Mike Tomlin says offense has been “bogged down” beyond QB play

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has opted to go with Devlin Hodges as the team’s starting quarterback for this Sunday’s game against the Browns and his announcement of that choice included some reasons why Hodges got the nod.

Tomlin pointed to the spark Hodges provided in last Sunday’s win over the Bengals and the fact that he didn’t turn the ball over after Mason Rudolph threw five interceptions in six quarters. Tomlin also said that the issues on offense have not been solely caused by the play of the team’s quarterbacks.

“In recent quarters of action, we’ve really been bogged down, and that has been due to a lot of things,” Tomlin said, via the team’s website. “It really goes beyond just Mason and his performance. He has been in and out of the lineup, some running backs and offensive linemen have been in and out of the lineup, we missed some guys at receiver specifically in the last game, the combination of playing without [James] Conner and JuJu [Smith-Schuster], and so maybe some of those negative things have worn away at elements of Mason’s play. He hadn’’ protected the ball very well recently like he did at the early portions of his participation.”

Tomlin said he’s not sure if Conner or Smith-Schuster will be able to return against the Browns and they may not be at full strength if they can play, so the quarterback change might not provide all the lift needed on offense in Pittsburgh.