. I told him in the beginning protecting the ball will be as important as anything.”
Nowhere was Rudolph’s pocket presence more evident than this 3rd down completion to Xavier Grimble Saturday night. The slide to his left to avoid the blitzing DB, buying enough time to get the ball out.
Love the pocket movement by Mason Rudolph on this 3rd down. Feels the DB blitz, slides to his left, sets his feet, fires the completion to Xavier Grimble.
Movement in the pocket > Movement outside the pocket pic.twitter.com/tqBzki3ydK
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) August 18, 2019
Fichtner echoed what Tomlin said, that it’s still an open battle, and they have let both guys know that from the start of the year.
“I think they have really done a good job in the competition. They help each other too. They’re good professionals. They’re both trying to get better for the good of the Pittsburgh Steelers first and for themselves second. I’m proud of that.”
Despite Tomlin downplaying his performance, Rudolph seems to have the advantage right now for the #2 spot. But Dobbs has always made strong pushes for the roster at the end of the year. It wasn’t until his impressive performance against Carolina a year ago that he cemented his spot, bumping Landry Jones off the roster. Of course, he’ll have to hold off Devlin Hodges. Hodges has played as well as you can expect from a UDFA 4th stringer.