PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Steelers President Art Rooney II said the team feels good about its quarterback situation heading into next season.
The team lost starter Ben Roethlisberger to injury in Week 2 and had to rely on backups Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges as the team battled for a postseason berth.
Rooney II expects Roethlisberger back under center in 2020.
“We feel good about it,” Rooney II told KDKA’s Bob Pompeani in an exclusive interview. “Obviously, we have to monitor it as the offseason progresses. But for now, we feel good about Ben coming back and playing at a high level next year and Mason being his backup. I don’t think, at this point, we really plan to explore brining in another veteran backup QB.”
Rudolph finished the year averaging 176.5 yards per game, 13 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Rooney II praised Rudolph’s resiliency after the QB dealt with multiple injuries.
“He certainly had an unusual year,” Rooney II said. “A lot of ups and downs and weather a lot of different storms. Hopefully, he came out of it battled-tested and learned a lot. I felt like particular at the end, if he could have stayed healthy, I think he would have helped us make the playoffs.”
The team president also said retaining linebacker Bud Dupree is a priority.
Dupree set career highs with 11 1/2 sacks and 16 tackles for loss last season.
“We feel great about Bud. We’d like to have him back,” Rooney II said. “It’s certainly a priority to get him back and we’ll be evaluating the best way to do that.”
The Steelers may have an extra preseason game on their schedule next season as there is a chance the team plays in the 2020 Hall Of Fame Game.
“I’d say there is a pretty good chance of that,” Rooney II said. “They may have to expand the stadium the way this is going.”
Rooney II also does not know yet if the team will appear on ‘Hard Knocks.’
“We have no control over the Hard Knocks situation,” he said. “If it happens, it happens. We’ll have to adust. It’s not something we would necessarily look forward to.”