Haskins pushing for backup role


PITTSBURGH (WTAJ) — One of the developments of Steelers camp has been the quarterback battle building behind Ben Roethlisberger. In one corner, the incumbent fourth year man Mason Rudolph, versus the former first rounder Dwyane Haskins, who’s trying to hit the reset button on his career.

“He’s grown by leaps and bounds,” said head coach Mike Tomlin Tuesday. “He does a good job of communicating with coaches, with players, gaining an understanding of what we’re trying to do schematically and his role in it.”

Rudolph has never excited Steelers fans, but as the incumbent he’s already been named the starter for the Hall of Fame game Thursday night, while Haskins has been the highlights of camp, which has been a bit of a surprise for some. Asked whether he was in a quarterback competition with Rudolph, Haskins said Tuesday “I’m trying to make it one.” 

Haskins had a disastrous tenure with Washington, the team that spent it’s first round pick in 2018 on him. He was cut by Washington midseason in a move described as mutually beneficial. But like the narrative that floated around Jameis Winston and Drew Brees last season, Haskins sees this as an opportunity to learn from of the longest tenured quarterbacks in the league.

“I grew up watching Ben, so, it’s great to see how he operates,” Haskins said. “I try to learn as much as I can. Having guys like Alex Smith before, and having seasoned veterans. Every time I hear a nugget he says, or makes a check, or talks to a receiver about a detail, I try to learn as much as a can. Ben does a great job helping me out behind the scenes. He has a lot of nature, and learning of the game from a long time, so if I can take something, it’s better for me.”

Both quarterbacks are scheduled to make their preseason debuts Thursday in the Hall of Fame game against Dallas. Josh Dobbs is also expected to play Thursday, a seemingly fourth option for the Steelers.

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