2017 Camp Questions: Did You See What You Expected From Joshua Dobbs?

The journey toward the 2017 season is now in full swing with the Pittsburgh Steelers having reported to Latrobe for their annual training camp at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their camps for over half a century now.

This is surely the time more than any other in which we find ourselves full of questions that we are looking to get answered, and this also tends to be the best time to get answers to those questions that have been building up over the course of time since the 2016 season ended.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the training camp and the preseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Did Joshua Dobbs play above, below, or at the expectation level you had for him coming into last night’s game?

Whenever a team drafts a quarterback with a moderately high pick, there is inevitably going to be a lot of attention paid to him. After all, there is no position more important in the game, so if you find a good one, good things can follow.

The Steelers used a fourth-round draft pick on Joshua Dobbs during the 2017 NFL Draft for…who knows. That is yet to be determined. But with Ben Roethlisberger being too important and Landry Jones nursing a rib injury, the rookie was afforded a near-prime opportunity to showcase his skills.

I say near-prime, of course, because the first-team offense was without its five or six of its biggest playmakers at the skill positions as well as two of its offensive linemen, so Dobbs was not playing with a full deck, but there was enough there to give him a good look.

On the evening, the rookie completed eight of 15 passes for 100 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also scrambled one time to pick up 16 yards, and took one sack. On the first interception, he may have been contacted by a defender, but the other interception was a poor read of the defense.

The touchdown throw was unsurprisingly one of his best of the night, and one of two vertical passes that he completed, the other for over 40 yards—both to Cobi Hamilton. In fact, his accuracy seemed to be better on long throws than on short and intermediate routes.

Much of what he did show in the game correlates with what we have seen and heard about him in training camp, though I must say that personally I was hoping—perhaps even expecting—to see a bit better from him.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • copanut

    I would say he met expectations. I forgive the first pick which I believe was caused by defender contact. The second pick was classic rookie quarterbacking: he had his eyes locked on his target and completely failed to see the oncoming defender. Other than that, his play was ok – some good, accurate throws, a few that were a little off but not horrible, and a few good passes that were dropped by the receivers.

    In short, he looked far better in his debut than Landry Jones looked in his debut. Admittedly that’s a low bar to hurdle. Landry looked lost and like he didn’t belong. Dobbs looked like he belongs but is raw and in need of pro coaching, practice, and experience, to see how far he can go. That’s about what would be expected for a 4th rounder, so that’s why I say he met expectations.


    1st NFL game I thought he played okay…the stat line looks a whole lot better with 1 int vs 2…I expect he will get better on the reads, learn how to use his mobility to buy time to throw…he has a shot at QB2 in ’18 if not this yr at some point.

  • Rob S.

    I honestly can’t say I have a problem with either interception. The first one there was probably contact, at the very least he couldn’t step into his throw. The second one while you mentioned him staring down his receiver, but that was a defensive end dropping into a middle Zone. That’s something that I’m sure he’s only seen a handful of times, if ever, before coming to the pro game. Hopefully he learns from it. I’m encouraged by the touch he showed on those deep passes but he’s got to get better at hitting his target in the intermediate routes.

  • Cartman54

    I think he played pretty decent for his first game. He made some great throws and a few mistakes. It was his first pro game so I’m sure there were some nerves as well as some difficulty in reading a pro defense. I am optimistic though and think if he is developed properly then he might be a decent starter for us in the future. He has all the tools to be a solid qb and I hope he succeeds

  • steelburg

    I think it was expected play by a 4th rounder. But if I’m being honest all the pre draft talk that he may be the next Dak and solid practice reports had me believing that he would be a little better. But he did show pretty good pocket awareness IMO and that was Landrys biggest issue he didn’t have a few for when defenders were coming for about 2 years. So I think Dobbs will be fine.

  • Douglas Andrews

    From the few highlights I saw he showed pretty much the same as he did at Tenn. Strong arm good pocket presence and the ability to tuck and run if need be. What I reallyI like about Dobbs is the Mental aspect of his game. I found his post game interview in talking about the INT’s very interesting. He really understood what was going on with the coverages afterwards so I can chalk those INT’s up as rookie mistakes. I will say I expected him to play a tad better but the TD throw was nice ball he put some touch on, along with a few other throws like the deep one to C Hamilton. It seemed like he does have good command of the offense and he looked poised in the pocket. With all that said I believe Dobbs will improve in Game 2 but not a bad start to his Pro career.

  • Dorian James

    He met my expectations, and a little bit more I guess because I expected him to panic and take off running more. But I was impressed with the way he hung in there. His misses were a little tough to look at, but I wasn’t disappointed

  • Dorian James

    Yep, I suspect if Juju had hung around things would have been a little better and I almost forgot about the touchdown that got called back because of the Holding

  • RickM

    It was such a rough start that I was relatively impressed by the end of his night. But I realize that opinion was the result of two really nice vertical throws and lowered expectations after the start. It’s a learning process for him and kudos for the rebound. But I probably am where I was at the beginning of the night, a guy who’s going to be inconsistent and whose inaccuracy will have some unfortunate results. Lots of time to learn and change that view but that’s going to be his challenge.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    As expected of qb3.

  • John

    He looked awful. Presence in the pocket was poor. The two INTs were terrible. The two longer passes he completed were the usual “loft it up to the tall WR” patterns that you see bad QBs complete successfully every so often. WR got very open on one. Let’s hope we never need to play him. Although we did not play many starters, keep in mind we claim to be about 8 deep at WR so no excuse there.

  • Conserv_58

    I got what I expected from Dobbs. He was shakey, inconsistent and made some gawd awful throws, especially the one where he threw the ball into the turf ten yards behind Hey Bey. He did make some good throws, especially the two to Cobi Hamilton with one resulting ina TD. That was more of an accomplishment than the Giants’ rookie QB, Johnson had.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I am not going to critique his performance just yet, but I do have a question. Was it me, or did it seem like he had a hard time seeing over the line? This was my first real look at him and he appeared surprisingly short.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    What I saw from Dobbs really excited me…. about Landry Jones.

  • Bill Heim

    He is one of the smartest guys in the NFL with a degree in aerospace engineering. He will learn from his mistakes and learn fast. He said his goal for this year is “to own the playbook” and he will memorize it. He just needs time and coaching and he is very coachable. Bet on this kid.

  • Jaybird

    He may or may not be Ben’s future replacement one delay, but he looked better than Landry did in his first year. Dobbs made a few really nice throws ( like the TD that got called back) , which is more that I can remember from Landry in his first preseason.

  • John Pennington

    Think he needs to see the field better the 2 picks the ball was under thrown the second way behind the reciever. His throws didnt have anything on them looked lazy coming out of his hands.He is a rookie he will watch the tape and hopefully he can fix this.Needs to stop staring down his reciever has to learn to look the defense away.

  • MP

    He bounced back from a rough start and made a couple nice throws, including the called-back TD. Without the INTs, I think we would be saying that he exceeded expectations, but with them, he barely meets expectations at all.

  • francesco

    The problem is that BR will retire next year and I can’t see Landry or Dobbs taking over. I don’t see Landry as a leader and I we don’t have time for Dobbs to develop. This again was a wasted pick. Mettenberger was a better option to become number 2 quarterback this year.
    Dobbs throwing action is not to be desired and that is what bothered me the most.

  • James Lee

    Glad there is someone else out there that saw it the way I saw it. Those 2 picks looked like something you would expect from a sophomore highschool QB.

  • Scunge

    He was fine for his first game. Here is some perspective:

    Landry Jones 30 of 66, 45.5% completion rate, for 348 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, passer rating of 53.1 during his rookie preseason of 2013.

    Josh Dobbs, in his first game, was 8 of 15, 53% completion rate, for 100 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs and a passer rating of 56.9. Even though it was called back due to penalty that TD pass he threw to Xavier Grimble while scrambling to his left and throwing across his body was pretty nice. If that had counted his passer rating would have been 78.

    I liked his movement skills, his ability to move out of the pocket, to throw the ball out of the pocket, his ability to run, and his ability to throw the deep ball. I still feel like he could develop quickly enough this season where he passes Jones as the #2 QB at some point. Would love to see what he can do running with the first team O-line and WRs. I have seen what Jones can do in that situation and have always been underwhelmed.

  • Wayne’O

    Dobb’s looked a little rattled early, not sure if that first int. to Heyward-Bey was tipped by the pass rusher? If so it explains the horrible pass. The second one was just classic NFL, where a lineman looks to rush, then drops into coverage, that one will fool most rookies and some vets. I do like the way that he bounced back, showed a pulse, and got the victory. Nice deep balls to Cobi and then the way that he scrambled and squared his shoulders to throw the dart to Grimble in traffic, for the TD that got called back, was impressive. And I really like his wheels as well. Overall, definitely an unfinished product, but does have some potential. We shall see.

  • newguy68

    His Oline didn’t help him much but the more he played the better he looked. This is his 1st game in the NFL, let’s see how he improves from the Giants to the Falcons and onto the Colts.

  • SmellyHobo

    For a little perspective, once Landon Collins and the Giant’s first teamers started to leave the game Dobbs went 8-11 with 2 touchdowns. (if you count the touchdown called back)

    Trubisky and Kizer put up similar numbers in the 4th quarter against third and fourth teamers and they are hailed as the next great quarterback by their franchise base.

  • John


  • I thought he’d do a little better, but I didn’t expect anything great from him.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Josh Dobbs met my performance expectations. Flashed potential with his TD pass; first down scramble and overall composure. Demonstrated inexperience with two picks, couple makeable incompletes. Arrow still pointing up.

  • john bennett

    Dobbs did about as I expected, and maybe just a little bit better. I exprcted him to cut and run a lot more than he did and he actually made some decent decisions and throws once he settled down a little. First game jitters and all have to be taken into accout.

  • Boots

    My expectations were pretty low, actually I expected a train wreck, so he really played better than I expected. He didn’t run nearly as much as I thought he would and made a few decent throws.

  • Doug McFee

    Two three and outs to start the game. Back to back interceptions the next two possessions. 4 possessions of failure could have destroyed the kid. He could have folded. Dobbs did not fold and played much better the rest of the way. Could have been nerves. Dobbs rebounded. I’m proud of the kid.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I still see no reason why we spent a 4th round pick on him and just didn’t sign a veteran to hold the clipboard. Honestly, I’d say around 8 or 9 out of 10 of us all agree that Dobbs isn’t the heir apparent. There seem to be the random and occasional few, who want to get excited about the shiny new toy, even though it was made in China and won’t last much longer than a few years. Dobbs is a Pittsburgh Steeler, so I won’t hold any negative feelings about him that aren’t EARNED by poor play, now that the games have started. I’m rooting for him. I want him to be a beast. Like… a Kordell with a huge brain.

    But c’mon. The people that truly believe he is going to be the starting QB in 2018, or ’19, or whenever, are making me shudder at the thought. Maybe I am spoiled since 2004. I admit that. But assuming we only get 1 or 2 or praise God, 3… more years out of Ben, I think Dobbs is basically just a camp body, good kid, smart guy, who may be able to graduate to the backup to whoever we choose to replace Ben. Was it necessary to even draft him this last draft? I don’t think so. I can think of about 25 other guys I’d have rather spent that pick on. But alas, we did. He’s here. And was I impressed last night? No. But did he meet my expectations? Yes.

  • Tom McConnell

    Some below thought he was terrible…really? You could see him settling in. Dobbs had more poise than Jones had even in his 2nd or 3rd preseason games. I was one that said patience was needed with Jones. Dobbs showed composure even during the sack. He didn’t panic. Nice first start for a rookie.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    I would say better than I expected because he had some nice deep balls and threw two TDs though one was called back.
    Still not happy we took him instead of a TE though.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Good point on the recovery from the disastrous start.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    A tad harsh since the one pick was by a DE dropping into the middle.
    I still wish we had not drafted him though.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    You really think he could be BBs successor!
    Art 3rd even said he wasn’t taken for that purpose (but then went on to NOT say what purpose he WAS taken for!).
    I hope you are right!!

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Zactly. If I understood the rationale behind the pick (like they knew they had a taker for LJ in trade for instance) I might feel differently but…..

  • Jaybird

    I do not think he will be Ben’s successor. But I’ve learned to never say never. But again I do think he played better than Landry did in his first year. I will admit I did not like them picking Dobbs in the fourth. I wanted Kittle there.

  • Reggie Cunningham

    He’ll be number 2 very soon my friend. It’s not hard to beat another #3 Qb

  • Reggie Cunningham

    But you perfer a guy that threw 6 int. in a preseason game and it wasn’t his rookie season

  • Reggie Cunningham

    Look better than Jones than his whole career.

  • Reggie Cunningham

    He looked exciting to me. Yeah he made rookie mistakes. I wasn’t expecting Peyton manning like some people. I did see a young not losing confidence and his eyes were always down field. Even when he took off. I think he would be dangerous with AB, Bryant and Bell. I hope that would happen before the preseason is over but Bell holding out. I have to scratch that off

  • Michael Mosgrove

    not this year. unless landry stays hurt.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Yup, Kittle would have worked.

  • James Lee

    Are you referring to Jones? If so, I’ve always thought Jones sucks. Let’s face it, if BenR7 goes down this season it’s over.