While there’s no quarterback controversy right now in Pittsburgh, the drafting of Mason Rudolph may have been poorly received by the incumbent signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger. ‘Big Ben’ resumed his usual spot on the Cook and Poni Show on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan at noon Friday, and voiced his surprise that the Steelers selected Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Roethlisberger said he wanted to, and did, give the team assurance in January that he planned to return so they didn’t have to draft a quarterback, rather focusing on picks which can help the team now. In the interview, Roethlisberger also expressed his desire to play three to five more seasons if possible, with his health being a key.
“Maybe in the third round, you know you can get some really good football players that can help this team now. Nothing against Mason, think he’s a great football player. I don’t know him personally, but I’m sure he’s a great kid. Umm I just don’t know how backing up or being a third, well who knows where he’s going to fall on the depth chart, helps us win now, but you know that’s not my decision to make that’s on the coaches and the GM and all those kind of things. If they think he can help our team, umm so be it, but I was a little surprised” Ben told Ron Cook and Andrew Fillipponi.
It was also apparent that Roethlisberger has a very good rapport, and allegiance, to the other players in the quarterback room, as he spoke glowingly of Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs. He mentioned besides Offensive Coordinator Randy Fichtner, he spoke to Dobbs more than anybody in the offseason.
When asked if he has talked to his new teammate, Roethlisberger referred to Rudolph’s “Ben Roethlisberger does not have to teach me anything. It’s my job to learn” comments to Penn Live last week sounding somewhat perturbed when asked if he’d help guide the rookie.
”I don’t think I’ll need to if he said he doesn’t need me. So if he asks me any questions I might have to point to the playbook, ya know”, the veteran quarterback said. But he followed that up by saying how the rookies haven’t arrived yet.
It sounded like Roethlisberger would welcome Rudolph into the fold, but it was evident Roethlisberger wanted it known, he noticed the comments.
One thing for certain, No. 7 plays well with a chip on his shoulder and there very well may be a 6-foot 5-inch, 240-pound one who will fuel Roethlisberger in 2018.
Drama aside...this will be fun to watch.