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2018 Offseason Questions: Would Steelers Carry Dobbs On Practice Squad?

The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.

Question: Would the Steelers consider carrying Joshua Dobbs on the practice squad in 2018?

This is one of a subset of questions that Steelers fans have been asking themselves since Friday night when the team drafted Mason Rudolph. They have four quarterbacks now and we all know only three of them are going to be on the 53-man roster we know Rudolph and Ben Roethlisberger will be there.

The questions that we are left with then are who between Dobbs and Landry Jones will also be on the roster, and when they will make this decision (or have it made for them). Jones is a sixth-year veteran who has a couple of seasons under his belt as the primary backup, has intimate knowledge of the offense, and has had some success on the field.

Dobbs is a second-year player who has not thrown an NFL pass but has some intriguing intangibles that the Steelers might want to develop. Throw in the wrinkle that Jones is in the final year of his contract, and the fact that the team always carries three quarterbacks, and I think the ingredients for the notion of carrying Dobbs on the practice squad are there.

Let’s assume Rudolph is at least by 2019 the primary backup. Jones in that case will not be re-signed, provided that he can find any sort of reasonable opportunity elsewhere. But let’s say Jones needs to start the 2018 season as the backup because Rudolph (and Dobbs as well) is not ready for that role.

Do you keep Dobbs on the practice squad, if possible, in preparation for 2019 to make him your number three quarterback, thus retaining all four of them in some capacity this season? Is this something the Steelers might realistically entertain?

It’s not as though they haven’t used the practice squad to stash an abundance of players before. They have had a total of eight wide receivers and up to 12 linebackers between their 53-man roster and 10-man practice squad before. Even though Dobbs might not get much opportunity to grow in 2018, I don’t think the idea itself is far-fetched. Whether or not the Steelers would really do it is another thing.

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