Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin: ‘Duck’ Hodges will continue to be starting QB

Dec. 3 (UPI) — After Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers will move forward with Devlin “Duck” Hodges as the starting quarterback.

“Going on the road is something we respect, especially when you’re working with a young QB,” Tomlin told reporters Tuesday. “Duck will continue to be our quarterback again this week. He’s performed well in hostile environments, but he just doesn’t have a big sample size.

“Like what I saw in L.A. I liked what I saw in the second half in Cincinnati, but he’ll be moving now into roughly his seventh quarter of road work. We respect it, we’ve got to prepare that way in preparation for our offensive unit.”

Hodges made his first career start against the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 13 in place of Mason Rudolph, who sustained a concussion against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 6. Hodges then took over for Rudolph in Cincinnati before beating the Browns on Sunday at Heinz Field.

Hodges completed 14-of-21 passes for 212 yards with one touchdown and an interception against the Browns. Tomlin said he told the undrafted rookie quarterback that he has “confidence in his abilities.”

“I told Duck I had a lot of confidence in his abilities and his preparation and his talent, so I wanted to display that confidence by not talking him to death, not having a bunch of additional meetings and things of that nature,” Tomlin said. “I wanted to display that confidence by going about our routine.

“Not only confidence in him, but confidence in our preparation process, how we go about our business of game prep. He’s the starting quarterback. We’re interacting with him in the ways that we interact with a starting quarterback in preparation for a game.”

In four games (two starts) this season, Hodges has completed 41-of-61 passes for 530 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Steelers (7-5) will face the Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1) on Sunday at State Farm Stadium.