It’s rare for a quarterback and receiver to get drafted in the same year by the same team, as Mason Rudolph and James Washington were by the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. To put a number on it, it’s only the 8th time it’s happened in draft history. To Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, who recently spoke with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews, Pittsburgh is the perfect fit for both of them.
“We were really excited,” Gundy said after learning Pittsburgh took both players. “The history of the Steelers organization, the family, the background, and coach Tomlin, their style of football we think is perfect for Mason and James. I know they have a lot of character in the organization and that’s what they’ve been used to over the last four years at Oklahoma State.”
Based on what we’ve seen from the two rookies already, it’s obvious their high character will mesh well in Steelers’ culture. Rudolph has already been praised by veterans like WR Marcus Tucker for his leadership and command of the huddle while Washington has received high marks for his work ethic.
Though Rudolph is coming from a college offense, Gundy said the only major obstacle in his way is learning to take snaps from under center. The rest should come natural to him.
“I knew that he was a little bit concerned about moving under center but also excited about it. He’ll be in the office all the time, he’ll study the gameplan, I’ll be shocked if he didn’t have a really good feel for the offense at this time…he’s going to do whatever it takes to be successful.”
Gundy then relayed a story about the two that sums up their character. He told Matthews he spoke with Rudolph on a recent Friday night.
“Mason and I were talking about some other stuff. And I asked what James was doing. He was laying on the bed in the hotel room I guess they’re sharing. He was texting somebody back home about coyote hunting. Which is typical. It happened to be a Friday night where most 22, 23 year old young men would be ready to go out on the town. Mason was working on some type of football and James was talking about coyote hunting. That’s just the type of young men they are and the Steelers will be thrilled with them.”
Expected to make an impact in Year One to replace Martavis Bryant, let’s hope Washington is in the mood for some Raven and Bengal hunting too.