The journey toward the 2017 season is now in full swing with the Pittsburgh Steelers having reported to Latrobe for their annual training camp at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their camps for over half a century now.
This is surely the time more than any other in which we find ourselves full of questions that we are looking to get answered, and this also tends to be the best time to get answers to those questions that have been building up over the course of time since the 2016 season ended.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the training camp and the preseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Did Joshua Dobbs show progress from his first start to his second?
It’s still just a few hours after the game ended as I write this, and likely less than 24 hours while reading this since that time, so it would be fair to say that we have not yet fully absorbed everything that went down during the Steelers’ preseason victory over the Falcons yesterday.
But for me, upon initial impressions, I did not see the sort of game-to-game growth from the team’s rookie quarterback, Joshua Dobbs, that I was hoping to see. It is true that the two big drops from James Conner at running back really caused him to miss some significant opportunities, but once again, his accuracy on short and intermediate passes was erratic at best.
And that is my main concern with him. In my amateur opinion, it doesn’t seem that quarterbacks who come into the league with that problem make a lot of progress in that area, or if they do, it comes early, so that is one element of my perspective on Dobbs.
Of course we’re just two preseason games and about five total quarters of play into his NFL career, but I concede that I was looking to see more from him in the second game that I did not see. While he moved well in and out of the pocket, he also showed some questionable decision-making.
Many of the same errors that he made in the first game continued in the second. There were passes on which he delayed in pulling the trigger on an obvious target, and then he either ultimately never did, or proceeded to throw an errant pass.
Nothing about a player’s career—at least one that is virtually guaranteed a roster spot—is going to be decided over the course of two preseason games, and I’m certainly not about to suggest that Dobbs is not going to get better. But I didn’t see meaningful growth here, and the final preseason game against deep reserves will be far less illuminating.