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Mason Rudolph is a football junkie, and that is great news for the Steelers

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Not every football player is cut from the same cloth, and Mason Rudolph certainly is one who is bred from a football family.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Minicamp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When NFL teams interview prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine, one of the more common questions players hear is, “Do you love the game?”

Sure, every player is going to say ‘yes’ as an answer, but it doesn’t mean everyone actually believes that. There are numerous accounts of players who have been drafted in the early rounds, only to flame out and find themselves unemployed before cashing in on the really big money.

Some players are in it only for the money, and the game is just an avenue to a rich and famous lifestyle.

On the other hand, there are some players who are football junkies. They would play the game for free, and just want to go out on the field and compete with their teammates. Those players are usually the ones who succeed, even if they aren’t as talented as others.

You can lump Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph into the football junkie category. After all, he comes from a football family. When Teresa Varley, of the Steelers official website, asked Rudolph what his biggest inspiration was, his answer was his father.

“It would be my dad (Brett Rudolph). He played football at North Carolina, was a middle linebacker there back in the 1980s. He was my hero, idol, mentor, not just in football, but he spent a lot of time with my brother and I in the backyard, taking us to the field all of the time, getting in extra instruction. He worked with us helping us with instruction, weight training or nutrition knowledge. He was the guy and he still is to this day. He has a lot of good advice he has given us.”

Rudolph was just another example of a pedigree pick in for the Steelers in the NFL Draft process. In 2017 T.J. Watt was the team’s first pick, and we all know what the Watt name means in NFL circles. In 2018, Terrell Edmunds became the team’s top pick, and not only did his brother also get drafted in the first round, but their father played football in the NFL.

But family background doesn’t define Rudolph’s love for the game.

“I love it. I wasn’t able to play quarterback when I was younger. I was one of those kids growing up that I played football, but never played quarterback. I was on the team with the coach’s son, and he was the quarterback. I have a lot of years of playing quarterback ahead of me and I want to keep maxing that out. I love the position. I love the game. I love the stress of learning a new offense. The reward of going out there, understanding it and making a great play. It’s a feeling, it’s an adrenaline rush like there is nothing you can compare it too. I want to continue to do that. I play for my family. There are goals you want to achieve.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Rudolph loves the stress which comes from learning a new offense. In that case, he should absolutely love the transition from Oklahoma State to the Steelers. Not only is it a completely different offensive scheme, he will have to learn how to take snaps under center, as well as all the terminology which comes with an NFL playbook.

The underlying theme of Rudolph’s journey to the Steel City is his love for the game. You don’t find that every day. However, his desire to succeed, even when others might have said he wouldn’t pan out, could be just what motivates him to not only be the next quarterback of the Steelers, but the next great quarterback for the black-and-gold.