The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, in which they entered with big aspirations, in spite of a tumultuous start to the offseason. Significant players were lost via trade and free agency, players who have helped shape the course of the franchise in recent years. We even now sit here without Ben Roethlisberger after just two games.
The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they have new starters. And quarterback was suddenly added to that list.
How will the season progress without Roethlisberger, behind Mason Rudolph, and now Devlin Hodges? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in games? Who is sitting out due to injury?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: How will Devlin Hodges rebound from the worst game of his career?
Suffice it to say that this is indeed the biggest question for the Steelers right now. With it already set in stone that he is going to start this week, how will Devlin Hodges perform, on the road, against a defense that at the very least has talent at the back end, shortly after he threw four interceptions?
The thing about Hodges is that he seems to have ‘the right attitude’. But I thought the same thing about Mason Rudolph. He shakes things off, keeps it loose, understands he can only control what’s in front of him, not what’s behind him. But he got rattled. It affected him. I think Hodges got rattled, too.
Now he has to show how he responds, and I don’t have a great deal of confidence in guessing how that might go. I wouldn’t be surprised if he struggles once again and even gets pulled. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he has his best statistical output yet.
Part of that is simply a matter of dealing with a young quarterback with such a small body of work. There’s so much that we still don’t know about him, that Hodges doesn’t even know about himself. And that’s both exciting and anxiety-inducing.
Of course, it’s not all on the quarterback. The rest of the group has to help him out. That has gotten some mixed results. The offensive line probably had its worst game on Sunday with Hodges under center. But he still had his skill guys making plays for him, something that he has had over Rudolph.