A lot of Pittsburgh Steelers fans were quick to write off second-year quarterback Joshua Dobbs after the team used a third-round draft pick on Mason Rudolph, assuming that he would be the odd man out. Many others, frankly, did the same thing for Landry Jones, though it’s not exactly a secret that he has his share of detractors.
The former 2017 fourth-round pick knows the situation he’s heading into later this summer better than anybody, of course. The Steelers have four draft picks at the quarterback position, and the odds of them carrying all four on the 53-man roster are incredibly low.
The fact that he is also eligible for the practice squad could also work against him.
But he told Joe Rutter that he has not let the drafting of Rudolph alter his mindset or his approach toe the game, or to the task at hand. And he feels as though he is much better equipped to handle the rigors of the NFL heading into his second season than he was a year ago.
“It feels like I’m eight steps ahead, really. It’s just different. Last year, you’re coming in and scrambling to learn the playbook. Today, I remembered the first time I heard a play on the walkie-talkie and reciting it in the huddle”, he said. “Now, it’s not only being able to hear it, you can see the play in your mind and visually see it and go through the reads and have an idea how you’re going to attack the defense”.
One thing Dobbs will never be accused of is not being smart enough to play the game, so it doesn’t exactly come as much of a surprise that he would have been able to use his experiences of the past season to put himself in a much better position than he was a year ago.
It’s more about what he is able to do physically, and in conjunction with his mental acumen, that has always been the concern. He has spent a lot of time on that over the past month as well.
“The biggest thing for me and the stuff [offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner] talked about was having a consistent setup in the pocket”, Rutter quoted him as saying. “It’s about being straight back, getting to a good spot and having a good rhythm in my passing. That’s what I’ve been working at in these OTAs”.
It was known when he was coming out of college that he was going to have to clean up his mechanics, so it’s good to see that he has been working toward that. it is surely easier to do after a year in the league, having gotten the chance to process what the game is all about.
Dobbs’ goal will be to pass both Jones and Rudolph in order to become the Steelers’ backup quarterback to Ben Roethlisberger. That task is not made any easier by the fact that they will have to figure out how to split reps between four quarterbacks. One almost always gets significantly underserved.