Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins excited at prospect of competing to be Steelers' QB1 next season

What's next for the Pittsburgh Steelers at quarterback is a prevailing offseason question for the first time in almost 20 years.

Ben Roethlisberger is all but retired, pending an official announcement, and head coach Mike Tomlin and the club are proceeding under the assumption that Big Ben will hang it up.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that a likely scenario is current Steelers quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins and Mason Rudolph will have a shot at competing for the spot, while Pittsburgh also adds a QB in the draft.

It's an opportunity ahead that Rudolph and Haskins are each relishing.

Paramount in either emerging as the Steelers' QB1 will be exhibiting leadership and playing to their potential.

"I can maybe be a bit more myself, being the leader that I've always been at the quarterback position and not worried about stepping on the toes of a longtime Hall of Fame player," Rudolph said, via ESPN's Brooke Pryor.

Said Haskins: "I definitely feel like I could be a starter in this league. I got drafted for that reason. I definitely believe I have talent to play with the best of them, but really, I just haven't put it all together yet. And that's something I have to do this offseason in order to put myself in that position to play."

Haskins didn't play at all in 2021 for the Steelers after signing with them in the offseason.

The 15th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Washington Football Team, Haskins proved to be a bust for Washington. He lasted just two seasons and was 3-10 as a starter with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

As a hopeful reclamation project under the tutelage of Tomlin, Haskins was signed to a reserve/futures contract last year. He's set to become a restricted free agent, but is grateful for the prospect of a second chance with the Steelers.

"They're giving me a chance to compete and I have a chance to start," Haskins said. "That's all I could ask for."

Rudolph had a chance previously to show his mettle as the Steelers' starter with Roethlisberger injured in 2019. Pittsburgh's 2018 third-round draft choice largely struggled, going 5-3 as a starter with 1,765 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions and an 82.0 QB rating.

"I'm ready to get the opportunity again to prove myself," Rudolph said. "I understand what I've put on tape in 2019, and up to this point, there's still question marks on my game, and I want to prove those people wrong. And I want to prove to myself and to my teammates. It's one day at a time."

The question – and competition – as to who will be Roethlisberger's successor is just getting started.

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