Mason Rudolph got off to the roughest of begins Monday evening. By game’s finish, everybody forgot about how half of Steelers’ Nation wanted to bench him for Duck Hodges.
Physically, Rudolph was all more than the location against the Miami Dolphins. Poor footwork, throwing off his back foot. Ball placement that was inconsistent, missing gimmie throws. Throws that lofted in the air that landed in arms of awaiting Dolphins’ defenders.
But mentally, he was rock strong. Not only with his toughness, placing these terrible plays behind him, but how he manipulated Miami’s secondary. Nowhere was that extra evident than his 26 yard touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
On the play, Miami is playing a Cover 1 defense. Man coverage with a single higher security. The Steelers come out in a 2×2 appear with Smith-Schuster aligned slot left to the top rated of the screen. He’s operating a slot fade to the left sideline. It is 1v1 coverage against backup corner Chris Lammons, a UDFA in his second year of football. That is the matchup you want to attack.
Now it is all about creating certain it is 1-on-1 and the security cannot make an influence on the throw.
So on the snap, Rudolph appears to his correct on his drop. That keeps the single higher security in his spot. As Rudolph hitches up, he flips to the left, recognizing JuJu has the 1-on-1 matchup, and fires it downfield.
Appear at it beneath. Sorry the video is a small choppy, that is on my finish and not yours (nevertheless functioning out the bugs in this new plan I’m working with), but I consider it illustrates issues effectively.
Here’s a appear at it from the ESPN aerial view. All about holding that deep security, the 1 the broadcast’s circled, so he cannot drive on the ball. If you stare down that throw or declare your intentions pre-snap, the safety’s got a opportunity to make a play.
This is not the very first time Rudolph’s completed this either. He held the deep security on his TD to Diontae Johnson back in Week three against San Francisco, once more attacking a very good matchup versus a weak cornerback. Watch him appear correct then come left to hit DJ for the score.
I’m not going to pretend that is the most sophisticated issue a quarterback can do but it highlights how effectively place-with each other Rudolph is above the neck. What he lacks in elite physical tools, he’s got an typical arm, beneath typical mobility (his mobility inside the pocket has shown improvement, although), he tends to make up for in his potential to manipulate defenders into generating throwing windows.
When his mechanics are sound, he’s capable to make some significant-time plays. Heck of a catch by Smith-Schuster on this 1, the pass is a small underthrown, but Rudolph helped make that a accurate jump ball scenario.