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Unique Path to NFL Prepared Steelers QB Chris Oladokun for Anything

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Steelers QB Chris Oladokun

PITTSBURGH — Five offensive coordinators over a quarterback’s entire college career is a brutal path to take, but, that is the path of Steelers seventh-round draft pick Chris Oladokun and he think it’s one that’s prepared him for the rigors of the NFL.

For a quarterback who never knew the name of stability, it can be jarring to come up to the NFL to learn yet another new offense. However, maybe for someone like Oladokun, that is just another advantage. Having to learn a new offense is something Oladokun has done five times over in his college career with five offensive coordinators spanned over three schools at USF, Samford, and South Dakota State.

Coming down to the very basics of quarterback play, Oladokun’s footwork has been sloppy and inconsistent. However, having played in three different schemes in his college career, learning footwork in the NFL offense might not be as hard for Oladokun as others. It is the one thing he is trying to get down in the early stages of the NFL offseason program.

“I really want to get my footwork down and in sync, that’s where it all starts as a passer,” Oladokun said. “I’ve had five different OCs and QB coaches, and footwork is a little different everywhere. So, now that I’m here and established, and I get the same coaching here, I’m coming in every day and repping that. It’s really important that I hone in on it.”

In having the multiple offensive coordinators over his career, though, Oladokun feels like he can be a quick learner. For any quarterback that is in a quarterback battle in the offseason as a seventh-round pick, that is a boon. Oladokun did not just play with five different minds, but with different schemes and philosophies. In the NFL, Oladokun has seen just about everything that could already come his way.

“I went from USF which was a read-option type of offense and then to Samford where it was an air raid,” Oladokun said. “Then, at South Dakota State, that’s more of a pro-style offense with huddling like we do here. The verbiage there and all got me prepared for this opportunity.”

USF went read-option-heavy with spread concepts while Oladokun was there. Then, there is the air raid offense, which is a complete 180 turn on the entire idea of the spread offense. The pro offense carries more verbiage with multiple reads and progressions. In other words, Oladokun has been through it all. He has seen the offenses that he could play in and understands the mental processes behind them. For Oladokun, that is a leg up on his competition.

“The air raid offense is really about space,” Oladokun said. “It’s a lot of progressions-based stuff. You’re not really even worried about the coverage that much because the progression will take that over. In the pro-style stuff, it’s a lot of one-high, two-high. If it’s one-high, you’re working to your boundary side. If it’s two-high you’re working towards the field. It’s a changeup, but it’s something I did. I think it’s going to help me a lot.”

Oladokun will try to use that experience to his advantage. With Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph on the roster, Oladokun will try to showcase his skills to find himself a place on the roster. His unique journey on trials and tribulations might just give him a path to doing just that.

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