Devlin Hodges stunk it up last night. There’s no two ways about that. But the Pittsburgh Steelers undrafted rookie quarterback didn’t do anything that any quarterback who’s played long enough does. We’ve seen these games in the late careers of guys like Aaron Rodgers. Sometimes they just happen.
In their cases, however, their jobs at typically secure. Not so for somebody in Hodges’ position, with minimal experience and another quarterback under pretty similar circumstances who can potentially flip back and take the job.
So on the night in which he threw four interceptions and greatly impeded the Steelers’ ability to win the game, Hodges was asked afterwards if he felt this was a confidence-rattler. But this is a guy who goes out there on the scout team and says he’s going to rip up the starting defense.
“It’s disappointing right now”, he said. “I mean, obviously, you hate to lose, but I think after the first loss, how you respond is gonna define who I am. I’m disappointed right now, but in a couple days I’m still gonna be who I am, I’m still gonna be confident, still know that I can get the job done”.
In other words, it’s just a bad game with a bunch of throws he’d like to have back. But you can’t get them back, you can only make more throws in the future, and that’s what he’s focused on, not the past. And he knows that he’s capable of making the throws that the team needs him to make in order to win.
At least that’s his attitude now, though it seems that is genuinely his demeanor. Mason Rudolph seemed to have a similar demeanor, but frankly both of them looked rattled on the nights on which they were intercepted four times, even before the turnovers.
Rudolph came back and didn’t play much better, which led to his being pulled in favor of Hodges. How will he respond now that he has had that sort of game that puts him under the microscope? Regardless of how he performs, it seems he expects to take the same mentality into the process that has gotten him this far.
On the season, Hodges has now completed 80 of 118 passes for 884 yards, averaging 7.5 yards per attempt with five touchdowns to six interceptions. He has been sacked 10 times and fumbled three times, but he has been fortunate to have had all of them recovered.
The Samford product is an interesting and developing talent, but there’s clearly a lot for him that he needs to work on. I have said in the past that he is able to identify what he needs to work on, and complimented him for that; however, I’m still waiting to see him actually make these corrections and display them in-game. As he said, how he responds to this game will define him, assuming he’s afforded the opportunity to respond.