Josh Dobbs has certainly had an uneven camp. As a 4th round rookie, none of that is a surprise. But I thought he saved his best for last, playing well against the Carolina Panthers in last night’s finale. It’s probably – hopefully – the last time we see him on the field this year this season. So it was a good note to go out on, leading a last-second comeback and tossing as 58 yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter. What Dobbs showed is foundational work on his path to become a starter in this league.
We’re going to break down that touchdown pass and the positive traits we can take away from it.
The Carolina broadcast has a great aerial view of the play. Pre-snap, the Panthers show Cover 3 with a single high safety and the corners playing with outside leverage. That’s what Dobbs sees.
Dobbs knows he has single coverage with a height/weight/speed weapon in Hunter. But if he keys in on Hunter immediately after the snap, he’ll draw the safety, who could squeeze the throw. As Dobbs drops back, he keeps his eyes to the middle of the field to hold the safety between the hashes, unsure of where the QB is going with the ball.
As Dobbs hitches up, he moves his eyes to the right and heaves the ball down the sideline for Hunter. By this point, the safety is taken out of the equation. He has no chance to make a play on the football, breaking on the football simply too late to reach the sideline. No safety is making up this kind of ground.
Good, subtle stem to the outside by Justin Hunter to stack the corner and Dobbs’ ball placement is great. Over his shoulder and hits him in stride. Great fingertip catch and Hunter finishes the play.
It’s simple and yes, any QB worth their weight has to be able to do this. But it’s a smooth play by Dobbs, showing off mental and physical traits for a big-time play. While he’s still going to be the #3 for this season, it’s a great way to enter the regular season and build off that in practice.
By next year, he’ll be in position to challenge for Landry Jones’ spot.