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Pittsburgh Steelers Fact or Fiction: Starting Anew Edition

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After a bizarre start for the Pittsburgh Steelers, BTSC takes five bold statements surrounding the current state of the team and labels them as Fact or Fiction.

NFL: Preseason-Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers have so many more questions that have arisen since the Steelers stumbled to an 0-2 start to 2019, Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending injury that led to Mason Rudolph’s promotion to QB1 and the daring trade of a No. 1 pick in 2020 for Minkah Fitzpatrick. Because of all of this, BTSC anticipates the storylines and issues bold statements regarding each one of them. Let’s take a look and deem them as fact or fiction.


The Steelers can not win with any quarterback other than Ben Roethlisberger.

Fiction

Way before Ben’s injury, and I’m talking years, the sentiment has been that all would be lost for the Steelers should anything happen to No. 7. While losing their future HOF passer is less than ideal, the Steelers are 5-3 in games in which Big Ben hasn’t started since the 2014 season and 12-9 in his career. That’s not exactly Armageddon. There are 53 professionals on the active roster who are tasked with trying to right this ship. I’m interested to see how they respond.


The play-action pass will make a welcome return under Mason Rudolph.

Fact

Roethlisberger employed the play-action 15% of the time in 2014, that was the most in the past two seasons. Rudolph used it 30% of the time in two quarters of play against Seattle. While Ben is comfortable running his offense out of the shotgun formation and running the spread, MR2 will benefit from faking the defense into thinking a running play is occurring. It will help the receivers get more separation.


Rudolph essentially has two WR1 at his disposal.

Fact

To say that Mason Rudolph and James Washington didn’t compliment one another in an epic manner in college would be a flat-out lie. Over the course of four seasons and 42 games, the Oklahoma State duo combined for 4,188 yards, 206 receptions and 35 touchdowns. These numbers made the tandem the most prolific QB and WR in school lore respectively. They’ve also collaborated comfortably in preseason affairs. The two have such of an on-field rapport that less attention will have to be paid to JuJu Smith-Schuster...giving both of the receivers the opportunity to get open and run wild.


The Steelers players would rather have Minkah Fitzpatrick over a potential top-five pick in 2020.

Fact

For the same reason that Fitzpatrick wanted out of a Miami because of tanking, the players in Pittsburgh don’t want to give up on the season. In fact, there are those that want to secure their position and legacy for 2020 and beyond. They don’t want the stigma of not getting the job done and they surely don’t want to lose so the team can draft their replacement. Plus, Minkah could help to solidify the secondary now. It’s like Christmas coming early.


Starting in Week 3, the Steelers have a new Offensive Coordinator at the helm.

Fiction, but in theory...Fact

It’s no surprise that I have attested in the past that Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger, not Randy Fichtner, was the OC in the 412. When Mason Rudolph sauntered to the line of scrimmage at the start of the second half against Seattle, the scheme seemed to change dramatically. Of course, you need to adapt to who is behind center. However, the game plan seemed more innovative and less predictable. It definitely had Fichtner’s fingerprints all over it. Maybe we finally get to see the man’s plans in action.


Are these statements valid? We will soon see. What matters most is your opinions on the matter. Please state them in the comments below.