Head coach Mike Tomlin already announced yesterday that rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges would continue to start into Sunday’s game for the Pittsburgh Steelers, on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. Presumably, the intention is for him to remain the starter provided that he doesn’t perform overtly poorly, as Mason Rudolph had been when he was benched.
Does that mean that they are now looking down the road with him, in any capacity? The Steelers are actively fighting to push for a spot in the postseason, so he would have to be able to perform in that environment as well.
“You know, I’m just trying to win a game this week, to be honest with you”, Tomlin said when he was asked what he would have to work on with Hodges to turn him into a championship-caliber quarterback. “I hadn’t thought a lot about it, so I probably don’t have an appropriate answer to your question. I’m trying to figure out what I need to do with Duck this week to get out of this stadium”.
Basically ever coach ever in the history of coaching actively preaches the one game at a time approach, but that’s especially prudent in a situation such as Pittsburgh’s, in which they not only have zero margin for error for the foreseeable future, but have also had some frightening variables thrown into the mix that can change from week to week.
“We give him the attention that a starter appropriately deserves. But we’re not giving him any additional attention”, Tomlin said in how he and his staff are handling Hodges through this process. “I’m thoughtful about my interactions with people. We always say the right things, but do our actions match our words”.
“I told Duck I had a lot of confidence in his abilities and preparation and his talents”, he went on. “I wanted to display that confidence by not talking him to death. Not having a bunch of additional meetings and things of that nature. I wanted to display that confidence by going about our routine”.
He said that it’s also not just about showing Hodges that they believe in him, but by not overburdening him in game prep, it reinforces confidence in the team’s typical weekly preparation process as well. “He’s a starting quarterback. We’re interacting with him in the ways that we interact with a starting quarterback in preparation for a game”, he added.
And that starting quarterback is starting in Arizona on Sunday, so that’s what they’re worried about. Not Buffalo. Not Baltimore. Not New England or Kansas City or a Wildcard Round showdown with in Houston. Just Arizona and Chandler Jones, Patrick Peterson, and company. The rest can wait, and would look a lot better coming off of a win.