Remember those days when we were told it would take two or three years of coaching before a receiver could be trusted with a starting role on a Steelers offense? "That kind of set the tone for that whole game," Callaway said. "And [when] he got into the games, he did really, really well, as well.". It didn't take him long to make up for lost time. It’s Air Coryell. Steelers Fact or Fiction: Enjoy the Ride edition There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Which is why it remains strange that right smack dab in the peak of the Steelers 11-0 run Claypool was relegated to more of a bench role for several games. It’s the playoffs, Baby. : Light fabric (4.3 oz/ "When you say Devlin around our place, people don't even know who you're talking about," Samford offensive coordinator Russ Callaway said. Perhaps most disappointing about the Cleveland game was how Josh Dobbs was used. Am I forgetting someone? That call put him on the fast track to starting in a week in which the Steelers are trying to salvage their season. Despite the awards and records, the stigma of being an air-raid quarterback coupled with his FCS background meant the 6-foot-1 Hodges went undrafted this spring. We’re still participating in games that matter in January? That’s a lot of riches. The Steelers announced today that Porter will join the team as an assistant defensive coach for the upcoming season. But even if the two are opposite in their approaches, they quickly formed a friendship in the locker room. "I'll be damned, we put him in and he started for three years and 75% of another year, and all he did was break the all-time leading FCS passing record and won the Walter Payton Award and is probably the best player in the FCS history," Callaway said. And, can we run him on some post plays across the middle, please? When Baker Mayfield gets on a roll (and he’s currently WAY hotter than Big Ben these last few games) they can stand toe to toe with any team in the NFL. For Steelers fans, it’s a Steelers Nation divided with some cups half empty and some half full. Do we have one of the best defenses in the NFL as well as some of the leagues’ brightest defensive stars? With Fitzpatrick earning his second All-Pro nod, and with him just barely turning 24, he’s on his way to being the next Rod Woodson-Troy Polamalu level player on the team. Certainly, the same can be said about Defensive Line Coach Karl Dunbar. The second half of the Indianapolis Colts version of Roethlisberger will need to be in attendance for this game. Hodges turned his truck around and headed home to repack. What a Ride These Steelers are Taking Us On written by steeldad December 1, 2019 Whether you prefer to think of roller coasters, water slides or just a merry-go-round, whatever the case, the Pittsburgh Steelers have taken us for one hell of a ride in 2019 and today … Just like that, Samford was up 6-0 on an ACC opponent's home field. This is no longer your “Winless In Ohio” team. Add to this Kevin Dotson, who is being hailed by his colleagues as a unique talent. The Steelers didn’t need to take away Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who combined for over 100 yards in the first half. One of Hodges' best performances came against an FBS opponent. He finished with 7-of-9 passing for 68 yards. And if he doesn't start another game after Sunday, he always has the ducks. A year later, he was playing on a team with 4- and 5-year-olds coached by his dad. Hodges kept his poise, though, and worked his way from a rookie minicamp tryout to a training camp invite, a practice squad nod, a spot on the 53-man roster and now a shot to start on "Sunday Night Football. Always an underdog, Hodges looked like anything but in gutsy showings against Florida State and Mississippi State. "They interrupt every conversation I have. No beguiling. He doesn't have that elite of an arm, but it's not far behind. The Cleveland Browns tied an NFL record for first-quarter points en route to a 48-37 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their AFC wild-card game Sunday. Hodges was 2 years old the first time he was strapped into a pair of ice skates. He wore a backward flat-billed cap and gray sweatpants. After a nice showing during the three-day minicamp, he was inked to a contract, and the ride officially began. Hodges spent the rest of that season shattering records en route to the Walter Payton Award, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman. No need to squander any of those much-needed offensive line picks on those anymore, Highsmith is the next great Steelers linebacker…already. The lack of Zen on this offensive play calling is mind numbing. After wowing a new coaching staff through spring practice and fall camp of his redshirt freshman season, Hodges took over for the incumbent starter at halftime of the fourth game. No, it's like poise counts. NFL PrimeTime continues this postseason with extended highlights and analysis following the conclusion of each day's playoff games. Will you be shining up your golf clubs in a week or two, or will you be participating in all of the pre-Super Bowl hype that’s almost as big as the big game itself. If we allow ourselves to cheat and consider Minkah Fitzpatrick as our number one draft pick this year, then we might be able to say this group of rookies constitutes Kevin Colbert’s greatest performance yet as the team’s general manager. The first time he stepped on a football field, Devlin Hodges threw a touchdown pass. But, if your Super Bowl aspirations are half full, you’ll cheerfully push all of your chips onto Number 7 on the roulette wheel figuring Ben Roethlisberger has been saving his best magic for when it matters most. The Browns play-calling did it for them. In an eventual 10-point loss, Hodges went for 475 yards, connecting on 39 of 60 attempts with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Yes, this includes the first quarter, Mr. Fichtner. Packers receivers prove worthy once and for all, Flores, Woodson hoping to take Raiders, Raider Nation to Canton, Extension? "He wears that hat very well, the fact that he knows the opportunities are limited.". Pittsburgh Steelers Today at 5:32 AM Here's your chance to win the # Steelers Playoffs Experience package ... that includes a large screen TV, gift cards, a Steelers Pro Shop homegating package and a virtual call with a Steelers Legend during the game! "At our old house, we had a basement, and I would be like 'OK, go to the basement and shut the door, please.'". CBS Sports : Steelers 30, Bengals 19 I might just do a better job at hiding them.". Much has been said about the caliber of players the team is set to lose in free agency during the offseason. WHO RIDE? But duck calling isn't like throwing a football -- at least not for Hodges. Whatever it took to get you in there, matters nothing now. "I think that's why when I was thrown out there and I wasn't nervous, I was prepared and confident. Pittsburgh Pirates: This year, Friendsgiving meant helping community friends when they need it the m… Members of the Steelers football team were also there. If the Browns leave Heinz Field with their first playoff victory since…well, players had leather helmets…then it will be only a mild upset. Not the Dupree of the past two years, who was sensational. "Almost every game or every time, he would have one big play or something that was just a Super Bowl throw that was across the middle. Probably not. These ain’t the Brownies anymore. Us? But, what is most special, is that in a year of absolute madness, we were able to enjoy an entire regular season of the game we so love. Let’s get this show started. Orlovsky: Keep Hodges comfortable with playcalling (1:21). A toddler on a hockey team in the heart of the Deep South. That really seemed timed up with when the team’s offensive engine started pinging. As much grief-splattered ink has been spilled (including here in the Spin) regarding the team’s offensive coaches, there has been an equally regretful void of praise for one of the team’s MVP’s. But, the Dupree of his first three years with the team. If first half Colts Ben shows up, all will be lost. "It's unbearably loud," Amy said. Duck's more loose. Nope. One of the offensive linemen can carry it next to their towel. Hodges is one of the newer guys on the team, and, as an undrafted rookie, he's on the lowest rung of the ladder. 1 WR, 2020 NFL season in review: How the season finished, what's next for eliminated playoff teams, What now for Drew Brees and the Saints? So…here we go again. It’s time for your first playoff version of the Spin…in quite some time. Watch on ESPN+. Can you think of a single defensive back who hasn’t grown tremendously over the course of the time Bradley has spent with the team? Hodges and his brother started duck hunting with their dad when they were kids. The Steelers had traded third-string quarterback Josh Dobbs, and they wanted Hodges back for the practice squad. This, while having to be protected by a quasi-practice squad offensive line. "To me, it's almost like a musical instrument. Pittsburgh Steelers' Benny Snell (24) is chased by Cincinnati Bengals' Carl Lawson (58) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Cincinnati. Bucs have beaten Rodgers before, but does the formula change? The nerves are still there. Alex Highsmith is already much better than Bud Dupree. On the very first drive of his very first game, he scored. He led the Steelers on a touchdown drive in his first series. Steelers Podcast: The time for excuses is over for the Pittsburgh Steelers Jeff Hartman brings an AM studio show to the BTSC family of podcasts with the latest episode of “Let’s Ride“. Of equal concern is the coaching talent that could pilfered on the defensive side. Okay, then. 54.8k Likes, 487 Comments - Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) on Instagram: “WHO RIDE⁉️” Sometimes, Devlin, his younger brother, Duncan, and his dad would work on their calls together. The Browns were missing key players last week as well, and none of that Calculus really matters in the playoffs anyway. Now, we get to wave our towels in support of the team that’s an integral part of who we are. The Bengals (3-10-1) led 17-0 at halftime and survived a rally by the Steelers, who lost their third straight after 11 consecutive wins to start the season. Yes…he’s got to get some gray in his sideburns, and needs work on securing the edge, but he’s looking like the perfect dance partner for T.J. Watt for…hopefully…many years to come. And, for the first time in a few years, we’ve got a ticket to ride. Roughly two hours before kickoff against the Ravens, Hodges took the field to warm up alongside Rudolph. But that's been the story of Hodges' life. "He doesn't have an unbelievable arm like [Rams quarterback Jared] Goff. Hodges is known by his family and everyone back home as Devlin, but at Samford University and in Pittsburgh, he goes by a different name: Duck. Which is why I recommend for the playoffs that we replace Offensive Coordinator Randy Fichtner with a Magic 8-Ball. The Steelers defense can and will rise to the occasion, but they will be facing an offensive opponent formative enough that they won’t be able to do it this time alone. Coach Chris Hatcher started calling him Duck, and it wasn't long before his receivers picked up on it. "We put him on the skates," said his mom, Amy. You can either do it well or you can't.". There was only one thing left for us 8-year old offensive coordinators to do, and that was to give the running back a wee poke of the finger so he could return on his task of buzzing along the gridiron with his tiny foam football tucked under his arm. Every one," Johnson said. The problem with this Steelers running game is there doesn’t seem to be any finger poking from the sideline when it’s so desperately needed. A lot, actually. While Hodges let competition duck calling take a backseat to football in college, he proved he still had it last year when he won the Alabama state duck calling championship. Complain all we want about this team’s ability to run block, the line has proven capable of holding a pocket for Big Ben. They couldn't generate any offense early, and the opportunistic Bengals took advantage of their mistakes. Brees is named Super Bowl MVP and rides off into the sunset with a Lombardi -- while Tom Brady hears the cheers from down the street. Forget about wasting snaps on running into brick walls. Claypool continues to be one of the Steelers greatest rookie receiving sensations…since…Juju Smith-Schuster was riding a bike. Don’t waste time with the crazy math of “well they beat us but we didn’t have all of our players.”. Even the sourest of pessimists among us can’t avoid a glimmer of pride in the return to glory of Pittsburgh’s true measure of football greatness. "All the guys thought he was going to make it here, the plays he was making in camp and practicing," center Maurkice Pouncey said. The Pittsburgh Steelers are just an hour away from their final game of the regular season on the road in Cleveland versus the Browns. Amy and Zane just laughed. While Rudolph went through a meticulous routine, Hodges looked relaxed, smiling as he tossed the ball around beside Rudolph. The first play of his first possession against Florida State a year ago looked awfully similar to his pee wee debut nearly two decades earlier. Remember when Colbert kept throwing first round picks at edge rushers like spaghetti on the wall? Talent was a part of it, sure, but to them, the touchdown was more indicative of their son's calm demeanor. The Browns jumped out to … Bengals Ride Big First Half to Shocking Win Over Steelers Giovani Bernard scored two first-half touchdowns after turnovers and the Cincinnati … He was a natural and started competing in call tournaments and championships in the Southeast, frequently traveling to Arkansas to hunt and compete. 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