Dobbs looking to make high-pressure preseason plays

Steelers QB having up-and-down camp

Josh Rowntree
August 03, 2018 - 4:55 pm
Steelers QB Josh Dobbs looks on during 2018 training camp

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs watched the planes fly over at last week’s airshow in Latrobe and thought about how that could have been him. 

Dobbs, an aerospace engineer major at Tennessee, has had an opportunity to fly with the legendary Thunderbirds before. 

But, for now, he’s hoping things lift off for him on the football field, as the signal-caller goes through his second NFL training camp.

“It’s just slower,” he said of the difference from last year. “It just slows down for you on the field. Every single play, you have an idea, pre-snap, what you’re looking for, how you want to attack the defense. 

“There’s less thinking, more playing, more reading, reacting, just going out and playing football and making adjustments on the fly.”

Dobbs certainly had to take notice when, in April, the Steelers used a third-round pick to draft another quarterback in Mason Rudoplh, giving the team four players at the position. Pittsburgh will not carry four quarterbacks into the regular season.

“Any time you’re on the field, you want to go out, execute, play at a high level, get the offense in the right looks, make the right adjustments and play quickly and efficiently,” said Dobbs, selected in the fourth round of the 2017 Draft.

“It’s been good to get back on the field and to compete. I feel really in control of the offense and am taking advantage of my reps. I’m just excited to get back on the field and compete with my teammates.”

Right now, Dobbs looks to be the fourth quarterback, meaning his time with the Steelers may be limited. So, when he says “compete,” he means it. 

It has been a mixed bag for him in camp to this point. He’s made some plays, particularly with his legs, something you might expect from one of the more athletic quarterbacks in the League. But there are questions about his decision-making that were not reinforced by a pair of pick-six interceptions during Thursday’s practice.

“You just want two take advantage of all your opportunities,” he added. “I know the reps change, the numbers change, every single day. So, you can’t really count reps. 

“You just have to know that, whenever your number is called, you’re getting an opportunity to get the reps. You have to maximize that opportunity, whether you’re getting reps with the 1’s, the 2’s or the 3’s.”

The dynamic of the quarterback room could be a tense one, with four players and three spots. Ben Roethlisberger, obviously, has the top spot locked up. But Landry Jones, Rudolph and Dobbs all, in some eyes, have something to prove this summer. 

“There’s been great comaraderie, guys helping each other, whether in the field room or out on the field,” Dobbs said. “Guys are playing at a high level. We’re just out here competing, trying to make the team the best we can and trying to elevate the guy’s play around us as well.”

The last time Dobbs got any game action, he was impressive, passing for 212 yards, a touchdown, and rushing for the game-winning touchdown with nine seconds left as the Steelers beat Carolina in the 2017 preseason finale.

He’s hoping to get a shot at more action this preseason, starting with Pittsburgh’s trip to Philadelphia Thursday. 

“That’s why we play football,” he said. “We love practice, but we play it to play in the games and show up in those pressure situations and make plays when your team needs you. 

“It’ll be exciting to get on the field. I’m excited for next Thursday, playing in Philly. It’ll be a lot of fun.”

Hear more from Josh Dobbs below.