Duck Tales: Why Devlin Hodges must start the rest of the way
Down 7-3 in the 3rd, the Steelers did the unthinkable and benched Rudolph. What happened next is the next installation of Devlin Hodges’ “Duck Tales.”
Steelers Nation got its wish: The Duck Man is at it again. Get out the duck calls and gear because this time, Duck isn’t going anywhere.
Well, at least he shouldn’t. To think, Hodges wasn’t even on the roster 11 weeks ago.
Let me start by saying this: Mason Rudolph did what he needed to do in his starts. He, for the most part, avoided mistakes in his previous 6 starts and managed the game.
The issue? After that knock out against the Ravens, his play has grossly digressed. It’s evident on tape.
Yes, Fichtner, the O-Line, and receivers haven’t helped… but he has not progressed.
His pocket presence, mobility, and confidence simply aren’t there. The tough part is that some of it was improving until Earl Thomas delivered a devastating blow.
The past few weeks, it was evident he just couldn’t cut it loose. He was constantly second-guessing himself and wouldn’t step into his throws or up in the pocket.
Plugin Devlin Hodges. He has nothing to lose but everything to gain.
He isn’t doing anything pretty, but he is showing he is a capable option until Ben returns.
On paper, 5 of 11 for 118 and a huge touchdown doesn’t seem convincing. What the stats don’t show are his will and confidence. This offense needs his confidence, will, and no fear play.
Yes, he looked like a rookie all at the same time. A throw away on 3rd down with less than 4 minutes to go and missing a couple of check downs, for example. He did enough to win, however.
Also, keep in mind, he didn’t get a whole lot of reps in practice. A week with the number one on offense will only benefit him and the offense moving forward.
I know Tomlin is mum on who the guy will be moving forward at this moment, but if it isn’t clear, Hodges’ time is now… I don’t know when it will be apparent to this coaching staff.
It will be interesting to see what happens leading up to the team’s first practice on Wednesday. With the possible return of Juju and the momentum of “Benny Snell Football” building… the Steelers could be locked and loaded against the Browns in Heinz Field after an ugly win in Cincinnati.
Check back into Stillcurtain.com for the latest news, analysis, and more of the pending “Duck Tales” for Devlin “Duck” Hodges as the Steelers control their destiny for the playoffs.
Here We Go, Steelers!