"Who's this Devlin Hodges guy?" you might ask while watching the second half of the Steelers' 30-28win over the Buccaneers.
Well, Devlin Hodges is the guy our Dale Lolley has writtenabout. Chris Carter dove into his film in a Classroom, and he is one of two Steelers quarterbacks to toss a touchdown in their preseason win.
He's impressed at camp, stealing more and more reps that wouldn't normally be awarded to an undrafted rookie listed fourth on the depth chart. And, well, he impressed again in his debut with the Steelers.
Hodges wasn't perfect by any means. He extended a play and opted to toss a prayer toward Trey Griffey that was nearly intercepted. But the rest of the time he was pretty dang good, completing 57.1 percent of his passes, going 8-of-14 for 79 yards and a touchdown -- all good for a passer rating of 97.
Let's talk about that touchdown for a minute. Hodges led the drive down the field -- an eight play, 76 yard drive needing only 4:06 of game time to find the end zone. The drive benefitted from a pair of defensive penalties and a nice catch and run from Benny Snell, but it was Hodges' patience and touch that found Tevin Jones for the score.
[caption id="attachment_869808" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Devlin Hodges watches as Tevin Jones gets open in the end zone. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]
Jones found room breaking off his route on the extended play and bought time for the touch toss, which he caught in stride for six:
[caption id="attachment_869809" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Tevin Jones watches in his touchdown. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]
That's when things got fun for Hodges, having just tossed his first professional touchdown, regardless of the importance of the game. It's as important as ever for Hodges, who could be in line for a third string job if all three of Ben Roethlisberger's backups impress to the point that Josh Dobbs or Mason Rudolph are better as a marketable asset than an undressed quarterback with a clipboard.
No. 6 went running toward Jones for the celebration, a giant smile behind his NFL-approved helmet:
[caption id="attachment_869810" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Devlin Hodges heads to the end zone to celebrate his connection with Tevin Jones. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]
He linked up with Jones, hugged the heck out of him and showed more signs of excitement:
[caption id="attachment_869812" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Devlin Hodges and Tevin Jones embrace with Johnny Holton joining in. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]
Hodges never stopped smiling and made his way to Zach Banner to show love for his protective line, who bought the time for him to extend the play and find Jones:
[caption id="attachment_869813" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Devlin Hodges heads to Zach Banner to celebrate his touchdown toss. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]
The final stop on the tour de celebration involved smiles from his friends along the sidelines, with Roethlisberger, Dobbs, Rudolph and his coordinator, Randy Fichtner, waiting to applaud the scoring drive:
[caption id="attachment_869814" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Devlin Hodges is greeted by smiles on the sideline after his touchdown drive. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]
And, finally, if you want to see it all play out in motion:
The rest of the game's best images follow the shot of Hodges watching for Jones at the top of the story. As always, I'll see you guys and gals in the comments. Take it easy on me, eh? This is preseason for me, too. 😉