Ben Roethlisberger Sets Record Straight On His Beef With Mason Rudolph In Surprisingly Candid Detail

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Ben Roethlisberger Mason Rudolph
Ben Roethlisberger Mason Rudolph

Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t have any beef with Mason Rudolph. That may not be true in reverse.

Roethlisberger was baffled when the Steelers first drafted Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He expressed his surprise in some pretty bold comments on a local radio station.

I was surprised they took a QB because I thought maybe in the 3rd round you can get some really good players that can help this team win now. Nothing against Mason I think he is a great player. I don’t know him personally but I’m sure he is a great kid. I just don’t know how backing up or being the third, who knows where he’s going to fall in the depth chart but helps us win now but that’s not my decision to make that’s all the coaches and the GM and owner…if they feel like he can help our team, so be it but I was a little surprised.

— Ben Roethlisberger in 2018

Not long thereafter, Ben Roethlisberger made it abundantly clear that it was not his job to mentor the rookie signal-caller. He said that “if [Rudolph] asks him a question, he might just have to point to the playbook.”

It wasn’t a great look. Those comments did not go over well.

Rudolph apparently held a grudge because he appeared to take a shot at Roethlisberger while discussing the current quarterback room in Pittsburgh last week. The jab may or may not have been intentional, but his comments certainly felt pointed. He certainly appeared to be referencing his predecessor.

After hearing what Rudolph had to say, Roethlisberger decided to respond on his most recent episode of the ‘Footbahlin’ podcast. He even went so far as to say that he did help to mentor Rudolph.

“When Mason played for me, I was trying to help Mason as much as I could,” Roethlisberger said. “Then he just he never— he didn’t want my help anymore, so I backed off.”

There is no beef on Roethlisberger’s end. He claims that it was never personal!

His issue was with the decision to draft Rudolph and nothing more.

“I never had an issue with Mason when he got drafted,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m going to put it out there now. I had more of an issue with the pick. We were a really good football team, and he was drafted early. I just felt like we could have maybe picked a player that could have helped us at the moment. We were still a team that was that was competing.

Roethlisberger did not think that Rudolph was breathing down his neck.

“I was not worried about him taking my job, I thought that was not an issue for me,” he said. “I felt that we could have drafted a position — offense or defense — that could have helped us. Not a guy that was going to be a potential backup, sure maybe have the the job in the future. That’s where I was more frustrated. It had nothing to do with Mason personally.”

Pittsburgh was coming off of a 13-win NFL season when it drafted Mason Rudolph. Roethlisberger was not the only one who was surprised by the Rudolph pick. Perhaps he could have handled it better, but he claims that there was never any issue with the rookie quarterback beyond the fact that his pick could have been used on an offensive weapon.

Roethlisberger’s full comments can be found here: