While it’s not the cheapest option, the Pittsburgh Steelers still managed to figure out how to keep four quarterbacks this season, since they placed fifth-year veteran Joshua Dobbs on the Reserve/Injured List prior to the initial 53-man roster cutdowns. That means that he will remain on the reserve list for the entire season, unless they work out an injury settlement over the new few days, but that doesn’t seem to be their plan.
Originally drafted by the Steelers in 2017 in the fourth round, he has spent most of his career, outside of the 2019 regular season and the 2020 offseason, in Pittsburgh, and he holds a great deal of respect in the front office and the locker room both for his personality and his intelligence, which offensive coordinator Matt Canada believes can still be an asset this year.
“Yeah, obviously, a really tough situation with him getting hurt. He came out and he’s played well and was playing well last week”, Canada said of Dobbs, who suffered a turf toe injury in the preseason finale. “He’ll be around here as he’s able to be. When he’s around, we’re always going to enjoy that because he’s a great resource of knowledge and just a great team guy”.
Dobbs is the most experienced quarterback on the team outside of Ben Roethlisberger, the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer. Mason Rudolph, who is the team’s backup, was drafted a year after Dobbs. Dwayne Haskins was added by the Steelers back in January after originally being drafted in the first round in 2019 by Washington.
Even beyond his length of service, though, Dobbs has always been highly regarded for his intelligence, it being routinely noted that he is also, literally, a ‘rocket scientist’, and has done externship programs with NASA.
No matter how experienced a starter might be, it is common practice for them to consult with their experienced backups, who can help provide them a different perspective on the game. Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich (the latter now a Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator) were valuable resources for Roethlisberger early in his career.
Dobbs was Roethlisberger’s backup in 2018, and they already had a working relationship in terms of communicating about what they’re seeing on the field and how to attack defenses. The former is now in year five and no doubt has an accumulated knowledge that will be beneficial to the whole room, even the whole offense, even if he can’t be on the field.