Mason Rudolph Takes Dig at Steelers Legend Ben Roethlisberger

Mason Rudolph

Getty Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph doesn't appear to have a great relationship with Ben Roethlisberger.

It looks like Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph hasn’t forgotten.

As Rudolph enters the Steelers’ offseason activities as the veteran quarterback in the system, he’ll be competing with first-round pick Kenny Pickett for the starting job. With that being said, he’ll also have to teach a thing or two to the rookie quarterback considering he’s the one with experience.

It’s not exactly unfamiliar territory for Rudolph as it wasn’t too long ago he was the rookie to Steelers legend Ben Roethlisberger back in 2018. Needless to say, the relationship began a little awkward and Rudolph has not forgotten about it.

As Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentioned during his column on Thursday, June 2, Rudolph managed to take a jab at Roethlisberger while discussing the idea of mentoring Pickett.

“As a veteran now, does he find himself trying to take on the responsibility of helping first-round pick Kenny Pickett, as opposed to being …

‘Being like someone else?’ Rudolph said.

Rudolph didn’t call out anyone by name, but this is the same player who was drafted by the Steelers in 2018, and a week later Ben Roethlisberger said on a radio show that if the new guy asked him anything, he might just have to point to the playbook,” said Batko.

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Rudolph and Roethlisberger Never Had a Great Relationship

The situation between Roethlisberger and Rudolph eventually cooled off during offseason team activities a few weeks after the comment was made, with Roethlisberger admitting that the comment was made in jest.

However, it appears that the two never really developed a relationship over the past four years.

In fact, when Roethlisberger announced his decision to retire following the end of the 2021 season, Rudolph was one of the notable teammates who did not wish him well in retirement, as Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 The Fan pointed out back in January.

“Mason Rudolph and Big Ben didn’t get along,” says Fillipponi. “That still doesn’t mean Rudolph can’t do the classy thing and congratulate Ben on a great career. Everyone else has. Dobbs. Haskins. Duck. Batch. Maddox. Guys that didnt see eye-to-eye with Ben at all times. AB. Haley. But no Rudolph.”

On the other end of the spectrum, there are Steelers reporters who understand why Rudolph may not be so eager to offer congratulatory messages to Roethlisberger. According to Jim Wexell of SteelCityInsider, Roethlisberger had a “dislike” for Rudolph.

“In my opinion, Rudolph is a great guy who has dealt professionally with Ben Roethlisberger’s dislike of him,” Wexell wrote. “And that kind of professional mistrust I kind of understand. Not that I condone it. But I understand it, and Mason’s dealt with it well.”

Why Big Ben May Have Never Embraced Rudolph

When Rudolph was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft, Roethlisberger was already towards the end of his career. In fact, he had contemplated retirement following the 2017 season.

The Steelers were also coming off of a 13-3 season in which they were one possession away from advancing to the conference championship game. In other words, they were arguably a piece — or a draft pick — away from winning a Super Bowl.

The selection of Rudolph may have not only made Roethlisberger a bit territorial over his future with the team, it clearly drew his ire because he believed the pick could have been used to help the team win.

In fact, Roethlisberger stated exactly that sentiment during an interview with 93.7 The Fan back in 2018.

“I was surprised when they took a quarterback, because I thought that maybe in the third-round, you know, you can get some really good football players that can help this team now,” Roethlisberger said. “And nothing against Mason. I think he’s a great football player. I don’t know him personally, but I’m sure he’s a great kid.

Whatever the case may be, Rudolph and Roethlisberger were never the best of buddies. And it’s clear that frosty relationship continues even after Roethlisberger’s retirement.
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