On April 3rd, Josh Dobbs arrived at the Pittsburgh Steelers facility for an interview surrounding the job opening in the team’s quarterback department. And on April 29th, almost a month after their initial interview, the Steelers informed Dobbs that he was their man for the job.
Like any good supervisor, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made sure to quickly reach out to his new apprentice on Twitter, offering his excitement to work and mentor the new Steelers’ quarterback.
Dobbs responded back to Roethlisberger quickly, expressing his eagerness to learn from his new mentor.
— Josh Dobbs (@josh_dobbs1) April 30, 2017
While Roethlisberger will certainly have plenty of advice for Dobbs to grasp, the two will soon learn how much they have in common. Both possess a great arm and ability to make plays outside of the pocket. But most importantly to the Steelers, both quarterbacks make for excellent leaders.
Dobbs’ mental fortitude and leadership skills were on full display during his final season with Tennessee. Though he finished his senior season with just over 2900 passing yards, throwing 27 touchdowns to 12 interceptions and completing exactly 63-percent of his passes, it is Dobbs’ play and leadership down the stretch that garnered national attention.
Losers of three straight and fresh off the departure of running back Jalen Hurd, Dobbs’ led Tennessee to a 4-1 record over their final five games, completing 74 percent of his passes while throwing for 13 touchdowns and just 1 interception.
In an interview at this year’s Senior Bowl, Dobbs gave a very Roethlisberger-like response when asked how he reacted to Tennessee’s mid season slide and Hurd’s departure.
“I remember getting back from South Carolina and calling a team meeting on Sunday, me and other fellow captains, and just talking to the team about how there might be distractions out there outside media trying to fill thoughts and make their own assumptions about the team but the only opinions that matter are the guys in this room and we affect how we play each and every Saturday so we have to focus in on our preparation, on how we prepare for the next upcoming week because no matter who we step on the field against, they’re not gonna care about whatever distractions and things that we have going on so we have to be focused and ready to play. It showed, the way we finished out the season. I knew at that time, the team was looking toward me for my leadership, for my steady consistency and preparation and my approach each and every day and that’s what I was able to offer up to the team.”
Dobbs’ resilient senior campaign is almost a carbon copy of Roethlisberger’s turnaround campaign last season. Losers of four straight, Roethlisberger instructed his fellow teammates to follow his lead and as a result, the Steelers finished 9-1 down the stretch.
While Roethlisberger could have taught any quarterback the ins and outs of the game, it would have been a challenging task for him to transfer his rare leadership traits. With Dobbs, the Steelers have already located an extension of Roethlisberger’s leadership, making it hard to imagine that the team had any other prospects in mind for him to oversee.