Back nesting with Steelers: Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges returns to practice |

Back nesting with Steelers: Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges returns to practice

Chris Adamski
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges walks on the sideline in the second half of a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 25 in Nashville.

After migrating south for a week and a half, “Duck” was back in his nest at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad Tuesday, quarterback Devlin “Duck Dynasty” Hodges got plenty of practice reps Wednesday with starter Ben Roethlisberger taking his typical veteran’s day off.

A rookie from Samford who set the NCAA FCS career passing yardage record, Hodges takes over as the No. 3 quarterback after the Monday trade of Josh Dobbs to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hodges was among the final cuts Aug. 31 after an impressive showing during training camp.

“They said I did a good job this preseason,” Hodges said of the conversation when informed he was cut, “and (they) told me, ‘Hey, you need to go back and work out because you never know what I can happen.’

“I am sure a lot of people say that, and I didn’t think that would happen so quick, so soon, just a week later. It was a nice little week home, but I am happy to be back and happy to be back around the guys in the locker room.”

Hodges earned the nickname “Duck Dynasty” (or “Duck” for short) because the Alabama native won a national duck-calling national as a youth.

No, he said Wednesday, he did not spent any of his nine days away from the Steelers doing any duck hunting.

“Duck season is over, plus it’s too hot,” Hodges said.

He said it was an opportunity to clear his mind after a whirlwind from draft prep, the rookie minicamp tryout in May, organized team activities, veteran minicamp, training camp and the preseason.

Although this marks the first time in coach Mike Tomlin’s 13 seasons the Steelers have not carried three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, functionally, Hodges’ job description is the same as if he were on the active roster.

“Whether I am practice squad or active, I am the No. 3 quarterback,” Hodges said. “I go to all the meetings, and I learn. I know all the installs that we put in, I know the gameplan each week. I am still involved just like I was when I was here before I left and just like any other active quarterback.”

Hodges typically will direct the scout team during the practice week, but on days Roethlisberger is out he will get to run the offense.

Hodges was not drafted, in large part, because he stands just 6-foot-1. He broke Steve McNair’s 24-year-old FCS career passing yardage record, finishing with 14,584 in 45 games.

Upon arriving in Pittsburgh, Hodges posted a pair of lighthearted messages to his verified Twitter account that accumulated almost 7,000 likes.

“I never thought I would tweet a little cartoon picture of a duck with a Steelers jersey and get all the reaction and stuff that I had,” Hodges said. “It’s awesome. It’s an awesome fanbase that is even behind guys like me who are the third-team quarterback, practice-squad guy.”

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.