Sometimes I truly believe Mike Tomlin just likes to mess around with the Pittsburgh Steelers faithful, and the media who cover them.
As Tomlin held his weekly press conference leading up to the team’s first meaningless, I mean preseason, game against the Philadelphia Eagles, he said how Ben Roethlisberger will not be playing when the team travels to the city of brotherly love.
No one with a solid head on their shoulders expected No. 7 would even step foot on the field for a Week 1 preseason game, but who played in his stead would be something of note. So, who will start in Roethlisberger’s place?
Good question — Tomlin isn’t saying.
Tomlin said he hasn’t decided on a rotation or how much each of the quarterbacks – Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs and rookie Mason Rudolph – will play, though it is expected Jones will start against the Eagles.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 7, 2018
As stated above by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it is expected fans will see Landry Jones under center when the team opens the game in the first quarter, but after Jones is certainly up for debate.
Joshua Dobbs and/or Mason Rudolph will be the ones conducting the offense for the remainder of the game, but how much each will play, and when, was not divulged. It is safe to say if Dobbs and Rudolph have three quarters to split, you could see them getting equal time. However, the difference between second quarter reps and fourth quarter reps in the preseason is a big deal. You go from backups, to players who are just trying to stay alive at the NFL level.
On top of the assumption Rudolph and Dobbs will split time, it is also safe to envision Tomlin flipping the script in Week 2 of the preseason. In other words, if Dobbs gets the nod after Jones on Thursday, Rudolph very well could assume that role in Week 2. Just to give each player a fair shake against better competition, and with more talent around them on the offensive side of the ball.
This is just one of the intriguing aspects of the preseason, and fans should stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they press on to the first preseason action of 2018.