I’m sure if you asked Josh Dobbs to make a list of things he learned from Ben Roethlisberger, he could write you a novel. Ask him to pick one above the rest and he might just choose how to run a no huddle offense. That’s how he answered in a recent interview with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews.
“We have a lot of no huddle stuff in our offense,” he said when asked to name one thing he learned from Big Ben. “A lot is put on the quarterback to call whatever play you’re feeling given the situation. I have a whole notebook full of different no huddle calls, no huddle ideas that I saw Ben use or that I came up with after watching something or on the practice field.”
Roethlisberger certainly has some near-unparalleled freedom at the line of scrimmage and it showed in 2017. The Steelers were one of the They scored on 60% of their drives in the last two minutes, second in the NFL only behind New England. Three teams last season, the Giants, Dolphins, and Broncos, failed to do so even once.
Under new offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, the Steelers’ no-huddle use will almost certainly stay the same and could very well increase. Fichtner comes from an up-tempo, college background and Roethlisberger of course loves to run his show.
The path to playtime is still going to be difficult but Dobbs will receive plenty of reps in the preseason, where he can take all he’s learned from an entire rookie year and apply it.
“I’ll be able to use it once I”m in there and calling the shots whether it’s in OTAs, or next preseason or whenever I get game action.”
Dobbs led all Steelers’ QBs with 192 attempts in training camp last season in part thanks to a Landry Jones injury that held him out for most of their time in Latrobe. Jones threw just 36 passes.
Although it is just practice and quarterbacks can’t get hit, overall accuracy is something he must work on. His completion percentage was dreadful, only a couple ticks higher than Bart Houston, and it certainly wasn’t all drop related. If there is any hope to those numbers, beyond the obvious assumed progression, Dobbs’ completion percentage rocketed up over the final three practices, a sign he was starting to put things together. And his preseason game percentage of nearly 60% signified an improvement, too.