Now, they’re actually communicating face-to-face, and the Steelers’ elder quarterback said he was happy to help the guy who could eventually replace him.
Via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger said he’s always been willing to help the young guys (though that’s not really what it sounded like after the draft).
“I think people took some things that I said into a context that I was going to be mean or rude or whatever, and that was not it at all,” Roethlisberger said. “If you listen to the whole conversation, it was said in jest and laughing and having fun.
“I’ve never been the type to just be rude or mean to other quarterbacks. You can ask [Landry] Jones. I’ve had a lot of quarterbacks through here who were younger than me that I’ve tried to help any way that I can, so I’ll continue to do that.”
Of course, it’s easy to claim “out-of-context” now, but immediately after the Steelers chose Rudolph in the third round, Roethlisberger openly wondered why they didn’t take a player who could provide a more immediate benefit (especially after trading wide receiver Martavis Bryant). The rookie initially said he didn’t expect Roethlisberger to mentor him, and has tried to play nice.
Roethlisberger was also very complimentary of Rudolph while offering tips.
“He’s got a big arm,” Roethlisberger said. “He overthrew [Antonio Brown] even though AB’s not going to admit it. He seems to understand the offense, seems to not have any issues in the huddle, so I thought he did really well.”
It’s always much nicer when the kids get along.