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Offseason Program

Rudolph settles in, hears from Ben

Mason Rudolph walked off the field after the Steelers first rookie minicamp practice at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex and was all smiles.

"It was great," said Rudolph, the team's third-round pick out of Oklahoma State. "It was fun."

And then he added.

"My head has been spinning a little bit like I thought it would be," said Rudolph. "It's been great working with Coach (Randy) Fichtner, and the whole offensive staff and starting to look forward and work out some of the kinks. I have to come out here, soak in all of the reps I can get. Keep working with Coach Fichtner. I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anyone other than the coaches and my teammates."

He said the nerves were at a minimum, likely due in part to having gotten his hands on the playbook draft weekend, even if there is an overwhelming amount of information to learn.

"I wouldn't come out here without looking at the playbook," said Rudolph. "I got it about a week ago. If you look at the bulk of it, it is overwhelming. But you have to separate it into blocks and learn it piece by piece. That is how I approached it and that is what I will continue to do.

"I am going to come out here and let it fly. Embrace being a Pittsburgh Steeler and play with my teammates. I was just excited. I just want to throw the ball. I just want to throw the ball to James (Washington) again, and Jaylen Samuels and be out here with (Terrell) Edmunds and fly around the field with your new teammates."

One of his new teammates he isn't working with this weekend, but is looking forward to getting to know, is fellow quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After Rudolph was drafted, Roethlisberger questioned selecting a quarterback that high when he still planned on playing three-to-five more years.

Rudolph, though, said there weren't any issues and Roethlisberger texted him on Thursday, wishing him luck during minicamp and telling him he was looking forward to getting to meet him when the entire team starts working together during OTAs.

"Ben reached out to me," said Rudolph. "He is excited to get in when rookie minicamp gets done and start getting after it. He reached out, said good luck in rookie minicamp. I was appreciative of that. I haven't met him yet, but I am looking forward to meeting him.

"I think the media got twisted around a little bit. He is a competitor. He is a Hall of Fame quarterback. He is a competitive guy. That is what I would expect. He is a long time starter. I am sure when we get in this building, in this room, we are going to be friends. I am going to let him do his thing. I am going to pick up from him what I can from him but not bother him."

Rudolph is accustomed to a starting role, having done so since high school. But he also understands what is expected of him coming to the team, and is willing to do whatever the coaches ask.

"I am looking forward to embracing my role on this team and making the most of my reps out here in rookie minicamp," said Rudolph. "My role is day-by-day. Obviously I am not starting. I am looking forward to working with Josh (Dobbs) and Landry (Jones) and Ben. And maximizing the reps with these guys, with all of these rookies out here, bonding together and getting our chemistry right and working in the next phase of OTAs."