Dobbs Named Steelers Backup Quarterback

Players react to release of Landry Jones

Josh Rowntree
September 03, 2018 - 3:32 pm
Steelers quarterbacks Josh Dobbs, Mason Rudolph and Ben Roethlibserger in 2018 practice

Josh Rowntree-93.7 The Fan

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The Steelers have taken their trust in second-year quarterback Josh Dobbs to the next level, officially naming him the backup behind Ben Roethlisberger to start the season.

Dobbs was, somewhat surprisingly, kept on the roster Saturday, when the team elected to cut veteran Landry Jones in favor of Dobbs and Mason Rudolph.

“[Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner] called me at, like, 3:42 p.m., and just informed me that I had made it. [He said] that your role would change a little bit moving forward, but to come with the same approach that you’ve been doing, come ready to go, ready to learn and fight to get that seventh ring for the Steelers. So that’s the plan.”

Typically, coaches and the front office will only call players to inform them they’ve been cut. But this was different.

“It was a little stressful,” Dobbs said of the day leading up to the call. “I had my parents in town. It was my mom’s birthday weekend, so I spent the weekend with her. I had a massage in the morning and my phone kept vibrating, but it would be like Snapchat, just random stuff.

“My agent called me first, but he really didn’t know. And then Randy called me. I had a feeling I was good.”

However, the news that Jones was the odd man out came as a surprise to some.

“That one kind of shocked me, man,” center Maurkice Pouncey said. “Me and Landry are really, really close. I love him to death, like a brother. Obviously, the decisions upstairs (in the Steelers front office), they make them. But hopefully he’ll get picked up pretty quick and we’ll still stay good friends.”

That said, Pouncey has been impressed with what Dobbs and Rudolph showed throughout camp and in the preseason.

“They answered the bell,” he said. “Upstairs kind of always makes the right decisions. We leave that to them and they made the decision to go with the two younger guys.”

Both Dobbs and Rudolph were appreciative of the opportunity, as well as the guidance Jones gave to them in their times in Pittsburgh. 

“I was thankful for the opportunity to learn behind him and get a chance to learn how he approached every single day, treat his job like a professional,” Dobbs said, adding that Jones called him to congratulate him about five minutes after getting the news. 

“Nothing to say but great things about Landry,” Rudolph added. “He was awesome to me. 

“It’s never fun to see your friends go like that. It’s my first role at this, so it’s weird him not being here just one day. You come back and he’s gone. I wish him the best.”

Dobbs shined in the final preseason game, throwing for 151 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for another. He’s now, potentially, one snap away from having to replicate that performance in meaningful football games.

“I always try to prepare like I’m ready to go,” he said. “Everyone says congratulations, congratulations, which is really cool. I’m definitely excited to be here, but my work isn’t done. Just because I made the team doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working.”

“It’s ‘congratulations,’ but we want to hear ‘congratulations’ at the end of the year, in February, not now.”

Hear all of what Dobbs had to say below.