Tomlin on Hodges: ’He Didn’t Kill Us’

Steelers coach appreciative of backup's efforts vs Chargers

Josh Rowntree
October 16, 2019 - 5:00 pm
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges (6) passes during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like the ‘Duck’ may have taken a solo flight. 

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday that Mason Rudolph will return to the starting quarterback position and was removed from concision protocol, as undrafted rookie Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges will again be the backup.

With the Steelers in the bye week,  Rudolph will return when the team hosts Miami on October 28. 

Hodges, the Steelers’ fourth string quarterback during training camp, helped deliver a 24-17 victory over the Chargers on Sunday night in Los Angeles. 

“He didn’t kill us,” Tomlin said. “That’s what you need from young quarterbacks. In general, he took care of the ball. He made the plays he needed to make, but we were thoughtful about the positions that we put him in.”

“He did everything really pretty good,” offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said. “You never know… and that’s the problem with a young quarterback, maybe getting their first opportunity to go through the whole process from the beginning of the week to the finished product.”

Hodges benefitted from Pittsburgh’s defense, which returned a fumble for a touchdown and intercepted a pass that set up a short field in the first quarter. 

He also got aid from the running game, which ran for 124 yards between Benny Snell, James Conner and Hodges himself. 

“We converted three or four possession down via the run,” Tomlin said. “Many others we dumped off in the flat and allowed James Conner to win them after the catch. We did the things that we needed to do to secure victory in that instance.”

Hodges passed for 132 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The pick, however, came with the Steelers up 24-3, and seemed to spark a Chargers comeback bid. 

“He made pretty good decisions and protected the football, except for one time,” Fichtner said. “I think he’d tell you that he’d love to have that decision back.”

Hear more from Mike Tomlin, including an update on other injuries, below.

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