Before taking the field for rookie minicamp, Rudolph got a text from Ben Roethlisberger wishing him good luck.
"He reached out [Thursday] and said, 'Hey, good luck in rookie minicamp.' I was really appreciative of that," Rudolph said after his first practice Friday. "I just said, 'Hey, thanks, look forward to meeting you.' Wasn't a whole lot [of dialogue], but it meant a lot that he reached out."
A week earlier, Roethlisberger said on his radio show that he was surprised the Steelers selected Rudolph, the former Oklahoma State quarterback, in the third round instead of a player who can help now at a different position.
Questions swirled about how Roethlisberger and Rudolph would interact based on the comments. Asked on his show whether he would mentor Rudolph, Roethlisberger said he might have to point him to the playbook when asked a question since the rookie feels he doesn't need him. That was a response to Rudolph's comments on draft night that it's not Roethlisberger's job to teach him anything, but his job to learn.
Rudolph came to the defense of Roethlisberger on Friday.
"I think the media got it kind of twisted around a little bit. He's a competitor," Rudolph said. "He's a Hall of Fame quarterback. He's a competitive guy. That's what I would expect. He's a longtime starter. I'm sure when we get in this building, in this room, we're going to be friends, and I'm going to let him do his thing and pick up what I can from him but not bother him."
Rudolph's bigger concern is handling his NFL crash course, which included many snaps under center Friday and Rudolph admitting that a few balls hit the ground. His teammate in college and now with the Steelers, second-round wide receiver James Washington, said Rudolph is a "perfectionist," which is why Friday won't get it done.
As a high draft pick behind a big-name quarterback, Rudolph was asked whether he has to justify the selection with his play.
"I don't have to justify anything," Rudolph said. "I have to come out here and soak up all the reps I can get."