(1:21). Every one," Johnson said. He had plans to try out for another team when the Steelers called. "That kind of set the tone for that whole game," Callaway said. One of the offensive linemen can carry it next to their towel. After a nice showing during the three-day minicamp, he was inked to a contract, and the ride officially began. ", "He's bold and fearless," said Adam McCurry, who grew up with Hodges. Forget about wasting snaps on running into brick walls. Now, we get to wave our towels in support of the team that’s an integral part of who we are. Pittsburgh Pirates: This year, Friendsgiving meant helping community friends when they need it the m… And, can we run him on some post plays across the middle, please? So, too, did the tall tales of "Duck" Hodges. But duck calling isn't like throwing a football -- at least not for Hodges. Why isn’t he getting the accolades he deserves (as the Spin gives himself a hard look in the mirror). WE RIDE. Hodges was on his way to the Birmingham airport for a tryout with the New York Jets when his agent called. The Steelers can’t re-sign both if they both think they should start. "He wears that hat very well, the fact that he knows the opportunities are limited.". Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet. Comfortable and light, this premium fitted short sleeve is a classic choice. Nope. But even if the two are opposite in their approaches, they quickly formed a friendship in the locker room. He's the kind of natural who doesn't need to practice every day to be good. We’re still participating in games that matter in January? Mason Rudolph suffered a concussion against the Ravens, although he returned Wednesday to limited practice, and Ben Roethlisberger, the man Rudolph replaced, suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2. Cameron Heyward says he was getting ready for his farewell tour with the Steelers before reaching an agreement on an extension Sunday night. He doesn't waste energy dancing around and stuff like that.". His coaches called "black purple spear," sending receiver Kelvin McKnight deep with a triple move. It’s the playoffs, Baby. Even those times when he holds the rock longer than two seconds. Another showdown with the Cleveland Browns. Remember when Colbert kept throwing first round picks at edge rushers like spaghetti on the wall? Just like that, Samford was up 6-0 on an ACC opponent's home field. The Bengals (3-10-1) led 17-0 at halftime and survived a rally by the Steelers, who lost their third straight after 11 consecutive wins to start the season. It didn't take him long to make up for lost time. There was only one thing left for us 8-year old offensive coordinators to do, and that was to give the running back a wee poke of the finger so he could return on his task of buzzing along the gridiron with his tiny foam football tucked under his arm. Complain all we want about this team’s ability to run block, the line has proven capable of holding a pocket for Big Ben. Because of the duck calling, the Hodges house was never quiet. After all, we do know what happened when Munchak left. "All the guys thought he was going to make it here, the plays he was making in camp and practicing," center Maurkice Pouncey said. CBS Sports : Steelers 30, Bengals 19 It’s NFL playoff football, Steelers fans. Orlovsky: Keep Hodges comfortable with playcalling (1:21). He was a natural and started competing in call tournaments and championships in the Southeast, frequently traveling to Arkansas to hunt and compete. "That's just who they are. Okay, then. It looks exactly like when one of those vibrating plastic players would get stuck against the sidewall. While Rudolph went through a meticulous routine, Hodges looked relaxed, smiling as he tossed the ball around beside Rudolph. Watch on ESPN+. He wore a backward flat-billed cap and gray sweatpants. Hodges and his brother started duck hunting with their dad when they were kids. As much grief-splattered ink has been spilled (including here in the Spin) regarding the team’s offensive coaches, there has been an equally regretful void of praise for one of the team’s MVP’s. With passing options like Claypool, a hands-healed Diontae Johnson, social media mentor Smith-Schuster and the steady and reliable James Washington, this team needs to send missiles flying. That call put him on the fast track to starting in a week in which the Steelers are trying to salvage their season. . The nickname started during his redshirt freshman year at Samford, because he constantly talked about duck hunting and duck calling. "There's a 'Seinfeld' episode where Kramer is with a beauty queen, he's like, 'Poise counts,' and we'd laugh because we watch it all the time," Amy said. The Steelers had traded third-string quarterback Josh Dobbs, and they wanted Hodges back for the practice squad. WHO RIDE? That really seemed timed up with when the team’s offensive engine started pinging. A week ago, coming in for Rudolph, Hodges did what he had done many times in the past. He arrived in Pittsburgh in May simply as Devlin Hodges , an undrafted rookie from Samford, coming to the Steelers for the team's rookie minicamp strictly on a tryout basis, nothing guaranteed. You can either do it well or you can't.". And since that’s with the Steelers, it can be one of the most stable and sought-after positions in the league. This is no longer your “Winless In Ohio” team. Big Ben can give it a shake in the huddle, and at least we’ll have some element of surprise with the 20 options in the team’s playbook. There is no guesswork. He finished with 7-of-9 passing for 68 yards. The problem with this Steelers running game is there doesn’t seem to be any finger poking from the sideline when it’s so desperately needed. Brees is named Super Bowl MVP and rides off into the sunset with a Lombardi -- while Tom Brady hears the cheers from down the street. I was like, 'No, you should stay where you at because I like where I'm at.'". The ESPN Daily delivers the biggest sports news and moments every weekday. But that's been the story of Hodges' life. Less than two weeks later, though, he sent Johnson a Snapchat from the front seat of his 2007 Chevy truck. 1 WR, 2020 NFL season in review: How the season finished, what's next for eliminated playoff teams, What now for Drew Brees and the Saints? You also would note this team has been more slip than slide the past couple of months and the best quarterback arm on the team may currently be Mason Rudolph. The Pittsburgh Steelers' season ended early, but fans will still be watching the NFL Divisional round this weekend. A toddler on a hockey team in the heart of the Deep South. But, the Dupree of his first three years with the team. And, for the first time in a few years, we’ve got a ticket to ride. Don’t waste time with the crazy math of “well they beat us but we didn’t have all of our players.”. This, while having to be protected by a quasi-practice squad offensive line. If first half Colts Ben shows up, all will be lost. "There's no red carpet whatsoever being undrafted, being a quarterback," offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva said. On the very first drive of his very first game, he scored. By chance, they met the owner, Butch Richenback, a legend in the duck hunting and calling community, who took a liking to Hodges. "When you say Devlin around our place, people don'… During the Steelers' Week 7 bye, Hodges and his father are headed to Saskatchewan, Canada, to, of course, go duck hunting. That’s a critical mistake and it allowed the Steelers to climb right back into the game. Much has been said about the caliber of players the team is set to lose in free agency during the offseason. Even with a strong showing and the locker room behind him, Hodges was waived after the final preseason game. "When you say Devlin around our place, people don't even know who you're talking about," Samford offensive coordinator Russ Callaway said. The running game? While Hodges let competition duck calling take a backseat to football in college, he proved he still had it last year when he won the Alabama state duck calling championship. 2020 NFL Scouting Combine Results Tracker, 2020 Steelers Combine Interview Masterlist (Updating), Watch: Steelers Depot Q&A Livestream – January 18th, CBS Mock Draft Has Steelers Going OT In First Round, Steelers 2020 Defensive Charting – Season Review. The Steelers didn’t need to take away Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who combined for over 100 yards in the first half. Which is why it remains strange that right smack dab in the peak of the Steelers 11-0 run Claypool was relegated to more of a bench role for several games. "And [when] he got into the games, he did really, really well, as well.". But it didn't take him long to endear himself to his teammates. Even the sourest of pessimists among us can’t avoid a glimmer of pride in the return to glory of Pittsburgh’s true measure of football greatness. Members of the Steelers football team were also there. Hodges is known by his family and everyone back home as Devlin, but at Samford University and in Pittsburgh, he goes by a different name: Duck. "At our old house, we had a basement, and I would be like 'OK, go to the basement and shut the door, please.'". Perhaps most disappointing about the Cleveland game was how Josh Dobbs was used. Why didn’t we let him throw the ball? Yes…he’s got to get some gray in his sideburns, and needs work on securing the edge, but he’s looking like the perfect dance partner for T.J. Watt for…hopefully…many years to come. "I think that's why when I was thrown out there and I wasn't nervous, I was prepared and confident. Can you think of a single defensive back who hasn’t grown tremendously over the course of the time Bradley has spent with the team? Sigh. Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem? Johnson's locker is situated between the two, but sometimes, he said, it's as if he doesn't exist when the quarterbacks walk in. Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) moves out of the pocket during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in … Do we have one of the best defenses in the NFL as well as some of the leagues’ brightest defensive stars? Let’s get this show started. Running back Anthony McFarland still seems too quick for his own good, but he’ll end up settling well into a quality third down option in the league. Duck's more loose. So…here we go again. Los Angeles Angels: Thank you Victor Rojas for 11 seasons in the broadcast booth and providing your … "Somebody was like, he's really good. Remember those days when we were told it would take two or three years of coaching before a receiver could be trusted with a starting role on a Steelers offense? Hodges was 2 years old the first time he was strapped into a pair of ice skates. But they made him wait a year to suit up. "It's unbearably loud," Amy said. The first play of his first possession against Florida State a year ago looked awfully similar to his pee wee debut nearly two decades earlier. Instead, the story of the Pittsburgh Steelers' newest QB1 begins in a hockey rink in Birmingham, Alabama. : Premium fit. Pittsburgh scored again on a plunge by Benny Snell after getting a pass-interference call in the end zone on fourth-and-4 from the Cincinnati 12. Then there is Claypool who is flashing greatness. Pittsburgh residents Jack Thompson, 67, and his son, Gavin Virag, 28, were two of the lucky winners for that precious first ride. Amy and Zane just laughed. "He doesn't have an unbelievable arm like [Rams quarterback Jared] Goff. With Fitzpatrick earning his second All-Pro nod, and with him just barely turning 24, he’s on his way to being the next Rod Woodson-Troy Polamalu level player on the team. The Steelers haven’t won a … For those of us who grew up without Madden Football in the 1970’s and were left with only an Official NFL Electric Football Game to play, we’ve got a pretty good visual of what the Steelers running game looks like. One of the highlights of the Browns game was the continuing resurgence of Chase Claypool. Dance and soul. : Light fabric (4.3 oz/ When Baker Mayfield gets on a roll (and he’s currently WAY hotter than Big Ben these last few games) they can stand toe to toe with any team in the NFL. Zane introduced his oldest son to the Birmingham airport for a player a. Keep their offensive playcalling simple for third-string QB Devlin Hodges ' best performances against... Steel City a pair of ice skates first half to shocking win over Steelers of! 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