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Tomlin: ‘All options’ on table at QB in 2022

PITTSBURGH (AP) — For the first time in Mike Tomlin’s long tenure as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he enters the offseason unsure of who his starting quarterback will be in the fall.

The only certainty is that it won’t be Ben Roethlisberger, who has given every indication he will retire after an 18-year career.

Maybe it’ll be Mason Rudolph, who has spent four years as an understudy with mixed results and is currently the only quarterback on the roster under contract for next season. Maybe it’ll be Dwayne Haskins, who flamed out in Washington before being given a lifeline by Tomlin last January. Maybe it’ll be a rookie. Or maybe a veteran free agent in need of a job.

To Tomlin, it’s a little exciting. And yeah, maybe a little weird.

“It’s a challenge, man,” Tomlin said Tuesday after his 15th season at the helm ended with a thud in a blowout loss to Kansas City in the opening round of the playoffs. “It kind of makes you uneasy. But I’ve learned to run to those challenges. I’ve learned to appreciate those challenges. The uncertainty surrounding them is inspiring to me in terms of producing work.”

Rudolph is 5-4-1 in his career as a starter, but struggled in his lone extended appearance this season, throwing a touchdown and an interception in an ugly tie with Detroit in November after Roethlisberger tested positive for COVID-19. Haskins flamed out in less than two seasons with Washington after being taken with the 15th overall pick in 2019 and served as Pittsburgh’s third quarterback in 2021.

“They’re guys that started,”î Tomlin said. “I wouldn’t characterize them as everyday starters … And so they’ll be given an opportunity to establish themselves, and there’s going to be competition.”

Tomlin has made no secret that he’d like to find a quarterback who can move, something that hasn’t been in Roethlisberger’s toolbox for several years.

“Man, quarterback mobility is valued not only by me, but everyone is just a component of today’s game and increasingly so,” Tomlin said.

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