The Pittsburgh Steelers annual rookie minicamp got underway on Friday and we are pleased to pass along the news that quarterback Mason Rudolph, the team’s first of two third-round draft picks this year, has now been contracted by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
According to Will Graves of the Associated Press, Rudolph said after Friday’s rookie minicamp practice that Roethlisberger texted him and wished him good luck prior to his first on-the-field work with the team. Roethlisberger also reportedly did the same for rookie wide receiver James Washington, the team’s second-round draft pick this year, according to Graves.
“We’re going to be friends and I’m going to let him do his thing and I’m going to try and pick up what I can from him but not bother him,” Rudolph said Friday, per a Graves tweet.
Rudolph also added the obvious statement that he’s looking forward to working with Roethlisberger moving forward as well as with the team’s other two quarterbacks, Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs.
The initial dialogue between Roethlisberger and Rudolph is only news due to comments made last Friday by the latter during a radio interview. That interview included Roethlisberger claiming that he was surprised that the Steelers drafted another quarterback this year after he had already told the team back in January he intends on playing at least three more seasons and maybe even as many as five more. Roethlisberger also made a tongue-in-cheek remark during that interview about how Rudolph apparently doesn’t need his help due comments the rookie made not long after he was drafted by the Steelers in which he stated that it’s not Roethlisberger’s job to help develop him.
I’m sure we will have more quotes from Rudolph to parse over the course of the next few days and once the team’s OTA practices get underway, I’m sure Roethlisberger will speak to the media a few more times prior to the long break before training camp in Latrobe gets started in late July.
“I think the media twisted it around a little bit,” Rudolph said Friday, according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh-Tribune-Review. “He’s a competitor, he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback and he’s a competive guy, and that’s what I would expect. He’s a long-time starter. I’m sure when we get in this building and in this room, it’s going to be all … we’re going to be friends.”
Mason Rudolph talks to the media about his first practice in Black & Gold, working with OC Randy Fichtner and hearing from Ben. pic.twitter.com/jz7GPbkXoX
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 11, 2018