By now, you probably know Mason Rudolph and James Washington took their first successful NFL steps last weekend. By all accounts, they had a strong three day rookie minicamp, no surprise given their college connection. NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread has a couple of quotes from Rudolph, posted in an article earlier this week, who described how things went.
“Friday morning was a learning process, then Friday afternoon was better and Saturday was great,” Rudolph said. “James and I connected a few times for some touchdowns and ripped it up Saturday. Then Sunday we had a short practice to wrap things up.”
Connecting was something the two did quite often at Oklahoma State. Rudolph threw 92 career touchdowns, Washington caught 39, most of those from him. In the several interviews we shared from those who participated, most players said both those guys wowed throughout practice. Rudolph with his arm and leadership, Washington with his speed and conditioning.
One element that attracted the Steelers to Rudolph was the offense he played in. On draft night, Randy Fichtner described Oklahoma State’s offense as more pro-style like than many of the others in the Big 12. According to Goodbread, Rudolph says the concepts are largely the same but predictably, the terminology is different.
When the season starts though, the two will likely be on different paths. Pittsburgh will count on Washington to provide an immediate impact, the de facto replacement after dealing Martavis Bryant. The Steelers will consider themselves lucky if Rudolph doesn’t log a snap, since that means Ben Roethlisberger enjoyed another healthy season. That means they’re probably going to be practicing with different units; Washington with the 1’s, Rudolph potentially with the scout team.
But for now, they’ll pick up where they left off and hope for the same NFL success as they had in college.