Mason Rudolph and James Washington were stars in college. They were drafted in back-to-back rounds. To the same team, no less. But for the moment, their paths couldn’t be any different.
Washington is now a starter, playing 66 snaps in last week’s loss to Kansas City. Rudolph? He’s glued to the bench for the foreseeable future, not even dressed for gamedays as the #3 QB.
Despite the different starts to their career, they still find ways to work together.
Washington explained it in his face-to-face interview with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews.
“Right now, with Mason being inactive, after a series, I come out, and me and him will sit on the bench and pull up the Microsoft [tablet], we’re looking through the plays, going through coverages together. Kinda like the same thing we did at Oklahoma State.”
It’s not an aspect of the game we, myself included, really think about. But in-game adjustments are a crucial part, knowing what plan of attack the defense is offering, and what to expect the next time out. That can’t all happen with Ben Roethlisberger. He may be discussing something with Randy Fichtner, going over plays by himself or Antonio Brown, and maybe getting Josh Dobbs’ input too.
For Washington, there’s arguably no better resource to talk things through with than Rudolph, even if he’s wearing street clothes each week.
“Just him helping me with that. It keeps me game sharp and game ready.”
It also helps Rudolph go through mental reps given how far down on the depth chart he currently is. Of course, that could change in a moment. One injury to the position is all it takes from Rudolph to go from afterthought to a single play away from entering the game.
And for Washington, Rudolph is helping him prepare for the next one.
“For me, I define my role is that when the ball comes my way, make a play,” Washington said. “I just want to help this team win and do what I can.”