It’s probably safe to say that Pittsburgh sports personality Mark Madden (105.9 The X, sports columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) doesn’t like former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges. In recent days, the pair have engaged in an ongoing Twitter war that started after Hodges announced the launch of his forthcoming duck hunting podcast.
Madden had a simple two-word response to the news, which prompted Hodges to respond with a half-hearted invite to appear on his podcast: “I know you know (nothing) about duck hunting.. or football for that matter..but we can make up stuff and just act like you know what you’re talking about! What ya say???”
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‘You’re the Worst QB Ever to Start for the Steelers’
Things escalated quickly from there, with Madden highlighting how Hodges’ professional football career has taken several steps backward since his time with the Steelers. He also said: “I know enough about football to know that you’re the worst QB ever to start for the Steelers.” Madden wrapped things up by wishing Hodges “Good luck with your amateur-hour pretend-celebrity drivel.”
Recognizing that it’s Madden’s job to be provocative, his response seems particularly personal and mean-spirited, especially in light of the fact that Hodges is an accomplished duck caller and his podcast would seem to address a pretty specific niche.
There’s also no shame in him choosing to continue his professional football career in the CFL, having signed a three-year contract with the Ottawa Redblacks in September 2021 after getting released by the Los Angeles Rams a month earlier. He went on to appear in two games for the Redblacks (with one start) before the CFL season came to an end.
Hodges responded by questioning Madden’s knowledge of football:
That prompted Madden to reiterate his claim that Hodges is the worst quarterback ever to start for the Steelers.
At which point Hodges put an end to the exchange:
Is Hodges the Worst Starting Quarterback in Steelers History?
As for the notion that Devlin Hodges is the worst starting QB in Steelers history, that seems pretty farfetched. For one, the worst quarterback in franchise history probably played sometime before the arrival of Chuck Noll in 1969.
But even if you limit yourself to the Bill Cowher/Mike Tomlin eras, there’s at least a few QBs who were less successful than Hodges. The first name that comes to mind is Jim Miller, who appeared in five games for the Steelers in 1995-96. Miller was 0-1 as a starter and was benched by Cowher halfway through his one and only start, which came in the 1996 season-opener. All together he completed 45 of 81 passes (55.6%) with two touchdowns and five interceptions and a 57.6 passer rating.
Then there’s Kent Graham, who was similarly underwhelming during the 2000 season, when he produced a 2-3 record as a starter and had a 63.4 passer rating.
Finally, there’s Brian St. Pierre, who the Steelers selected in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. St. Pierre was certainly worse, though he never started a game for Pittsburgh. Pierre appeared in three career games with three different teams and finished his career with a 45.6 passer rating.
As for Hodges, he appeared in eight games for the Steelers are produced a 3-3 record as a starter, with consecutive wins over Philip Rivers’ Chargers, Baker Mayfield’s Browns and Kyler Murray’s Cardinals—three quarterbacks who were selected at or near the top of the NFL Draft. During those eight games Hodges completed 62.5% of his passes and threw five touchdown passes against eight interceptions, good for a 71.4 passer rating.
Not bad for an undrafted quarterback from Samford University who was signed for $1,000 after a spring tryout.
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