Ben Roethlisberger Sent Mason Rudolph 'Good Luck' Text Before Rookie Minicamp

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2018

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL divisional football AFC playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph said Friday that Ben Roethlisberger texted him to wish him luck ahead of rookie minicamp Thursday, according to NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala.

After the Steelers selected the former Oklahoma State standout in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft, Rudolph told Jacob Klinger of PennLive.com that it wasn't on Roethlisberger to mentor him: "It's not Ben's job to teach me anything, it's my job to learn."

Last week, Roethlisberger questioned the decision to draft Rudolph on KDKA's Cook and Poni (h/t NFL.com), saying, "So, I was surprised when they took a quarterback because I thought that maybe in the third round, you can get some really good football players that can help this team now. And nothing against Mason, I think he's a great football player. ... I just don't know how backing up or being the third guy, who knows where he's going to fall on the depth chart, but helps us win now."

On NFL Network (h/t ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler), Rudolph said he didn't take issue with Big Ben's comments:

"If I was Ben, I'd probably say the same thing. He's a competitor. Obviously, he has a lot of confidence in himself, like I do. And, yeah, he's going to be a future Hall of Famer, and I would expect him to say that. So I'm just looking forward to going in there and learning the system, competing, raising my level of play, preparing like I'm the starter even though obviously I won't be the starter and just waiting and being prepared for whenever I get my time. Whenever my time comes, to be ready and take advantage of it."

Roethlisberger recently told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he'd like to play between three and five more years despite considering retirement last offseason.

Big Ben is still performing at a high level, as he threw for 4,251 yards, 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season, however he is now 36 years old.

The six-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion also hasn't played a full, 16-game slate since 2014, which means it may behoove the team for him to play nice with Rudolph even if he has no immediate plans to relinquish his starting job.

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