PFB - JuJu Smith-Schuster Impressed with Mason Rudolph’s Deep Ball

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Greenhorn
Feb 17, 2018
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Last Sunday, Mason Rudolph impressed in his NFL debut, throwing for 112 yards and two touchdowns while spelling an injured Ben Roethlisberger. This coming Sunday, he’ll make his first career NFL start — and he’s already gained the confidence of Pittsburgh’s best player.

Earlier this week, Rudolph’s No. 1 wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster spoke with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio about the loss of Roethlisberger to season-ending injury and what he expects from Rudolph in his first full pro game.

When asked what he saw as Rudolph’s No. 1 strength, Smith-Schuster was quick to point out something that those of us around these parts are all too familiar with — his deep-ball acumen.

“He’s got the power to throw those deep balls over and down the field,” said Smith-Schuster. “I’ve seen him do it in college with James Washington, so I’m not surprised that that’s something that he’s really good at.”

I’m sure JuJu, like most of us, has spent countless hours rewatching YouTube highlights of Rudolph2Washington (probably not), but on Sunday he, himself, was a part of that big play connection.




Trickery in Pittsburgh: First completion of Mason Rudolph's career is a 45-yard flea flicker to JuJu Smith-Schuster. What a grab.pic.twitter.com/omT98ycKHi

— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 15, 2019


For the young receiver who recently took over the No. 1 spot for Antonio Brown, who departed in the offseason, Smith-Schuster could probably empathize with Rudolph’s current predicament. But for now Smith-Schuster is just ready to move forward with his new QB1.

“Just building that chemistry,” said Smith-Schuster. “Obviously, I’ve played with Mason before and we have those times where Ben didn’t practice because he had to rest up.

“Me and Mason, we go at it and we have the connection and that chemistry, but it’s his first game, his first start obviously, and it will be away against the 49ers. So I’ll be super excited to see what he can do and what we can show the world.”

The reality is that before Rudolph came off the sideline, Pittsburgh was well on its way to its current 0-2 start. The storied franchise has never reached to playoffs after losing its first two games.

But Smith-Schuster says that the Steelers locker room, and Pittsburgh brass, are 100 percent behind Rudolph.

“Coach Tomlin was talking about ‘You gotta stay positive. You gotta believe in No. 2’ and we all believe in 2 that he’s gonna got out there and get the job done.”



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