When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ competition at the quarterback position, there is one member of the fight who brings something to the table that nobody else on the roster possesses: wheels. I don’t have to mention Joshua Dobbs’ name for you to know who I’m talking about, because we’ve been seeing him run around for three preseasons now.
The Tennessee product was originally brought to Pittsburgh via the fourth round in 2017. He served as the number two quarterback that season, but his roster spot came under threat last year after they drafted Mason Rudolph. In no small part due to his ability to make plays—both scrambling and throwing—with his legs, however, Dobbs was able to show enough to win the backup job and unseat Landry Jones.
Now he’s hoping that his legs can keep him not only on the roster, but ahead of Rudolph for the backup job as we head into the final preseason game tomorrow, where he has done some of his best work.
“I’ve been able to make plays with my legs”, Dobbs told Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “throughout my football career”. It’s an asset that head coach Mike Tomlin discourages him from exploiting during practice, but praises when he is able to do it inside a stadium, as he did following the first preseason game.
It’s not always when he takes off and runs the ball that really makes the difference. He has had some great scrambles, of course, like when he broke two tackles to convert a third and five. But then he also broke two tackles and was able to find Trey Griffey open down the field for a big play.
These are plays that for every other quarterback on the roster, nine times out of 10, are going to be a sack. This asset of Dobbs’, unique to him within the team, is an arrow in his quiver that he not only isn’t afraid to use, but which he knows also is a fundamental part of who he is as a player, and he can’t be afraid to execute it.
He told Adamski that he even runs with the defensive backs on the team, though he wouldn’t outright say that he was faster than any of them. several of the defensive backs did offer that he is faster—than the defensive backs on other teams.
Dobbs said that he works with the defensive backs because when you’re in practice or in a game in a 22-man setting and you’re in the position to make a play, “you are running against corners and DBs…so those are the guys you have to outrun and make miss”.
For the second time this season and the first since the opener, Dobbs will start in the finale and should play about the first quarter. Will that be enough time for him to secure his place within the pecking order on this roster? He’s running out of opportunities—but running is what he’s used to.