Mason Rudolph wasn’t out there for an extended stretch against Kansas City’s starting defense, but he went up against the Chiefs’ No. 1s long enough to know they were there.
“When you’re going one against one (first-team offense against first-team defense), that’s always exciting to do,” Rudolph acknowledged late Saturday night at Heinz Field. “Obviously, I had only done that once against Green Bay last year (Aug. 16, 2018). So it was a new set of faces and numbers and some good players out there.
“It matters, but as long as we control what we can control on offense they can have whoever they want on defense, and as long as we execute we’ll move the ball.”
Rudolph started at quarterback in what ended up as a 17-7 preseason victory over Kansas City.
The Chiefs began subbing liberally on the Steelers’ fourth possession, and the Steelers’ third possession had only lasted once play due to a fumble by wide receiver Donte Moncrief.
But Rudolph also got a chance at significant snaps players the Steelers will be relying upon as starters on offense this season during what ended up as a 10-for-15 night passing for 77 yards.
“Good to get in there with a new group, with Moncrief and (wide receiver) JuJu (Smith-Schuster) and (running back) James (Conner) and some of the O-line, the starter guys (tackle Alejandro Villanueva and guard Ramon Foster),” Rudolph said. “It was fun, a new group to jell with.
“Every opportunity you get I try to make the most of it. I thought we did (Saturday night).
EXECUTED TO PERFECTION: The fifth possession with Rudolph at the helm ended when running back Jaylen Samuels went around left end and into the end zone untouched from 14 yards out.
“I wasn’t at all,” Samuels said, when asked if he was surprised at the ease with which he was able to score. “I know it was a good play. And then ‘X’ (tight end Xavier Grimble) made a great block and James Washington made a great block, as well. He sucked two people in at the same time.
“Whenever one person is blocking two people, that’s always a blessing. Once I saw green grass, I just had to hit it.”
RALLYING CRY: Washington and the receivers wore shirts that read “Shut Out the Noise” during the early warm-up.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had mentioned “shut out the noise” as a point of emphasis that had been a favorite of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake this season in the wake of Drake’s passing on Aug. 11.
“That’s the motto all year long,” Washington said. “That, and ‘Don’t Accept Good When Great is Available.’”
THIS BUD’S FOR TWO: Outside linebacker Bud Dupree had three quarterback hits, a pair of sacks and a pass defensed in the first half.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said in a halftime interview on the TV broadcast of the Chiefs game that Dupree and fellow outside linebacker T.J. Watt have “the makings of an awesome tandem.”
Defensive tackle Cam Heyward thinks Dupree is on the right track this preseason.
“Bud wasn’t just running up the field,” Heyward said. “He was coming back, our stunt games were on point and we had a lot of success.”
BENNY SNELL FOOTBALL: Running back Benny Snell Jr. only had 16 yards on seven carries, but he converted a third-and-2 on a second-quarter touchdown drive and a fourth-and-1 on a third-quarter march that led to a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Conner said he could envision such a role developing for Snell.
“Yeah, man, if he’s hot keep giving it to him,” Conner said. “It’s going to take all of us. Benny’s built for it.”
Game action photos from the Steelers' second preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field