'We Believe In Duck'

Devlin Hodges gets first opportunity to QB in the NFL and likely will start against LA

Jeff Hathhorn
October 06, 2019 - 7:16 pm

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – His first taste of NFL football regular season action was not supposed to go like this.  Not just because it wasn’t there wasn’t a win, but because of why Devlin Hodges entered the game against Baltimore to begin with.

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“First thing I thought was ‘Is Mason OK?’,” Hodges said.  “Mason is my guy.  I would say he is one of my closer friends on the team.  He has really taken me in.”

Hodges entered early in the third quarter as the Steelers were down four points to the Ravens.  Mason Rudolph had scrambled to avoid a sack and found James Washington for a 26 yard gain, but wasn’t moving after being hit by Earl Thomas.

“You might see me on the sideline kind of just standing there, it wasn’t because I was freaking out about me going in,” Hodges said.  “I was just thinking about Mason and what’s up with him and is he OK.  That is just tough to look at.”

Hodges would come in and throw a couple of key 14-yard completions in a drive that ended on a James Conner touchdown run and a Steelers lead.

“He is on our 53-man roster for a reason, he’s active,” Conner said.  “I believe in him.  The whole team can believe in him.  That’s just the way this game goes, everybody is all in and have each other’s backs.  I think he will be alright.”

“I thought he represented himself well,” said head coach Mike Tomlin.  “He gave us a chance.  You are talking about a guy that didn’t make our opening 53.”

“Very confident guy,” said JuJu Smith-Schuster.  “He came in the game ready to play.  He hasn’t practiced with us at all throughout the week, but he was confident, his emotions were strong.  He was ready to play.”

Hodges, nicknamed ‘Duck’ for his award-winning ability to make duck calls, finished 7-9 for 68 yards and scrambled for 21 yards and a first down on the game-tying field goal drive in the fourth quarter.

“We watched him during training camp, and he played pretty damn well with no preparation, giving us a chance to win,” said guard David DeCastro.

“Just playing football,” Hodges said.  “I feel like I know the offense.  I just went out there and executing.  I have always been a guy who is aggressive in throwing the ball.”

It could be Hodges team going forward.  The undrafted rookie threw for 14,584 yards and 111 touchdowns during his career at FCS, Samford.  Do his teammates believe in him?

“Yeah, definitely,” said linebacker Bud Dupree.  “I saw Duck shred people.”

“We believe in Duck,” Dupree added.  “Duck was killing us in camp.  We already know how Duck can throw the ball and Duck believes in himself too.  This week we will move forward and he will have more preparation.”

Through just five weeks, the Steelers will have their fourth string quarterback from training camp to try and lead them out of a 1-4 start.