Every time a football player throws an arm towards a defender, I'm hoping it's the next Vance McDonald against the Buccaneers from last season. That violent-looking throwdown would have made a heck of a photo from a clean angle.
One thing I now know ... that photo, moment and stiff arm isn't going to come from Mason Rudolph. Not to discredit the Steelers' quarterback -- he had a stiff arm in the Steelers' 27-14 win ... and it got the job done.
It was just ... soft.
Soft probably isn't the word. Gentle? Yeah, let's go with that. I took to Twitter after the game to post a GIF of the stiff arm and compared it to the way I would pet one of my cats. Still think it's harsh? Ok -- watch!
Rudolph sticks his left arm out, Raekwon McMillan runs into it and then hits the turf harder than the stiff arm he gets from Rudolph.
The biggest takeaway on that play, for me at least, was that Rudolph looked different in those moments than he did at the beginning of the game. For most of the first half, Rudolph looked timid. He looked like someone who'd been knocked unconscious in his last game, and he was feeling rightfully cautious because of that.
This play, all joking aside about the stiff arm, showed a Rudolph who wasn't shy of contact, was willing to put his arm into a face for extra yards and he lowered his head and shoulder into Sam Eguavoen and fought for what he could get.
For me, that was the turning point of Rudolph's game and showed me he was back to relying on his instincts and not his fears. Right after that, he threw a rather fearless touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster, and it was pretty much entirely Steelers the rest of the way.
Still ... the stiff arm was more of a gentle suggestion ... But, hey, it worked for him! One of the frames from that GIF kicks off this Sunday's Best and is followed, as always, by my best photos from the Steelers' win.