Ben Roethlisberger helping rookie QB Mason Rudolph

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger didn't need the playbook to guide Mason Rudolph during Tuesday's offseason workout.

Instead, the Steelers quarterback said he was proactive in helping the rookie, giving him advice on an overthrown ball to fullback Roosevelt Nix.

Roethlisberger made clear he never intended to be mean to Rudolph, a third-round pick in April's draft. Earlier this month, Roethlisberger said on his radio show that the Steelers could have used the pick on a win-now player, and that he might have to "point [Rudolph] to the playbook" if he asks a question, although he softened that stance later in his answer.

"I think people took some things I said into a context that I was going to be mean or rude or whatever. That's not it at all," Roethlisberger said. "If you listen to the whole conversation, it was said in jest and laughing. I've never been the type to be rude or mean to other quarterbacks. I've had a lot of quarterbacks come through here that are younger than me that I've tried to help any way that I can. So I'll continue to do that."

The night of the draft, Rudolph said Roethlisberger didn't have to teach him anything because it was his job to learn. When asked the following week whether he would mentor Rudolph, Roethlisberger said, "I don't think I'll need to, now that he said he doesn't need me. If he asks me a question, I might just have to point to the playbook."

Roethlisberger, 36, said it with a laugh and followed up that he would answer questions from the rookie.

Roethlisberger took a different approach Tuesday, telling Rudolph after the short pass to Nix that not every throw needs to be a bullet. Sometimes a touch pass will do.

"He didn't ask me anything, but I inputted my two cents," Roethlisberger said. "I hope he was OK with it."

As far as first impressions go, Roethlisberger -- who plans to play three to five more years -- said Rudolph has a big arm and seems to understand the offense.

Rudolph was fourth in the quarterback line during individual workouts, behind Roethlisberger, Landry Jones and Josh Dobbs. The Steelers are expected to take all four quarterbacks to training camp but likely will carry three on the 53-man roster. Rudolph, who will likely be a part of that trio, has said he believes that Roethlisberger will be a friend.

"What I kind of remember, too, is just the big eyes sometimes when things are going," Roethlisberger said about his first offseason workout in 2004. "I'm going to enjoy telling him that, 'Hey, this isn't even as fast as it gets yet. Pads on, it goes faster.' I think that's one of the biggest things I see in him that I had, too."