The Steelers are already two steps removed from Ben Roethlisberger being their starting quarterback.
Yet they still see some similarities.
At least on one play, and perhaps thematically.
Via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com, veteran center Maurkice Pouncey said he saw promise in the third-string quarterback when he handled a bad snap with poise, collecting a ball that had bounced between his legs, gathering himself and attempting a pass toward one of his own. It wasn’t great for what it accomplished but for what it avoided, as he didn’t lose the ball or take a sack, as they tacked on a field goal on the next play.
“He looked like Ben,” Pouncey said. “I told him, ‘I appreciate you, man.’ I was up there, talking trash, and he hurried-up snapped it. I was like, ‘Oh crap.’ But he did a hell of a job of getting that ball and throwing it out. I honestly thought in my head, ‘That’s Ben.’ Ben would’ve done the same thing. It was awesome.”
The Steelers tried to keep the undrafted rookie from Samford from having to bear a Roethlisberger-sized load. He finished 15-of-20 for 132 yards, with a touchdown and an interception and a game ball from his coach.
“Since I was 5 years old, since I threw my first touchdown pass, that’s always something I’ve kind of dreamed about,” Hodges said. “It’s been a bumpy road, especially the past couple of months. It’s been wild to think about. I’ve always had belief in myself. I’ve had other people behind me, and it’s just amazing.”
The Steelers protected him well and ran the ball efficiently, which should be helpful whether Hodges plays again, or whenever Mason Rudolph returns.