Tommy Maddox thinks Roethlisberger will treat Rudolph “with respect”

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Depending on your perspective, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was either practicing self-preservation or selfishness in his post-draft comments about third-round quarterback Mason Rudolph.

But either way, Tommy Maddox has been the in both situations before.

Maddox was the Steelers entrenched starter when they drafted Roethlisberger, and was willing to help his eventual replacement learn how to adjust to the pro game. Of course, an arm injury in the second week of the season handed the job to Roethlisberger and he never gave it back, so it wasn’t as if Maddox had a long time to show him how it was done. But he thinks once they get to camp, the two will be fine.

I think Ben will treat him with respect,” Maddox told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “His No. 1 goal is to get ready to play and help the team be successful.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say he owes it. That kind of gets into a little bit of a slippery slope. His job is to win football games right now. But, with that said, I think everybody in the locker room, the more it gets along, the better this team is going to be.”

Maddox, now coaching high school baseball in Texas, said it’s not a one-to-one comparison because Roethlisberger’s a better player than he was at the same stage.

“Everybody’s going to handle things differently. I’m not going to sit here and say I think Ben owes it to him to [mentor],” Maddox said. “I think all of us, when you’re playing, you owe it to your teammates to be respectful and do what’s best for the team and all that.

“I don’t think it’s a situation where Ben owes it or that’s his job or whatever. But it is his job as a leader of the team to lead the team and make sure there’s no distractions.”

Maddox also saw it from the other perspective, as some guy named John Elway wasn’t necessarily thrilled when the Broncos drafted him in the first round in 1992. Asked what he’d tell Rudolph, he replied: “Be yourself, go about your business, do the things that you need to do. Kind of control what you can.”

Roethlisberger can do just that by playing at the level he’s accustomed to, which will make questions of a succession plan moot until the veteran starts talking about retirement again.

11 responses to “Tommy Maddox thinks Roethlisberger will treat Rudolph “with respect”

  1. Position coaches get paid to coach. QB’s get paid to win. Same way it’s not a college coach’s job to develop quarterbacks.

  2. I dont expect Ben to help the kid. BUT he’s not obligued to…thats the QB coachs job to coach the kid up. Now as a good teammate, Ben will look selfish and petty if he doesnt act like a good teammate. Ben has no ONE BUT HIMSELF for the Steelers drafting his eventual replacemnet.

  3. Ben has the right approach. He shouldn’t do one thing to help Rudolph. That’s what the coaches are there for. Ben isn’t going to do anything to help this kid take his job. Montana didn’t even speak to Steve Young. Brady never spoke to any of his backups.
    Favre never interacted with Rodgers. It’s the nature of the business. Peyton Manning hated the guys who backed him up. Only the fools help out guys who are there to take their jobs.

  4. Ben doesn’t owe it to Rudolph to help him improve, but he does owe it to the team to help him improve. The quarterback’s job is to win games. What if Ben gets hurt and Rudolph has to go into the game? Shouldn’t Ben have done whatever he could to help prepare Rudolph so they have the best chance to win the game?

  5. I bet the QBs are making sure the blind side tackles are helping to mentor their back-ups. Maybe not “coaching” them, but surely helping to train, clarify, explain, etc.

    Just saying…

  6. “With respect” is not a term I’d used to describe how Ben treats people. Just ask those folks in Georgia.

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