The 2019 season was certainly an interesting one for the Pittsburgh Steelers, if not entirely successful. And the most interesting thing about it was the man that they call Duck. Devlin Hodges came out of Samford as an undersized quarterback from a small school, ultimately going undrafted, which was expected.
The Steelers were the second team to which he was invited to participate in their rookie minicamp, and he ultimately showed enough on the field to earn a contract on the 90-man roster over Brogan Roback, who had been signed to a futures deal earlier that year.
The thing is, his legend didn’t stop growing until he ended up being the team’s starting quarterback—with the very obvious caveat that it took a severe elbow injury suffered by Ben Roethlisberger to make that possible. But he ended up being the number four quarterback and started six games that season.
Hodges kept turning heads throughout the offseason and in training camp due to his accuracy and aggressiveness. Though he didn’t make the 53-man roster, he was signed to the practice squad after the Steelers traded Joshua Dobbs for a fifth-round pick.
You know what happened from there. Roethlisberger got hurt, Mason Rudolph came in, got hurt, Hodges made a cameo, starting against the Chargers. Later on, Rudolph ran into a bad stretch and got benched.
In all, he completed 100 of 160 pass attempts for 1063 yards, but he only threw five touchdown passes to eight interceptions, and his final three games in particular were rough. He was actually benched in favor of Rudolph in the second of those three games, but Rudolph was then injured.
This past season, Hodges made the initial 53-man roster, but the Steelers brought back Dobbs when he was let loose. Hodges was waived, but retained on the practice squad as the fourth quarterback, where he stayed all year. it’s unlikely he would have been kept had this been any other season, due to Covid-19, but here we are.
Earlier this week, it became official that Hodges’ contract expired with the Steelers after not being signed to a futures deal, and he issued a farewell message. Those who didn’t witness the 2019 season will not know him for anything more than a footnote, but those who did will certainly remember him and his interesting turn as a starter under center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, a story he’ll be able to tell for the rest of his life.
✌🏼 Pittsburgh! Thankful for the opportunity and the ability to live out my dream. Nothing but love! QUACK! pic.twitter.com/kSJGffYQyj
— Devlin Hodges (@DevlinHodges10) January 19, 2021