Last offseason Mason Rudolph's mind was occupied with getting prepared for the NFL Combine, his pro day at Oklahoma State and wondering where he would end up in the NFL Draft.
This year, things are a lot different.
In his first full NFL offseason the young quarterback, who was one of the Steelers third round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, is focused on improving in every area, including the mental and physical side of things.
"I need to do a lot," said Rudolph. "I need to keep our offense fresh in my mind this offseason. The last thing you want to do is not revisit stuff and look back at Week 2 and say what did we call here, what was effective, what could we have called better, what worked.
"You have to do a self-scout evaluation of each game, even if you weren't playing. Go back and watch it again and stay in the playbook."
Rudolph has been back in Pittsburgh for a few weeks already, and will be taking part in the team's full offseason program, something he didn't have the luxury to do last year. And he is leaning on the relationships he built last season, communicating with the receivers and guys he will be working with when the team takes the field for OTAs in May.
"I keep hitting up the receivers and the guys you are going to spend time with in OTAs and making sure they are constantly trying to better themselves and they are learning," said Rudolph. "Now that I have almost as full year under my belt I have the relationships. It's easy to get on the phone with a guy and review something or get in person with them and kind of talk through some specific routes."
The one thing Rudolph wanted to make sure of before he returned to Pittsburgh was that he was fully ready to go. And he did that by getting some extra help, getting valuable input from the outside.
"I had a quarterback's coach I worked with," said Rudolph. "Any time you can get a pair of eyes on you that aren't completely involved in the game plan that are just looking at you, are seeing your mechanics and ways to improve you. Randy (Fichtner) is one of the best quarterback coaches in the league. But to have someone else helps. It's a different dynamic when you don't have the stress of the season going on, a different set of eyes on you. It's all going to help me."
Offseason Program Set: The Steelers offseason program begins on April 15. The dates for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are officially set, beginning May 21 and running through June 6, with a total of 10 voluntary sessions.
The following is the full OTAs schedule:
Tuesday, May 21 – OTA #1
Wednesday, May 22 – OTA #2
Thursday, May 23 – OTA #3
Tuesday, May 28 – OTA #4
Wednesday, May 29 – OTA #5
Thursday, May 30 – OTA #6
Monday, June 3 – OTA #7
Tuesday, June 4 – OTA #8
Wednesday, June 5 – OTA #9
Thursday, June 6 – OTA #10
Steelers Mandatory Minicamp
Tuesday, June 11– Day 1
Wednesday, June 12 – Day 2
Thursday, June 13 – Day 3