Dobbs, Rudolph Focusing on Carolina Game

Steelers quarterbacks near end of camp battle

Josh Rowntree
August 27, 2018 - 3:51 pm
Steelers quarterbacks Mason Rudolph (2), Landry Jones (3) and Joshua Dobbs (5) at Steelers training camp in 2018

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

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The Steelers have four quarterbacks and will only carry three in to the regular season.

Ben Roethlisberger is the starter and Landry Jones will back him up. Jones’ position has seemingly — and, perhaps, surprisingly — been a lock for some time, as neither Josh Dobbs or Mason Rudolph have pushed Jones out of the spot. 

Pittsburgh used a third-round pick on Rudolph and consider him to be a potential replacement for Ben Roethlisberger, whenever the veteran hangs it up. 

That leaves Dobbs, a fourth-round pick a year ago who only dressed for one game in 2017 and failed to get any reps in Saturday’s 16-6 win over Tennessee.

“I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating,” Dobbs said. “You just control what you can control. I know there’s a plan upstairs. So you just have to be able to control what you can control, you get your opportunities, make the most out of them and go out and play good football.”

The reality is, despite the strides he has taken from his rookie season to now, Dobbs is likely going to be the lone man out of the quarterback mix, barring an injury or trade of Jones, which seems unlikely at this point. But Dobbs isn’t focused on Saturday’s cut day right now. 

“I think that’s something for you guys, that you guys like to play with,” he said. “For me, I just play football. I can’t control a lot of things. I can control how I approach every day and how I practice and how I play in games.”

That said, Dobbs does feel that his play has warranted a spot on the roster. 

“I feel like I’ve performed well,” Dobbs said. “I know, ultimately, that decision is out of my hands, but I know that coaches have given me great feedback. So I’m just trying to go out, play good football, do my job and get a win for my team.”

Dobbs will start Thursday night against Carolina in the final preseason game and the plan is to play him quite a bit. It could serve as an audition to other teams once he’s made available. 

“However long they want me, I’ll take advantage of all the reps, I’ll tell you that,” he said. “I look forward to it, I’ll be starting, so it’ll be fun to go out, compete and play at a high level with the guys around me.”

Rudolph may figure into the game plan as well, which could be beneficial as the next time he’ll likely take game reps will be in next year’s preseason.

“It’s another game, another chance to go out and perform and execute with my teammates,” he said. “It’s going to be fun, playing Carolina, playing a new opponent. It’s a short week, so we’ve got to make sure we’re taking care of our preparation. It’s a bit of a cram week to make sure guys are mentality ready, even though it’s business as usual.”

Rudolph came out of an up-tempo, high-flying, shotgun based offense at Oklahoma State. So the NFL has forced him to learn some basics of a pro-style system. 

“It’s an ongoing process, but I think just being more comfortable under center after not doing that for the last eight years,” Rudolph said. “I’ve definitely been pleased with my progression there.”

There is no indication that Rudolph’s spot on the team is in jeopardy. He has had an up-and-down preseason, but it would be stunning if he was not retained.

“You can talk to coach about cuts," he said. "But I’m worried about my job and my execution today at practice. I’m not worried about that at all.”