Mason Rudolph ends camp with TD, learns from Ben Roethlisberger

PITTSBURGH -- The final moments of Pittsburgh Steelers minicamp belonged to Mason Rudolph.

With Ben Roethlisberger getting a rest day Thursday, the rookie quarterback got his first two-minute-drill reps of the offseason and led the second-team offense downfield in a hurry.

Though he's not overreacting to football in shorts, Rudolph believes the game is slowing down for him.

"We scored there, did it in a few short plays -- it was fun," Rudolph said. "Good work, and looking forward to more of those scenarios throughout training camp."

Rudolph enjoys the playcalling freedom that comes with running the no-huddle offense, which is known as a specialty of Roethlisberger's. Turns out Rudolph picked up a few tips watching Roethlisberger through the first two days of practice.

"Just Ben being here a couple of days in a row and seeing his operation of the offense, his knowledge of situations," Rudolph said. "Giving guys reminders like, 'In this situation, get the first down, get down and we'll go run the play and kill the clock,' or, 'Hey, get out of bounds this one.' Knowing when to use timeouts. You can tell he goes through it in his head a lot in preparation so he knows what to do in the situation."

Roethlisberger also has helped Rudolph with ball placement and how to walk receivers through routes, the rookie said. "Even if it's incomplete, he'll teach the guy with the throw -- this is where I'll put the ball moving forward, so the next rep they are quick to learn," Rudolph said.

Despite a perceived icy relationship because of Roethlisberger's radio comments questioning the Steelers drafting of a developmental quarterback in the third round instead of a ready-made option, Rudolph and Roethlisberger seem to be coexisting just fine.

And Rudolph will spend most of the summer "closing the gap" that all rookie quarterbacks face by improving his football IQ at the NFL level. He'll follow a short vacation with a training regimen back home in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

That plan includes pestering his new coaches, who believe Rudolph has all the physical tools to get the job done.

"It will be a great month to blow up coach [Randy] Fichtner's phone up as well as Matt Symmes and some other guys, just shooting questions with whatever I have," Rudolph said.