Now that training camp is underway, and the roster for the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: QB Devlin Hodges
Stock Value: Down
It would be hard to start anywhere else after this game. Realistically, no single person in Pittsburgh over the past three weeks has had more to do with the team ultimately missing the postseason than Devlin Hodges, after all, though the truth is that he should have never been in the position to bear the weight of that responsibility in the first place.
The rookie had yet another bad game, this time completing just nine of 25 pass attempts, a completion percentage of just 36. While some of those incompletions were throwaways, his calling card had consistently been his accuracy, and he absolutely didn’t have that last night. He did suffer some drops as well, in wet conditions.
Hodges ultimately threw for 95 yards on his 25 pass attempts, averaging just 3.8 yards per pass attempt. It’s hard in this day and age to start an entire game at quarterback and throw for under 100 yards, but he managed to accomplish that feat against the Baltimore Ravens, despite the fact that they rested some starters.
He also finished the season going two straight games without throwing a touchdown pass. He ultimately threw just five touchdowns ins eight games, with six starts, but managed eight interceptions. He finished the year with a quarterback rating of 71.4.
While the late string of interceptions was frustrating, the most annoying nuisance in his game had been his lack of feel for the pocket, which had been a primary culprit on a good portion of his sacks, and helped contribute to his several strip sacks, which he finally lost one last night.
Duck Season was a fun one for the few weeks that it lasted, but his falling back down to Earth has been a rough landing, with perhaps the majority of his startup fanbase turning their backs on him as he struggled. If he will rebound, it won’t be any time soon, since there is no football to be played for quite a while.