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Breakfast with Benz

Bulger empathizes with Roethlisberger over Steelers' QB soap opera

| Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 6:57 a.m.
Steelers third round pick Mason Rudolph throws during rookie mini camp Friday, May 11, 2018 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers third round pick Mason Rudolph throws during rookie mini camp Friday, May 11, 2018 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Central Catholic product and West Virginia alum Marc Bulger knows what it is like to be a youngster with the potential of trying to replace a legendary, Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

That's what happened when he was the third-stringer in St. Louis behind Kurt Warner.

He also knows what it's like to be a veteran in the quarterback room with a high-profile, future franchise QB.

That's what happened when he was in Baltimore with Joe Flacco.

So, he is a good person to speak with about the already-touchy dynamic in Pittsburgh surrounding Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph.

TribLive columnist Mark Madden had Bulger on his 105.9 FM radio show to talk about his experiences in each role and how he thinks both Rudolph and Roethlisberger have handled themselves thus far.

The interview starts at the 19:30 mark .

Just a few thoughts on what Bulger said there.

I can't disagree with Bulger's take — or what Roethlisberger thinks — about his alleged mentorship role of Rudolph.

Of course it's not Roethlisberger's job to do that. It's Rudolph's job to, as Bulger says, "be a sponge." It's also not Roethlisberger's job to be, in Bulger's words, a $150,000 quarterback coach while simultaneously "trying to win games for the logo."

You know what else isn't Roethlisberger's job, though? Openly assigning that mentorship role to Landry Jones, a guy who is far more likely to lose his job to Rudolph than Roethlisberger is.

Roethlisberger did exactly that in his now much-ballyhooed interview on 93.7 FM .

Did Warner do that to Jamie Martin regarding Bulger on-air at any point?

Also, did Warner publicly second-guess the acquisition of Bulger or wonder out loud why his signing wasn't used on someone else who "could help them win now"?

Did Warner grouse about the organization failing to acknowledge his long-term plans or indict the presence of Martin because Bulger was brought in, as Roethlisberger did in terms of Josh Dobbs and Rudolph?

Like Bulger pointed out, there are only 32 starting QB jobs in the NFL. Roethlisberger wants to make it clear "he is still king of the alley."

For now, that's not up for debate. It won't be until or unless Roethlisberger's play gives cause. Only the No. 2 job between Rudolph and Jones will be in question.

Furthermore, it's not Roethlisberger's mentality or internal attitude that causes drama. It's what he says and the manner in which he says it that makes us roll our eyes.

And to be clear, that's what many of us are doing. Simply rolling our eyes and saying: "OK, Ben. We get it. Is this necessary?"

Why even give us cause to do that, though, when avoiding such fodder would be so easy?

I get Bulger's empathy for Roethlisberger. What I don't get is the sympathy he seems to have for him in comparison to Warner, when Warner seemed to handle it much better.

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