The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to play the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14, and Devlin Hodges, or Duck as he is now known, is all the fan base is talking about. Hodges is 2-0 as a starter, and is hoping to turn that record to 3-0 when he will go against top overall draft pick Kyler Murray for Arizona.
It is a unique situation when you look at the top pick overall vs. a player who set all sorts of college records but went undrafted. In fact, he wasn’t even signed initially after the draft. The Steelers brought him in for a try out and Hodges proved enough to be on the team’s offseason roster.
Fast forward to present day, and Hodges is the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL can be crazy like that, but during his weekly media session Hodges was asked if he ever thinks about outperforming Murray in hopes of proving himself?
“No. I think outperforming him would be winning the game and that is what matters. It doesn’t matter how many yards I throw for or what, I just want to win the game.”
What might not be known to many fans is how Murray won the Heisman trophy his senior year, and Hodges won the Walter Payton winner, the FCS Heisman trophy. Hodges was asked if he ever thought about this leading up to the game?
“No, I haven’t thought about that. That is the first time. Now that you mention it, it is pretty unique playing against the Heisman winner and being the Walter Payton winner, the Heisman of the FCS. It is going to be a fun game.”
Keeping with the comparisons to Murray, Hodges and Murray share one very similar characteristic. Both are considered short for their positions. But does Hodges really feel like his height hinders him from making plays?
“I really haven’t thought about myself in that way. I have a confidence that I can get the job done and I have some great guys like Zach Banner is back there listening in. I have some great guys who can block, great guys that can catch the ball. Guys that just make my job easier. I think guys like me and Kyler and even Baker [Mayfield] and some of the shorter guys are just proof that the height thing isn’t as big a deal as what it seems to be.”
Ultimately, is Hodges motivated to play against Murray? To prove something to himself? Think again...
“I am motivated by guys in the locker room, they are the guys that motivate me. I want to do whatever it takes to win the game. I don’t want to compare myself to anybody else because I am who I am, and I am not worried about him being the first pick overall or anything. I have to worry about me and this team and what we can do.”
The Steelers now turn their attention away from the Cleveland Browns win in Week 13, and now focus on winning three straight games by defeating the Cardinals this Sunday in Arizona. It won’t be an easy task, and Hodges will have to orchestrate the offense without fear to claim yet another win for the black-and-gold.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes as the team moves into Week 14 of the 2019 regular season.
Devlin Hodges’ full media session