Battle for QB3?

The Ringer

By: Jonathan Clark


If last year told us anything, it was that the quarterback position is just as valuable as advertised. Going into last season, the QB position was probably one that caused the least amount of worry throughout the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. Pittsburgh had a motivated Ben Roethlisberger looking for what most would say redemption after a drama filled off-season in which his leadership and character were put into question. The story could not have been written any better. It seemed like Roethlisberger was on a mission to prove his doubters wrong and lead his team to a championship run in 2019.


As we all know, the season could not have gone any different from what was expected. Roethlisberger suffered an elbow injury against the Seattle Seahawks in the second game of the season that required season ending surgery, leaving the Steelers season in the hands of a QB room of Mason Rudolph, Devlin “Duck” Hodges and Paxton Lynch. All young QB’s with nothing to prove and a lot to offer. While it was Rudolph who got the starting nod, Hodges saw plenty of time under center, due to an injury that kept Rudolph out for a good chunk of games.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks Mason Rudolph (2) and Devlin Hodges (6) warm up before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Hodges impressed most. For being an undrafted rookie from a small subdivision 1 school, he played pretty well. Through 6 games, Hodges threw for 1,063 yards, 5 touchdowns and 8 interceptions (4 of them in one game against Buffalo). There were flaws in his play, he never seemed to look or get comfortable in the pocket throughout the season. His height seemed to be an issue being that he would roll out of the pocket in a decent amount of throwing situations in order to get a clearer view of the field. He did throw a good ball with a lot of zip on it in shorter routes, but made some decisions that were questionable with the ball. You could see the lack of experience in his game, but really what more did we expect? We were down to our 3rd string QB in a season in which we started with only 2 active at that position.


The QB room looks relatively similar to last years, with the only addition being J.T Barrett added off the practice squad. Now that Mason Rudolph has solidified himself as the backup QB to Roethlisberger this upcoming year, is it safe to say that Devlin “Duck” Hodges is the favorite again to be QB3 for the Steelers?


In my opinion, yes, but he is going to have to beat out former first rounder, Paxton Lynch and former Ohio State star, J.T Barrett for the job.


While there is not much to be known about the NFL style of QB Barrett plays, his playmaking ability and speed at that position is what he is most known for. Today’s NFL game finds itself transitioning to more of a game focused on speed at every position, QB included, which leaves doors open for guys with the same type of game that Barrett plays with. Not afraid to throw the ball, but a QB that does more damage with his legs. A quarterback like this is always a good weapon to have on your football team that can always leave the team guessing. Keeping a guy like this as your 3rd string QB would mean that the playbook would be completely changed to fit his style of play — which can be a good tactic to use to throw off NFL defenses.

New Orleans Saints quarterback, J.T Barrett (5) warms up before an NFL preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

On the other hand, Lynch is a former first round pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2016 NFL Draft. Highly coveted coming out of college, it’s safe to say that his play did not translate well to the NFL. He has played in only four NFL games throughout his career where he has a 1-3 record, has thrown for 792 yards and has thrown 4 touchdowns, as well as 4 interceptions. Although the inexperience is there, there is a reason why this guy still finds himself on an NFL roster with an opportunity to make the team. The potential is there. Lynch is a good size for a QB standing at 6’7″, 244 pounds, and has a rocket for an arm –something he has always been able to showcase throughout his career. The problem with Lynch could be talent, or the problem could just simply be that he has not gotten enough NFL experience to let his game fully translate onto the field. 

Paxton Lynch (5). (Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

Do you think Devlin “Duck” Hodges is the favorite to win the QB3 Job? Let us know! Comment below!



  1. Han_YOLO

    July 4, 2020 at 5:52 am

    Sadly, I do not. Duck was super fun to watch last year though. I dont know what it was about that section of the year that was so captivating but it was alot of fun to be a part of.

  2. Last Hope Season

    July 8, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Mason is not the answer, wasted 3rd rd pick when we needed OLine depth and Dline depth. Duck came in and did a few fun things but was horrible overall. With this great defense, the aging Oline and Ben on his last hoorah, the teams needs to win now.
    They needed a reliable backup as a spot starter. Hell I would’ve liked Dalton signing from the hated Bungles.
    Best case scenario is Ben stays healthy along with Connor. Ebron is the redzone target he can be, the Oline holds up and Ben gels with Dionte and Claypool. Samuels catches 40 balls out of the backfield and we can run the ball.
    And losing Javon up the middle doesn’t let teams run all over us..
    Lots of luck and moving parts..

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