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Steelers’ Ogunjobi: ‘Water Under the Bridge’ with Rudolph

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Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi reports to training camp at Saint Vincent College, Tuesday, July 26, 2022 -- ED THOMPSON

LATROBE, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers reported to training camp Tuesday, with several players like Larry Ogunjobi making their first trek to Saint Vincent College. But one of the first things he addressed was the elephant in the room about his past with Mason Rudolph.

That specific past refers to a 2019 incident after Myles Garrett struck Rudolph on the head by swinging a helmet at him when the Steelers faced the Browns on Thursday night football. After Rudolph recovered from the strike, Ogunjobi, then with the Browns, came behind Rudolph and shoved him to the ground. Those actions led to a suspension by the NFL for Ogunjobi.

But now that Ogunjobi is part of the Steelers, he says Rudolph reached out to him and both put the past behind them.

“He reached out when I signed,” Ogunjobi said of Rudolph. “I feel like it’s just water under the bridge. That was years ago. I have no hard feelings and I don’t think he has any hard feelings. As men in a sport, sometimes we act out of emotion. I was defending my teammate and he was doing his thing. We reached out, talked to each other and we spoke. That was over the day it happened. The only way I can move is forward.”

For Ogunjobi, Rudolph’s effort to ensure their relationship would be on good grounds as teammates was a gesture he appreciated.

“Oh, for sure,” Ogunjobi said when asked if it meant something to him that Rudolph reached out to him. “As men, you should reach out. There’s no need to hold grudges. It’s a very emotional sport, and sometimes you act out of those emotions. Being able to reach out, talk to each other and say “I’m happy for you to be here, I’m excited to work with you,” that speaks volumes.”

FITTING IN

That could have been the biggest detriment to Ogunjobi’s chemistry with the team. But with the incident from almost three years ago behind him, Rudolph, and presumably the team, he’s excited to see where he goes with the Steeler’s defense.

“They really welcomed me,” Ogunjobi said of his teammates. “When you’ve been in the division for six years, you get a feel for the guys. You get to meet them through transition and see them in the offseason. I’m excited to work.”

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