Josh Dobbs Says He Saw Improvement From First To Second Game


Though many Pittsburgh Steelers fans would disagree, Josh Dobbs says there was positive takeaways from his second NFL start Sunday afternoon.

“I did a lot better,” Dobbs said after the game via Steelers.com. “Getting in, having more time at the line of scrimmage to do different things. So there was an improvement.”

The stat sheet tells a different story. Dobbs finished the game 10/19 for 70 yards and an interception, though it’s important to point out he fell victim to two James Conner drops that would’ve kept drives alive and made his completion percentage look better.

Not that Dobbs thinks he’s a finished product either.

“Tomorrow will be a chance to go back, watch the film. See things I did well. Things I can continue to grow on. And I’ll have another list of things next week to continue to improve on.”


Dobbs makes the important point of quarterback play. It isn’t all about what is done post-snap and that can often be tied to what the quarterback does before it. Getting the call, communicating it clearly, and getting out of the huddle in timely fashion. Dobbs has consistently shown that throughout camp while, for comparison’s sake, Bart Houston, has still struggled. Case in point, a delay of game penalty by Houston on 3rd and goal from the one late in the game.

Of course, that doesn’t absolve the issues Dobbs still showed. Errant passes on short to intermediate throws and an awful decision on his interception.

Next weekend, he should see a reduced role as Ben Roethlisberger gets his tune up game and Landry Jones has a good chance to return to the lineup. That’ll allow him to learn from the sidelines, something he hasn’t been able to do much the first two weeks. It’ll let him watch a game from a different perspective and watch one of the best in the business go to work.

While Dobbs has had an inconsistent camp, it’s nothing to be alarmed about. And certainly no reason to clamor for Houston, as some have, who has clearly been worse. Growing pains are expected of any rookie QB. He’s shown the mental makeup to bounce back, a critical trait for better success down the road.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • The Chin

    Agreed. Atlanta was better than the Giants

  • steeltown

    Ha! I did see more than one person post they’d keep Houston over Dobbs, which is ridiculous.

  • RickM

    If he thinks he was a lot better, we’re in trouble long-term because he’s a guy who deludes himself. Josh you have several years to develop. But call it for what it was – not the best but you’ll get ’em next time.

  • John Pennington

    If Dobbs thinks he saw improvement then there is something wrong.When you continue to throw behind your wr or throw high or throw for less than 100 yards thats not improving at all.He has alot of work to do and stop kidding himself because he looked bad period.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Thank you, Rick. I was worried I was the only one. I thought the Steelers were delusional for drafting Dobbs in the 4th round (instead of Jake Butt) and nothing I’ve seen so far that has changed my mind in the slightest.

    And before anyone says “give the kid a chance” or “it’s just a pre-season game” let it be known that I am not judging his career. I’m just saying, from what I’m seeing now, Josh Dobbs is YEARS away from being a competent NFL QB. Not months.

    Having said that, he seems to be a great kid and a hard worker and I’m certainly rooting for him to do well. But I’ve been rooting for Landry Jones for quite some time now too, and we all know how that is turning out.

  • Rocksolid20

    How many back up QB’s in the league would you say are better than Landry ?
    He is just a serviceable back up . Still ahead of Dobbs .

  • RickM

    Hi Star. Yes he’s years away in terms of technique because he will get very little, if any, playing time to learn in 2017. I don’t know why, with the very brief SB window, they invested in a project QB at the expense of a much-needed TE when good ones were still available. It doesn’t make any real sense.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    really dobbs? you saw improvement? because i went to both games and you sucked in both.

  • J Jones

    I was impressed with his command of the huddle and how he got in and out of plays. No guys running around lost pre snap. It seems as if he has memorized the playbook. Now just gotta give him time to understand our scheme. Im absolutely ok with the progress of our 3rd string rookie qb

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i disagree. he looked lost. he was easily distracted at the stadium, he didnt snap to reads , he panicked and he missed wide open receivers. yes some drops hurt his stats but he very much looked like a rookie. we have to hope jones is back next game.

  • DarthYinzer

    Man, our backup QB situation is a hot mess.

  • Bob Castanon

    You either have it or you don’t. Dobbs doesn’t. Case in point Ben and Prescott. Both came in as rookies and played great. That development mind set will cost us championships for years. How long did we go through musical chair quarterbacks from Bradshaw to Big Ben? They better start doing their homework for next years draft. Hopefully we can get lucky like Dallas did with Prescott and he’s no engineer. He just knows how to throw.

  • Bob Castanon

    You either have it or you don’t. Dobbs doesn’t. Case in point Ben and Prescott. Both came in as rookies and played great. That development mind set will cost us championships for years. How long did we go through musical chair quarterbacks from Bradshaw to Big Ben? They better start doing their homework for next years draft. Hopefully we can get lucky like Dallas did with Prescott and he’s no engineer. He just knows how to throw.

  • nutty32

    They don’t really need him to play until YEARS away so not a shocker. He’s a rookie doing rookie things & a 4th rounder at that. What expectations did you have?

  • nutty32

    It’s funny you brought up that Bradshaw guy….

  • J Jones

    He is a rookie…what else are we judging him on? Wasnt expecting him to take landrys job this yr. Most rookies will Iook lost when tossed into the fire. Go back and look at landrys preseason perfomances just last yr. Some were downright ugly. How quickly we forget. I too want landry back asap. But by all accounts dobbs has been ok in practice which is probably more important than preseason games.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    That’s the same thing people said about Landry Jones 4 years ago.

  • derp_diggler

    Just because one of your seeds does not bear fruit doesn’t mean you should stop planting.

  • nutty32

    Yup & Jones is doing what the team needs him to do now, so. Didn’t he start off as the #3 behind Gradkowski?

  • budabar

    Dave broke down dobb’s passes in collage his play is no surprise this is the way he played then I still don’t see what the FO was seeing

  • Ryan Alderman

    It’s his accuracy that worries me. Mental makeup and leadership seem on point.

  • Reggie Cunningham

    I don’t know what u guys see in Jones.

  • nutty32

    To possibly take over for Jones as he’s starting to get expensive?

  • Michael Mosgrove

    disagree. preseason games matter more. games youre not playing your team mates. games are where the 53’s are made.

  • RickM

    He’d save them a little (over a million) as you say, but Jones drew no interest in FA and his $2.2 Million a year as a back-up QB is quite low salary-wise. My guess is someone feels that Dobbs has a longshot shot to be a starter 3-4 years from now.

    I don’t see it, but anything is possible. My guess is we’ll have to draft a 1st or 2nd rounder to ultimately replace Ben. Could Dobbs replace Jones in a couple of years with a lot of development? Sure.

  • nutty32

    Welp, so Dobbs and $14M more will get Bell into camp. lol

  • PaeperCup

    lol. I’m not a Houston fan, so you won’t get that out of me. But weird to say I miss Landry.

  • colingrant

    I was disappointed in Dobbs’ performance until some reflection and an emotion-less replay review. A rookie, playing against a first team defense, flanked by two receivers who began practicing just last week (timing) and an offensive line performance that provided little pass protection and insufficient running success leaving him vulnerable to having to execute 2nd and 3rd and longs.

    Not an ideal situation for a rookie, but then again a lot can be gleaned from such an experience for coaches. Fans don’t want to hear it, but many advancements can only be seen by coaches and the player’s themselves. Fans are left with stats and other tangible dynamics with which to draw opinions from.

    Remedy: Lots of reps and continued experience

  • J Jones

    If that were the case Arthur Moats woulda been named a starter and a HOF’er last wk. You dont judge a player off of preseason performances. You expected dobbs to have success against landon collins and crew without ab, mb, or lev bell. Even ben couldnt do that… preseason or not.

  • J Jones

    Not to mention he didnt use his legs much at all which are his most effective weapons right now. He was asked to play almost exclusively from the pocket which is not his strength

  • SilverSteel

    Bummer but in retrospect I agree

  • Michael Mosgrove

    no he wouldnt. stop being ridiculous. if training camp practices were the most important then the 53 would be made regardless of the preseason games. josh mauro, nick williams, isaac redman, howard jones, vic so’oto etc would have all been on the 53. because they tore up their respective camps.

  • Michael Conrad

    College is a place to learn.

  • J Jones

    Landry threw 4 picks vs the eagles in a preseason game just last yr if im not mistaken. U seriously think dobbs wont make the 53?

  • Arthur Branch

    I was not a fan of the Dobbs pick but he is a steeler now. Instead of playing against other teams 3rd stringers he has been starting. He was a 4th round pick, anyone that thought he would come in as a rookie and replace Landry in training camp was delusional. Next year I expect to see his footwork and accuracy improved. He can make all the throws so I will not judge until Randy has had time to mold him a bit.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    lets get alex smith next year after ben retires.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    dobbs will make the 53 this year. no doubt, next year is a different matter.

  • JohnB

    as long as it stays our BACKUP QB situation I’m fine. haha

  • Douglas Andrews

    Check down Alex Smith??

  • ShoguN

    A rookie 4th round quarterback, playing against a starting defense that just played in the Superbowl. Looked encouraging to me. Some good, and bad. Its to be expected, but I like what I’m seeing. Intelligent, and experienced football fans can see that Dobbs has a chance to be something. Two preseason games and so many “fans” have unrealistic expectations. There are growing pains that ALL NFL quarterback go through. And what other rookie qbs have been seeing first team defenses this preseason? The Giants and Falcons have a very strong Dline, and defense overall .

  • RickM

    He played 15 minutes against their starting D’s and the remaining 30 minutes against back-ups in both games. Let’s keep it real here.

  • Don

    Might as well go for Sam Bradford while we’re at it

  • Don

    Good point. I think he looks better than Jones did his first few years. And being as intelligent as he is, I expect to see a similar level of improvement over the couple years, if not more. Don’t know yet if he’s a future starter, but at worst I expect he will become a good backup.

  • Don

    My 7-year old son would definitely have been onboard with your idea of drating Jake Butt! 🙂

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    If you think drafting Landry Jones was a success, I guess we’d better end this discussion right here.

    Agree to disagree.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Derp –

    You are absolutely correct. But the Steelers chose to plant Avocado seeds in Pittsburgh.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Expectations?

    First, I was hoping he maybe wouldn’t make extremely horrible decisions… like say… flinging the ball with a sideways pitch motion right at the opposing CB who is ten feet away while he’s getting sacked. That would be my first expectation.

    The second would be to have a passer rating over 40. I’m pretty sure Charlie Batch could come of the announcer’s booth and give us that. Even Bart Houston posted a 58 RTG.

    (What a great name by the way… Bart Houston… How is he not playing for the Cowboys?)

    But the third and most important expectation would be to show some semblance of “feel” for the game. I don’t mean “command” (that’s rare for any rookie) I mean that he shows a sense of knowing “where he is” on the field and “where the other players are” immediately around him. Kind of like when kids play tag or dodgeball in elementary school. Some kids just seem to be comfortable running around in space, good vision, awareness, etc.

    Dobbs does not appear to have any of those things. I don’t mind mistakes. But I want to see flashes of talent CONSISTENTLY. Not just two or three times per game.

  • Conserv_58

    Talk about a precarious and dreadful situation, if Ben goes down for a few games this team is dead in the water with Landry Jones and Dobbs backing him up.

    Based on Dobbs’ performance against the Falcons he’s far from being allowed to see the field in an actual game. He might have the X’s and O’s down, but he’s got a long, long ways to go in his maturation process. The decision to heave a long shovel pass as he was falling to the turf demostrated extremely poor and immature judgement. That’s sandlot football, not NFL football. I do believe that he has the ability to become a competent NFL QB, but right now he’s a lump of clay that needs to be worked and molded to get him to become competent.

  • Conserv_58

    It’s easy to see, based on the still photos of him throwing, that Tenn. doesn’t have a QB coach or if they do he needs to be fired. While perusing the game photos, every time I looked at one with Dobbs his poor foot placement and overall technique jumped off the screen. Technique wise he needs to be stripped down and rebuilt.

  • Conserv_58

    IMO, fix his poor foot work and his accuracy will improve dramatically.

  • Conserv_58

    IMO, one of the worst in the NFL.

    Knowing that the Steelers hopes to win another SB depends on Ben’s health status makes it a boom or bust season. Just knowing that if it came down to it and their hopes of winning depended on Landry Jones it is for that reason only why I’m conflicted on the idea of signing Kapernick.

  • RevDrEBuzz

    He is another Kordell with a slide rule. I had a flashback when he took the ball down and started running. He has a similar running style.

    Don’t get hurt Ben.

  • Ryan Alderman

    I agree, Rick.

  • ShoguN

    Dude, my whole point was that Dobbs has a chance to be something. If you disagree with that then that’s your opinion. I never said that Dobbs played great this preseason. I merely commented on potential that I feel he flashed, and fans being too quick to label him a bum. He has barely gotten his feet wet, give him time. Also, he played against the starting D of the Falcons and Giants enough be on the stat sheet. Trust me, I’m not too high or low on Dobbs, but after 2 preseason games I still wouldn’t be surprised if he became “something”

  • Jim Foles

    LJ? Because he is deer in headlights and then stands there taking sacks like a deer in headlights. he can’t run.

  • SilverSteel

    Why did you put “fans” in quotes. If we are critical, it is justified. The coach does the same analysis. We are not bad fans because we want to be realistic.

  • SilverSteel

    Agreed. He’s smart enough to relearn and has the time. His deep ball looks good. He drops, sets and throws properly. The short ones it seems he is not stable or comfortable. This can be fixed.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    check downs work better than not completing passses at all or throwing it to the other team.alex smith is a good qb and better than anyone we have on the roster not named ben.

  • SilverSteel

    Alert!!! He looks like a rookie in preseason. Get him!!! 😧

  • SilverSteel

    Well our D looked as soft as guacamole so, agreed.

  • SilverSteel

    Well he did play better and looked more in command of the O but I agree, he is PS material if that.

  • ShoguN

    I guess I feel that fans should try to be more understanding of the process of learning to play in the NFL. Use this understanding to be supportive, instead of bashing a young player and our team. That’s being realistic. Not all star players in the league showed promise in their first NFL action.

  • Jim Foles

    The Giants were pretty weak… See Browns game.

  • Jim Foles

    He has two years to get better.. We will never be drafting a first round top 10 QB as long as Ben is here. So pray we hit on a 4th rounder.

  • Jim Foles

    He has a rifle for an arm.

  • Jim Foles

    You can see in his play he wants to run alot more, but was told to hold.. so he gets jittery..

  • nutty32

    He looked like a waste, but he’s gotten better and made himself useful. Sure, he never came close to reaching his perceived upside potential, but he’s made himself useful.

  • nutty32

    Agree to disagree. I thought poise & feel were his best attributes. Jones was absolutely jittery in the pocket the first 2 years. If you compare him to all rookies & not just the instant success stories like Ben, Carr or Wentz, Dobbs has actually shown a lot of promise. It’s unfair to look at the now. Must use some projection with rookie QBs.
    Just as an aside, I’m predicting Dak to come down a good bit this year.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Remember this is the same Alex Smith that played 21 games straight without throwing a TD to a WR. Wonder how that would sit with AB?? or Steeler Nation

  • Michael Mosgrove

    but the quality of wr’s is much different. who was their receiver. i think they had only maclin at the time. could be mistaken.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Quality of WR’s or not that’s a horrible statistic. Also worth pointing out Then RB Knile Davis had more TD”s than a WR during that streak

  • Michael Mosgrove

    So did the kc tight ends.