A week later, he was elevated to the 53-man roster when Roethlisberger's elbow surgery put him on season-ending injured reserve. Instead, the story of the Pittsburgh Steelers' newest QB1 begins in a hockey rink in Birmingham, Alabama. Members of the Steelers football team were also there. "When you say Devlin around our place, people don'… Claypool continues to be one of the Steelers greatest rookie receiving sensations…since…Juju Smith-Schuster was riding a bike. Hodges is one of the newer guys on the team, and, as an undrafted rookie, he's on the lowest rung of the ladder. Coach Chris Hatcher started calling him Duck, and it wasn't long before his receivers picked up on it. I mean, Dobbs is not the back up wide receiver under center in the Wildcat. WE RIDE. No need to squander any of those much-needed offensive line picks on those anymore, Highsmith is the next great Steelers linebacker…already. He led the Steelers on a touchdown drive in his first series. CINCINNATI (AP) — Giovani Bernard scored two first-half touchdowns after turnovers and the Cincinnati Bengals held on to stun the badly slumping Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 on Monday night.The Bengals 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. "And I mean literally he took off.". Talent was a part of it, sure, but to them, the touchdown was more indicative of their son's calm demeanor. For Steelers fans, it’s a Steelers Nation divided with some cups half empty and some half full. This is no longer your “Winless In Ohio” team. They couldn't generate any offense early, and the opportunistic Bengals took advantage of their mistakes. 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 … The Steelers can’t re-sign both if they both think they should start. Pittsburgh Pirates: This year, Friendsgiving meant helping community friends when they need it the m… We saw a young guy who was ready to compete, much improved and showing signs of belonging in the big leagues. Pittsburgh residents Jack Thompson, 67, and his son, Gavin Virag, 28, were two of the lucky winners for that precious first ride. Coach Chris Hatcher started calling him Duck, and it wasn't long before his receivers picked up on it. But they made him wait a year to suit up. And if he doesn't start another game after Sunday, he always has the ducks. 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. High-quality print adds a statement to one's workout or everyday routine. Remember when Colbert kept throwing first round picks at edge rushers like spaghetti on the wall? The Pittsburgh Steelers are just an hour away from their final game of the regular season on the road in Cleveland versus the Browns. "There's a 'Seinfeld' episode where Kramer is with a beauty queen, he's like, 'Poise counts,' and we'd laugh because we watch it all the time," Amy said. During the Steelers' Week 7 bye, Hodges and his father are headed to Saskatchewan, Canada, to, of course, go duck hunting. It’s time for your first playoff version of the Spin…in quite some time. It didn't take him long to make up for lost time. But, the Dupree of his first three years with the team. "To me, it's almost like a musical instrument. "That's just who they are. With passing options like Claypool, a hands-healed Diontae Johnson, social media mentor Smith-Schuster and the steady and reliable James Washington, this team needs to send missiles flying. 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. These ain’t the Brownies anymore. ", "He's bold and fearless," said Adam McCurry, who grew up with Hodges. Previously covered the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star and Oklahoma University for the Oklahoman. On one trip to Stuttgart, Arkansas, for the Junior World Duck Calling Contest, Hodges, then 7 years old, and his dad stopped into Rich-N-Tones, a company that specializes in high-end duck calls. Dan Orlovsky urges the Steelers to keep their offensive playcalling simple for third-string QB Devlin Hodges' first start in Week 6. "At our old house, we had a basement, and I would be like 'OK, go to the basement and shut the door, please.'". Duck tales: The surprising, duck-calling, record-breaking ride for Steelers QB Devlin Hodges, Jets should be all-in on Texans' Deshaun Watson, but reality could stand in way, Reid: Mahomes might've returned pre-protocol, Sources: WFT expected to hire Hurney as GM, QB Watson urges fans not to protest on behalf, Sources: Ravens to release veteran RB Ingram, NFL changes combine format; won't be in Indy, Lamar shouts out 'Bills Mafia' for donation drive, Niners promote McDaniel to OC, Ryans to DC, How the NFL concussion protocol works: What Patrick Mahomes has to do to get back on the field, Oddsmakers expect Mahomes to play, keep Chiefs as Super Bowl favorites, Tom Brady's success with Buccaneers sparks mixed reaction in New England. Don’t waste time with the crazy math of “well they beat us but we didn’t have all of our players.”. 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. From here on out? The nerves are still there. CINCINNATI (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers' December swoon is looking more like a collapse.The Steelers lost their third straight — getting thumped 27-17 by the last-place Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night — after ripping off 11 straight wins to start the season. That call put him on the fast track to starting in a week in which the Steelers are trying to salvage their season. He's the kind of natural who doesn't need to practice every day to be good. Richenback began training Hodges on the duck call, and after a couple of years, and many trips to Stuttgart, Hodges won the 2009 Junior World Duck Calling Contest. But it didn't take him long to endear himself to his teammates. 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 turned his truck around and headed home to repack. So…here we go again. Perhaps most disappointing about the Cleveland game was how Josh Dobbs was used. The Steelers scored 16 straight points to cut a deficit from 35-7 to 35-23. Every other team has some Yin to balance out the Yang. 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. The Steelers didn’t need to take away Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who combined for over 100 yards in the first half. ... You're not really being serious about a future when somebody is 5.". I was like, 'No, you should stay where you at because I like where I'm at.'". "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. When he got to Pittsburgh, coach Mike Tomlin added his own spin to the name, calling him "Duck Dynasty.". No beguiling. The most likely answer is the two duke it out through 2020 and the best one gets a new deal and the other walks. Why isn’t he getting the accolades he deserves (as the Spin gives himself a hard look in the mirror). "We put him on the skates," said his mom, Amy. WHO RIDE? I just have a lot of belief in myself. By chance, they met the owner, Butch Richenback, a legend in the duck hunting and calling community, who took a liking to Hodges. A couple of people came up to Amy afterward and told her how impressed they were with Devlin. The lack of Zen on this offensive play calling is mind numbing. Whatever it took to get you in there, matters nothing now. If first half Colts Ben shows up, all will be lost. No ebb and flo. Los Angeles Angels: Thank you Victor Rojas for 11 seasons in the broadcast booth and providing your … But, this was a significant move forward for Rudolph as potentially being the team’s number two for many years to come. 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. Already a couple seasons into his youth ice hockey career as a wing and a center, Hodges was 4 when he started pestering his parents to let him play football. Most important for this year’s Big Dance, Steelers Nation can feel fifty times more comfortable in the playoffs if for any reason Rudolph needs to green up his shoes a little. It looks exactly like when one of those vibrating plastic players would get stuck against the sidewall. A hockey natural who later become a record-setting FCS quarterback, Hodges enters Sunday night's game against the Los Angeles Chargers (8:20 p.m. He just could beat all of the team’s interception records if he ends up permanently planting his career in the Steel City. There is a strong chance he’ll make a catch or draw a pass interference. "Your boy's on his way back to Pittsburgh," Hodges said, grinning into the camera. Comfortable and light, this premium fitted short sleeve is a classic choice. The nickname started during his redshirt freshman year at Samford, because he constantly talked about duck hunting and duck calling. Seventh rounder Carlos Davis has shown he’s got some…well…fight in him, and don’t sleep on Antoine Brooks, Jr. (sixth round) quite yet. The question is, who will be along for the ride as the Steelers try to rebound from the upset loss in the AFC wild-card round to the Cleveland Browns? And, for the first time in a few years, we’ve got a ticket to ride. Did we see the next great Steelers quarterback? Because of the duck calling, the Hodges house was never quiet. Nope. (1:21). 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. Okay, then. The ESPN Daily delivers the biggest sports news and moments every weekday. : Premium fit. Much has been said about the caliber of players the team is set to lose in free agency during the offseason. Orlovsky: Keep Hodges comfortable with playcalling (1:21). Duck's more loose. Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) moves out of the pocket during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in … Probably not. 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. It’s the playoffs, Baby. 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. Just saving him for last. The Browns jumped out to … The second half of the Indianapolis Colts version of Roethlisberger will need to be in attendance for this game. 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. That’s a lot of riches. Alex Highsmith is already much better than Bud Dupree. NFL PrimeTime continues this postseason with extended highlights and analysis following the conclusion of each day's playoff games. Jeff Hartman, BTSC Co-Editor, Let’s Ride, Steelers Preview, Steelers Post-Game Show, Steelers Injury Report Podcast, Mike Tomlin Press Conference Recap . You can either do it well or you can't.". NFL experts debate their title window, future at QB, Dan Campbell might not be popular Lions choice but he could be the right one, Chiefs without Patrick Mahomes still in capable hands of Chad Henne -- just don't ask about hashtags, 2021 NFL draft order: Top 28 picks set, with Jags, Jets, Dolphins at the top. One of Hodges' best performances came against an FBS opponent. "It's unbearably loud," Amy said. Us? "That kind of set the tone for that whole game," Callaway said. "I feel like Mason would wear a suit on the field if he could, and Duck would have on a camo outfit," offensive lineman Fred Johnson said. Bucs have beaten Rodgers before, but does the formula change? 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. Mason Rudolph suffered a concussion against the Ravens, although he returned Wednesday to limited practice, and Ben Roethlisberger, the man Rudolph replaced, suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2. There was a striking lack of composure and creativity in the phone booth of a collapsed NFL pocket and in these moments…as in the past…he looked terminally average. It’s NFL playoff football, Steelers fans. "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. 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. 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. He's meant for the moment.". And, can we run him on some post plays across the middle, please? "When you say Devlin around our place, people don't even know who you're talking about," Samford offensive coordinator Russ Callaway said. Not the Dupree of the past two years, who was sensational. You also would note this team has been more slip than slide the past couple of months and the best quarterback arm on the team may currently be Mason Rudolph. The Steelers announced today that Porter will join the team as an assistant defensive coach for the upcoming season. His moxie, his cockiness, his quick release and just his ball playin', to me, makes up for what he lacks in all that.". For those of us who grew up without Madden Football in the 1970’s and were left with only an Official NFL Electric Football Game to play, we’ve got a pretty good visual of what the Steelers running game looks like. He was a natural and started competing in call tournaments and championships in the Southeast, frequently traveling to Arkansas to hunt and compete. Another showdown with the Cleveland Browns. A toddler on a hockey team in the heart of the Deep South. 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? Certainly, the same can be said about Defensive Line Coach Karl Dunbar. The Steelers had traded third-string quarterback Josh Dobbs, and they wanted Hodges back for the practice squad. Hodges was 2 years old the first time he was strapped into a pair of ice skates. Special Teams will undoubtedly come into play, so they better be ready to be special. "Sometimes Duck is in my locker, and he's talking with Mason, and he's like, maybe I should just switch lockers. 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! If Claypool gets single covered on the sideline, give him one of those “three flies up” tosses. The Browns were missing key players last week as well, and none of that Calculus really matters in the playoffs anyway. Ravens should get Lamar Jackson a No. After all, we do know what happened when Munchak left. 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. In an eventual 10-point loss, Hodges went for 475 yards, connecting on 39 of 60 attempts with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Watch on ESPN+. Just a guess, but I think Steelers rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster might be the only player in the NFL without a driver’s license.That means he has to ride his bike everywhere. If you grew up in Pittsburgh, then you know. Complain all we want about this team’s ability to run block, the line has proven capable of holding a pocket for Big Ben. A month ago, Hodges was at home in Alabama, mowing his mom's lawn. One of the highlights of the Browns game was the continuing resurgence of Chase Claypool. "He doesn't have an unbelievable arm like [Rams quarterback Jared] Goff. There's a high chance Cincinnati's poor offensive line gets Burrow killed in this game, but I'll ride with the Ohio gunslinger pulling off the upset." Amy and Zane just laughed. Hodges spent the rest of that season shattering records en route to the Walter Payton Award, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman. CBS Sports : Steelers 30, Bengals 19 The Steelers rallied within 17-10 in the second half before Finley ran untouched around the left side for a 23-yard touchdown with 11:21 left in the game to push the lead back to 14. Just like that, Samford was up 6-0 on an ACC opponent's home field. That’s a critical mistake and it allowed the Steelers to climb right back into the game. Am I forgetting someone? He flashed some of the best throws of the year for a player in a Steelers uniform and he displayed strong leadership as well. Of equal concern is the coaching talent that could pilfered on the defensive side. Porter will be entering his 14 th season with the NFL, his first as a coach. While Rudolph went through a meticulous routine, Hodges looked relaxed, smiling as he tossed the ball around beside Rudolph. 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. Packers receivers prove worthy once and for all, Flores, Woodson hoping to take Raiders, Raider Nation to Canton, Extension? But that's been the story of Hodges' life. Host Bengals ride big first half to shocking win over Steelers. On the very first drive of his very first game, he scored. Then there is Claypool who is flashing greatness. He doesn't waste energy dancing around and stuff like that.". The Steelers haven’t won a … There is no guesswork. "When it comes to football, I always prepare like I'm going to be the guy," Hodges said. Add to this Kevin Dotson, who is being hailed by his colleagues as a unique talent. After a nice showing during the three-day minicamp, he was inked to a contract, and the ride officially began. 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? 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. He finished with 7-of-9 passing for 68 yards. He had plans to try out for another team when the Steelers called. Every one," Johnson said. The Browns play-calling did it for them. Which is why I recommend for the playoffs that we replace Offensive Coordinator Randy Fichtner with a Magic 8-Ball. Steelers Fact or Fiction: Enjoy the Ride edition There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hodges and his brother started duck hunting with their dad when they were kids. It’s Air Coryell. His coaches called "black purple spear," sending receiver Kelvin McKnight deep with a triple move. He was recruited by FBS schools and initially committed to Southern Miss, but he instead wound up at Samford, a program a little closer to home. So, too, did the tall tales of "Duck" Hodges. He wore a backward flat-billed cap and gray sweatpants. "Somebody was like, he's really good. Pittsburgh scored again on a plunge by Benny Snell after getting a pass-interference call in the end zone on fourth-and-4 from the Cincinnati 12. And this defense? A lot, actually. "They interrupt every conversation I have. What did we learn about third year quarterback Mason Rudolph’s performance against the desperate and COVID depleted Browns last week? He arrived in Pittsburgh in May simply as Devlin Hodges , an undrafted rookie from Samford, coming to the Steelers for the team's rookie minicamp strictly on a tryout basis, nothing guaranteed. 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. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet. Rock n’ roll. No, it's like poise counts. The running game? Pittsburgh Steelers Today at 2:15 PM Missi, Arthur, Matt & Mike recap our game against the Bengals, discu ... ss current injuries, the defense & more in this episode of Steelers Live: The Extra Point, presented by Microsoft Surface . : Light fabric (4.3 oz/ Forget about wasting snaps on running into brick walls. Roethlisberger even called him "fearless" because of his playing style during training camp in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. 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. Big Ben can give it a shake in the huddle, and at least we’ll have some element of surprise with the 20 options in the team’s playbook. The strangest of all National Football League seasons begins its closing argument this weekend and for the first time since 2017 the Pittsburgh Steelers will have something to say about it. "He can go months without picking up a duck call and then pick it up and go win contest," Amy said. Rudolph was all business in a black T-shirt and black shorts with a small white towel tucked in his waistband, while Hodges was dressed more for a game of backyard football than an NFL warm-up. Always an underdog, Hodges looked like anything but in gutsy showings against Florida State and Mississippi State. Roughly two hours before kickoff against the Ravens, Hodges took the field to warm up alongside Rudolph. "All the guys thought he was going to make it here, the plays he was making in camp and practicing," center Maurkice Pouncey said. Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem? Let’s get this show started. Johnson's locker is situated between the two, but sometimes, he said, it's as if he doesn't exist when the quarterbacks walk in. Tom Bradley is the Mike Munchak of Steelers defensive coaches. Now, we get to wave our towels in support of the team that’s an integral part of who we are. "There's no red carpet whatsoever being undrafted, being a quarterback," offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva said. One of the offensive linemen can carry it next to their towel. I might just do a better job at hiding them.". Less than two weeks later, though, he sent Johnson a Snapchat from the front seat of his 2007 Chevy truck. 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