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Mason Rudolph meets with Chargers, Giants, Steelers

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Mason Rudolph doesn't know what it would be like to be a Pittsburgh Steeler, but the former Oklahoma State quarterback already knows, at least, what it's like to play on Heinz Field. And when Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin met with Rudolph following his pro day workout Thursday, he was sure to remind them just how comfortable he was in doing so.

Rudolph's Cowboys trounced Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, 59-21, last September in a game that Rudolph would be glad for any scout to dissect.

"I told them how much I loved playing on that unbelievable field. It was a cool experience," Rudolph said. "That was one of my better games. (Colbert and Tomlin) didn't say whether they were there, and I didn't ask if they were, but it's their field, so I'm sure they had someone there."

Whoever that someone was, they witnessed Rudolph throw for a season-high 497 yards and five touchdowns on just 23 completions. Four different Cowboys receivers had 100-plus yards that day, including two of the guys who caught Rudolph's passes at pro day: Marcell Ateman and James Washington. The Steelers already have an established veteran at quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, but could be looking for their heir apparent to Big Ben, who is 36. It wasn't the only NFL club with a star quarterback on the wrong side of 30 who carved out meeting time with Rudolph this week. The Los Angeles Chargers, with Philip Rivers at quarterback, and New York Giants, with Eli Manning, did, as well. Rudolph had a chance to meet Rivers earlier this year in California while training for the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I think whatever situation I fall into, I'll prepare like a starter and try to beat the starter out. I want to compete, I want to play, that's what I've done in college and what I'd want to do in the NFL," Rudolph said. "But at the same time if I'm with an organization with an older, highly respected, highly successful veteran, then obviously you'd want to learn from them as much as you can about the league in order to improve."

All 32 NFL clubs were credentialed for OSU's pro day Thursday, but with so much bustle around Rudolph's throwing session, the face he was perhaps most glad to see was that of T. Boone Pickens. Rudolph personally invited the business magnate and OSU booster, for whom the Cowboys' stadium is named, to pro day.

"He's going to turn 90 here in about six weeks, and I've been blessed to build a relationship with him throughout college. He's going to turn 90 here in about six weeks, and I hadn't seen him since Week 1, last September. The president of our university, Burns Hargis and coach (Mike) Gundy were there too, and it was cool to have all three of those guys at pro day together and chat it up with them. Those are three big names."

Make that four, including Rudolph.

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