Former Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Joshua Dobbs was recently back in his old stomping grounds, yesterday appearing on Nashville-based News Channel 5, during which he talked about preparing for his upcoming rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Dobbs is entering the year as the third-string quarterback, and that is not expected to change with any sort of immediacy, which is something that he understands. There will be a lot of time and effort for him to put in before he begins to climb the depth chart.
But he has one of the great examples to draw from working with him in wide receiver Antonio Brown, whose work ethic once annoyed him to hear about. But now that he is able to witness it for himself with first-hand experience, he simply finds it inspiring.
I suppose that might require a little bit of context. You see, the Volunteers’ head coach during Dobbs’ career, since 2013, has been Butch Jones. But he was with Central Michigan for most of his career prior to that. He served in many roles from 1998 to 2004, and then he returned in 2007 through 2009, serving as the wide receivers coach.
You may have noticed that those years line up with the time that Brown spent as a wide receiver at Central Michigan. So nobody outside of the Steelers’ staff would have more insight into the type of player and worker that he is than Jones.
As transcribed by Pro Football Talk, Dobbs told his interviewer that “I heard a lot of talk about him from Coach Jones, and you almost got annoyed to the point of talking about his work ethic”. Constantly hearing about another player from another university that you never met could certainly grow old, I suppose, especially a player at another position.
“But then when you get to camp and you see the attention that he puts into each and every rep, how hard he works, and then the amount of hours that he puts into his craft outside of the complex, you definitely see where the coaches were coming from and the point they were trying to make”.
If he is smart—and that Dobbs certainly is—he will make every effort to emulate Brown’s work ethic and apply it to his efforts to succeed at the NFL level at the quarterback position. Though talented, it was primarily through sheer effort that the wide receiver ascended from sixth-rounder to All-Pro.
Talent can get you pretty far at a certain level, but there comes a point in time in which you simply have to put in the most effort that possibly can in order to get where you want to be. It might be tiresome to hear that all the time, but it’s another thing entirely to see it for yourself.