Mason Rudolph not allowed to call QB sneaks in Steelers offense
Following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in January of 2018, Ben Roethlisberger came clean: he wasn’t allowed to call a QB sneak. Despite a new quarterback and offensive coordinator, that hasn’t changed in Pittsburgh. Nobody — not Big Ben, nor Mason Rudolph — is audibling to a QB sneak.
“People that know me know that it’s not been one of my favorite things in the world to do,” Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I wouldn’t mind in certain situations, but when it’s obvious situations — fourth-and-1, third-and-1 — it really isn’t something I’m interested in doing. I value our quarterback. There’s a lot of stuff going on in those piles. Just the truth be known, if we can’t hand it to one of our backs and we can’t block them, then we don’t deserve to win that down.”
Fichtner values his quarterback and probably doesn’t want to go to the third-string for the rest of the season. However, that doesn’t mean he should avoid a sneak as a whole.
It’s an effective play that rarely ends up in a quarterback being hurt; when was the last time you’ve seen one get hurt off of a sneak?
For what it’s worth, Rudolph enjoys sneaking.
“I would love to do that. I tell him that every week. ‘If you want to call it, go ahead. I’ll get it for you and we’ll keep the chains moving.’ It’s just a matter of who he gives it to, what he calls, and we’re going to execute whatever decision he makes,” Rudolph said.
However, unless Fichtner calls one, it won’t be happening any time soon for Rudolph.