Steelers aren’t going to overload Duck Hodges

Darin Gantt
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has operated a certain way with his quarterbacks over the years — and it’s easy to get into a pattern since it’s mostly been one guy.

So he’s not going to do things differently now just because he’s on his third of the year.

Via Brooke Pryor of, Tomlin said while announcing that Devlin Hodges would continue as his starting quarterback that he wanted to keep things as normal as possible for the undrafted rookie.

“I told Duck I had a lot of confidence in his abilities and his preparation and his talent, so I wanted to display that confidence by not talking him to death, not having a bunch of additional meetings and things of that nature,” Tomlin said. “I wanted to display that confidence by going about our routine. Not only confidence in him, but confidence in our preparation process, how we go about our business of game prep.

“He’s the starting quarterback. We’re interacting with him in the ways that we interact with a starting quarterback in preparation for a game.”

Hodges stepped in for a concussed Mason Rudolph in October, and for an ineffective Rudolph two weeks ago. Last week, he was generally sharp against the Browns, with a two-minute drive for a touchdown before halftime catching Tomlin’s eye.

“Largely, I thought Duck did an awesome job of taking care of the football,” Tomlin said, “but that was one instance where he needed to be aggressive and work the ball down the field and he did and was able to take care of the ball and we were able to score.”

It’s also worth noting that Tomlin has started referring to him as “Duck,” in honor of his backstory as a state duck-calling champion, instead of his given name. Earlier, it was Devlin, but as they all get a little more comfortable around each other, things are getting more familiar. Which means they can dispense with a lot of formalities.

What to Read Next