The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Somebody other than Devlin Hodges will attempt a pass for the Steelers today.
Explanation: The Steelers are preparing to start their third different quarterback of the season already in Week Six in Devlin Hodges. Already with Mason Rudolph under center, however, they showed a propensity to get more creative, including the usage of Jaylen Samuels in the Wildcat, even attempting a pass beyond the line of scrimmage. Gadget plays, or even a benching, could lead to Hodges having company on the passing stat sheet.
When you’re down to your third quarterback, you’re bound to get creative. That almost inevitably includes people other than your ‘starting’ quarterback attempting a pass or two here and there over the course of the game. I would expect to, even be surprised if we don’t, see this tonight.
After all, we saw Chris Boswell throw a touchdown to Alejandro Villaneuva last year. Ryan Switzer has some quarterback in his background. Zach Gentry was recruited to Michigan as a quarterback, and it’s likely that he will be active for the game since they have a bunch of injured players going in.
Then there is always the possibility that Hodges actually struggles, enough that they consider benching him. They did call up Paxton Lynch from the practice squad, and if Hodges proves to shrink in the moment, we can’t rule out this possibility.
I certainly wouldn’t count on it, though. One thing Hodges has is confidence in himself, and a deep desire to throw the ball. Randy Fichtner said that he’s never seen a pass he didn’t like. I think that about sums up his makeup.
And the guy that they had as the gadget-runner was Jaylen Samuels, but he’s injured now. They will have had to work up new schemes while adjusting to a new starter. I wouldn’t expect to see anything fancy this week. It’s more likely that if we see anything, it will be in Week Eight after the bye, but by then Rudolph likely will return.