Offseason Program

Whatever it takes

The routine embraced by Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph during OTAs included putting in the time required to get it right, even if that meant staying out on the practice field after a session had ended.

“Whatever I feel like I need to get more reps at, I try to focus on that,” Rudolph explained.

That might involve trying to perfect something as relatively simple as the quarterback-center exchange, honing in on throws to the corner of the end zone, or working out the kinks with tight ends Xavier Grimble and Pharoah McKever.

As the third of three quarterbacks participating on Tuesday, for example, Rudolph didn’t throw the ball as well or as often as he would have preferred.

So he took matters into his own hands afterward.

“I overthrew a flat (route) to Xavier, and then just lack of reps on a couple other routes I’m not getting because I’m running wth the No. 3s (the third-team offense),” Rudolph continued. “They were gracious enough to come catch wth me afterwards.

“It’s good work.”

It’s also detailed work, even when it’s just Rudolph throwing to a couple of tight ends unencumbered by defensive coverage and offensive tackle Matt Feiler doing the snapping.

And it’s helping Rudolph, a third-round pick from Oklahoma State, achieve an appreciation of what happens and why from snap to snap.

He demonstrated as much in recounting a practice-field touchdown pass to wide receiver Trey Griffey.

“Down there when you get in the red zone you have to make real quick decisions based on coverage and match-ups,” Rudolph offered. “That was our man (-to-man coverage) side so we went to that, threw it to Trey and he made a great play.”

The Steelers participate in day 10 of the 2018 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

On a ball that was ultimately intercepted by safety Jordan Dangerfield, conversely, “I kind of flushed out to my left and tried to throw back across my body right,” Rudolph acknowledged. “Stupid mistake, I know not to do that. Once you get moved you have to know that it’s time to check the ball down to the (running) back, and not try to force it across your body.

“I’ll learn from it, won’t happen again.”

It’s all a part of Rudolph’s introduction to the NFL and he can’t get enough.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s fun. It’s challenging. Right when you think you’ve figured it out, we install more.

“It’s just a daily install, just a process of learn and regurgitate and spitting it out in practice and then going back in the meeting room and fixing the mistakes.”

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