Mason Rudolph legitimately did not expect to be back with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023. But on May 17th, they offered him a new one-year deal, and the quarterback accepted. Now, he’s back with the only NFL team he’s ever known and will serve as the third-string option behind backup Mitch Trubisky and starter Kenny Pickett.

On Friday, Rudolph addressed being back in the Steel City.

Via Joe Rutter of Trib Live:

“Never say never in this league,” Rudolph said.

“I’m fired up to be back,” he said. “It’s a great group of guys. I had some opportunities, but felt like I didn’t want to let things drag out until training camp when I knew I was wanted here. I’m happy to be back in the 412.”

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“I hadn’t really thought about (returning) to the Steelers,” Rudolph said before correcting his words. “I mean, I had thought about it, but I can’t say I was seriously considering it. As time went on, I was sitting there. I didn’t really want to continue to wait. It was a long wait already.

“Here, you know the offense, you know the system. I felt pretty confident I’d have gotten some opportunity at a camp with a team who didn’t draft a rookie quarterback or a team that had a guy who didn’t impress. But you’re never guaranteed anything.”

Rudolph was confident he could potentially earn his spot elsewhere, but he’s clearly content with being back in Pittsburgh, too. And to be honest, he knows Matt Canada’s playbook better than both other quarterbacks because he’s been with the franchise for such a long time.

If nothing else, Rudolph can serve as a mentor to Pickett and even Trubisky. Plus, with the NFL’s new rules about a third QB dressing on gameday, he gets to feel more like he’s part of the group.