The Steelers’ run to an 8-5 record and wild-card playoff contention without Ben Roethlisberger may be the most improbable story of the 2019 season. Another improbability is who led them to their past three wins: Devlin “Duck” Hodges, who took over for an ineffective Mason Rudolph in Week 12 against Cincinnati.
Hodges is the first undrafted rookie QB to win his first three NFL starts in a non-strike season. The Duck was a four-year starter at Samford, but he was hardly anonymous there -– he won the Walter Payton Award in 2018 as the most outstanding offensive player at the FCS level -– and set the FCS record for career passing yards (14,584). Hodges has thrown for just a touch over 15,000 yards in his collegiate and professional careers, so with that in mind, here are 15 things to know about the Steelers’ cult hero.
What’s in a (nick)name
Hodges earned his “Duck” moniker while at Samford, owing to his skill as a duck caller. He has receipts to back up his reputation, too. Hodges won the 2009 Junior World Duck Calling Contest at age 13 as well as the 2018 Alabama State Duck Calling Championship. Steelers fans have taken to Hodges like a duck … oh, never mind. Yes, many of them have brought their own duck calls into Heinz Field.