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Mason Rudolph Thinks He Can Still Compete For Steelers Starting QB Job

Mason Rudolph throwing the ball for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09: Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass in the third quarter during the preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on August 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Eagles 31-14. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Kenny Pickett in the first-round of the 2022 NFL Draft, giving most fans the instant impression that he's going to start as a rookie.

But Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph wants to pump the brakes on that idea. The former third-round draft pick wants people to know that he believes he can still be the Steelers' starting quarterback.

Speaking to the media during Pittsburgh's OTAs this week, Rudolph made it clear that he feels he has an opportunity to be the starter. He said he's motivated to compete but recognizes that he can't control the decision-making process.

"Everything I want is still in front of me. I still have an opportunity to be a starter,” Rudolph said. “I can’t control what goes on on the second floor, but I’ve been told that and I’m excited to do my best to compete to be the guy. Everyone gets motivation from different places. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t motivate. That’s going to motivate any competitor.”

In four years with the Steelers, Mason Rudolph is 5-4-1 as a starter. He has 16 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 61.5-percent completion rate in 17 games played.

Competition will be stiff even without Kenny Pickett likely to get the job. Pro Bowler Mitchell Trubisky is going to be vying for the backup or starting job too if Pickett isn't up to the task.

Rookie seventh round pick Chris Oladokun could make a play for the third-string job and potentially displace either Rudolph or Trubisky too.

Mason Rudolph might have to focus less on the starting job and more on doing everything he can just to keep his roster spot.