When asked about who would be the Steeler starter at quarterback in Week 13, head coach Mike Tomlin gave a very simple answer in his post game press conference following the Steelers 16-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
“We’ll see what next week holds next week.”
Coach Tomlin said he made the decision to go with Devlin Hodges after a three and out to start the third quarter because, “I thought we needed a spark.” The Steelers definitely had a spark on the very first drive with Hodges under center as the Steelers went 83 yards in three plays with a 79-yard touchdown by James Washington. Ironically, Hodges had 90 yards passing on an 83-yard drive as his only incompletion on the drive was wiped out by a 10-yard offensive pass interference by James Washington the play before the touchdown.
While coach Tomlin talked about how he liked the performance of Hodges, he also appreciated the effort of Mason Rudolph as well as his professionalism after he was pulled from the game.
“I like the contributions of Duck,” Tomlin stated. “I like his readiness. I appreciate the efforts of Mason and I appreciate the support of Mason after we made the change.”
As for the decision and the timing of making the quarterback change, Tomlin didn’t go into specifics as to why he made the change when he did or what all contributed to the decision. He did make a comical remark about making the decision to go to Hodges the second drive of the second half.
“I looked pretty smart, didn’t I?”
While the Steelers did get the quick spark on their lone touchdown, their offense still struggled throughout the remainder of the game. After the initial drive, Hodges only had three completions for 28 yards on eight attempts. So while Hodges did give the Steelers the quick score, his consistency could also be brought into question by some. When asked about when he’ll make a decision for next week, Tomlin responded quickly.
“I may have it as I stand here right now. I’m just not going to share it with you guys.”
Most likely, the earliest any news will come as to who the Steelers will start at quarterback on Sunday would be in coach Tomlin‘s press conference on Tuesday. Although some reports may come out, until coach Tomlin makes the official remarks it will all be an educated guess. Perhaps a the decision is kept under wraps as long as possible to strategically keep their opponent in the dark. Either way, the Steelers will need to know who their starting quarterback is in order to give him as much work possible in practice this week.