The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are in a critical portion of the offseason in which the preseason takes center stage, where some of the biggest and most important questions get answered, especially in terms of personnel.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Where will Joshua Dobbs be on September 9 when the regular season opens for the Steelers?
I gather that this is the biggest question the Steelers face in many people’s opinion. Do you need to keep Joshua Dobbs, the second-year quarterback who closed out the preseason very well, even though you are focusing on Mason Rudolph as your future quarterback?
There are a number of ways that the quarterback position can play out. One that I don’t think will happen is the Steelers outright cutting Landry Jones. I don’t think they would have not played him at all in two of the four preseason games, giving him just 24 snaps in total, if they left that open as an option. If he is not on the roster, it’s because he gets traded.
So that leads me to my first option: the Steelers get a good offer and they deal Landry Jones the way they dealt Martavis Bryant when the offer reached a level they were comfortable with. This would require the implication that they are comfortable with where Dobbs is to serve in the number two role.
Scenario two: they get a trade offer for Dobbs (virtually any offer) and elect to deal him. Carrying four quarterbacks is very uncommon, and the Steelers have four, so if they can keep their backup, their future developmental guy, and get some compensation for the other player, that’s a good deal.
If a trade scenario doesn’t develop, the Steelers could simply cut Dobbs outright. He wouldn’t be the first player people burned Terrible Towels over for cutting. After that, they could either wash their hands of him and wish him the best or hope that he somehow clears waivers and they can put him on the practice squad.
The final option is swallowing the pill and actually carrying all four quarterbacks. Mike Tomlin seemed to leave the door ajar for this possibility, and I do think it’s realistically workable, but I probably wouldn’t bet on it. I do think it’s more likely than not that Dobbs is on somebody’s 53-man roster.