Pass Attempt Breakdown Of Steelers QB Joshua Dobbs Against Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Joshua Dobbs made his preseason debut Friday night against the New York Giants and after a shaky start, the Tennessee product calmed down somewhat. Dobbs completed 8 of 15 pass attempts for 100 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the game. He also had another touchdown pass wiped out by a holding penalty.

Below are several breakdowns of Dobbs’ pass attempts against the Giants. First is a video that shows his throw locations. That is followed by a play-by-play breakdown complete with snap to throw times and pass distances along with a quick recap of what happened on the play. Lastly, you’ll see a passing chart complete with legend.

After watching each of Dobbs’ pass attempts, it’s clear he needs to work on his accuracy as several of his throws were high. He was saved by some nice catches by his intended receivers. Out of the pocket and on the move, Dobbs delivered some nice throws. Additionally, his two touchdown passes, of which one was nullified by a penalty, were probably his best throws of the night.

I have his average snap to throw time at 2.86 seconds and his average passing distance past the original line of scrimmage at 10.1 yards.

For a first NFL performance, Dobbs wasn’t overly impressive and that’s understandable. We now how a starting point with him to compare to his future preseason showings to see how he improves.

Throw Location Video

Play-by-play Breakdown

Passing Chart


    Nothing against this kid but I really wish we had used that pick on one of the available TEs.
    As ARIII pointed out when we drafted him, he is NOT a viable candidate to replace BB.
    At best he might be the second coming of ‘Slash’.

  • Flip Fisher

    Your chart does not play well with Opera browser. Can not read full right column.

  • AustinTxStillerFan

    I’m sure they said the same thing about Brady and Bledsoe when Brady came out. NO, he is not Brady or Bledsoe. The point is, we do not know who Dobbs will be in 3 or 4 or 10 seasons. Suggesting he can or cannot be a franchise QB at this stage is something NO ONE can say. Not even AR3. If that were true, Brady would have been our No 1 pick when he came out. Deebo was cut and on the PS at the start of his career – and now at the end of a career where he was DPOY. Who in their right mind would not have made those two guys their number 1 overall or at least top 5 the years they came out if the KNEW what they would become?

    Why then, didn’t they? Because they are guessing – and they get it wrong as often as they get it right. AR3’s comments are an admission of that truth. Any QB drafted after
    round 1 is a guy that the team is HOPING can develop into a
    franchise QB, or at least a decent backup. However, they are NEVER going to say “We expect him to be a franchise QB ” unless they pulled the trigger in round 1.

    Dobbs college resume and current skill set will not make him franchise QB this year or next. After a 4 year rookie contract, maybe he is out of the league, or maybe an upgrade on Landry Jones, or maybe, JUST MAYBE, he is a franchise QB. They felt his skills and potential warranted taking a shot in the 4th. Frankly, by the time Dobbs was picked, there weren’t many TE’s I thought were worth a 4th round pick. I was hoping Roberts would fall to us, but when the Lions picked him at 4/21, I figured we would go another direction.

  • Dennis Wright

    I’m rooting for this guy not just because he is a Steeler now but because I hope it will shut up the backwards dialogue on everyone who thinks that this draft pick was a waste. I think you need to throw as many sensible picks as you can at this position even when you don’t know a franchise QB is on the way out. It’s the most important position in the NFL an people are calling a shot at it a wasted pick. WTF.

  • Mark

    Great points, right now he is an unknown and who says we don’t draft another QB in the 1st round next year. Dobbs must learn how to make quicker decisions on where he is going with the football, not predetermining before the snap where he is going with the ball, and reading ahead of the play. On his interception to outside LB, it was a great defensive call and he was determined to through the ball to Eli.

    It amazes me that Ben has the best talent around him on offense and he wants to retire??? He is sacked/hit less than any point in his career, has the tallest WRs ever, best RB in the league, and the oline are on contracts for the next 2 years. If we have to trade a 2nd round to get a Kirk Cousins or other FA QB, all we need is someone to get ball in their hands.

  • NinjaMountie

    I think it’s because people are entitled to their opinions, even if you disagree. I’ve never been a fan of quantity of quality myself. Some people, myself included, didn’t see this as a quality pick. It wasn’t to the point that I wanted to hang myself from the ceiling over it but I wasn’t thrilled with it, either.
    Time will tell.

  • NinjaMountie

    Very sensible explanation. I’m one of the ones that don’t think he’ll be anything but a career backup. I could, as you say, be wrong and I’m open to that. Shoot, if he became a franchise QB I’d gladly eat my plate of crow while I was ordering his jersey, lol.

  • John Pennington

    Dobbs will learn this was his first game but he has alot of work to do to get better.The steelers will draft another qb next year they have no choice. In the nean time Dobbs needs to get stronger learn to read defenses if he going to survive in this league. He has to improve in his short passing game or he will get someone hurt with those high passes and if he doesn’t inprove in seeing the field he wont be a steeler for long but he needs time to work on his game.He is a #3qb and thats where he needs to be for now.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    The reality is, there’s going to be a gap in between franchise QBs once Ben retires. The likelihood of having a Packers or Colts type situation (moving seamlessly between Hall of Fame QB’s) is pretty much zero.

    So, honestly, if they find someone who can keep us competitive for a couple years until we can find a long-term solution, I’m fine with that. I don’t really like the idea of bottoming out (the franchise is too well-run to go 3-13), so this is the most viable solution. Even if he’s Neil O’Donnell, Slash, or Tommy Maddox, who weren’t long-term solutions, they still led us to deep playoff runs (even if we had a top-notch defense, they weren’t nothing).

  • Michael Mosgrove

    off topic but i can’t sleep. i was run off the road on the way home to virginia from nj. i literally came within 4 feet of hitting a telephone pole on a dark highway. being that i was doing 70 and just barely managed to come to a stop in time has me a bit shook up. i’ve been through combat, ive been through car accidents and a million other terrible thing but this holy balls. i hate people.

  • Michel Smiffi

    As much as it pains me to say it, ut right, the solution under center for not bottoming out is Landry Jones.
    He might so some stupid stuff, but he can do exactly that:
    Keep the team in every game.
    I think with Landry as the starter (and therefore taking all the pre-and in-season refs with the ones) for we would win somewhere between 7 and 9 games.

    Maybe, with some luck, we could get a Wildcard-spot, but at least, we wouldn’t be Browns level.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Ugh… I’m usually pretty generous towards these guys, but I just don’t see it with Landry. The idea of two years with him as the starter sounds excruciating. I’d much prefer they pick up a Mike Glennon type, even if they have to overpay him.


    All fair points and I agree that it is a crap shoot as to whether or not they pan out.
    My feeling was that the need at TE was more important now than at QB3, and with BB down to more than likely two years we needed to go ‘all in’ on positions other than QB to take advantage of his last couple seasons.
    As to the TEs available in rd4, I would use the same argument there that you used in support of the Dobbs pick – it’s anybody’s guess on their viability. I, too, wanted M Roberts and was disappointed when the Lions took him.


    Indeed, same here – I would love it if Dobbs DOES turn out to be that guy!


    Everyone is quick to point out the Brady scenario but that is literally once in a generation at best.
    More often than not, a team has to use a 1 or 2 pick to get a starter at QB,and this was a poor QB class top to bottom.
    I was all over taking Mahomes much earlier but let’s face it, just throwing mid round picks at it and hoping we ‘hit’ on a QB is not likely to work.




    Avoiding the gap can be done but agree that it is tough to do.
    The Niners also avoided the gap with Montana to Young.
    I think too often the Steelers downplay using high picks to get quality at some positions (CB being an ongoing example, and TE with the exception of Heath).
    Hopefully QB doesn’t turn out to be one of them!!

  • NinjaMountie

    The only QB I liked in this draft is Trubisky. I knew we weren’t getting our hands on him. I thought Mahomes was a good gamble pick; much how people are viewing Dobbs.

  • Michael James

    There’s no way they go with Landry Jones, believe me. They either go with a first-round rookie, a solid veteran or Dobbs (if he develops how they want him to). We have to remember that Dobbs, by all accounts, looks far better in camp than Jones has in his first two/three seasons. His first game, while not very good, was still way better than Landry’s first games. I think he’ll be the number 2 next season.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I expect Dobbs to be very good if not great in the next few yrs it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out dude is incredibly smart oh and by the way there’s a reason why people say it doesn’t take a rocket scientist for a reason

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    it’s his 1st nfl game give the guy a chance technically he’s 1-0 as a starter (although it’s preseason) and he did have 2 td passes barring the penalty flag

  • falconsaftey43

    Glad you are alright man.

  • Matt Manzo

    “Keep the team in every game”? I’m not so sure about that.

  • Steeler Nation!

    He may turn out to be good. But we’ve seen absolutely nothing to this point to make anyone believe he will ever be good. His footwork and mechanics need ALOT of work. He was fortunate that half of his completions were complete, thanks to receivers making good snags. But the locations of his throws killed the chances for YAC. It was ugly. Which isn’t surprising for a rookie mid level pick (and 4th was too soon for him). Obviously the kid is very intelligent, but he’s going to have to unlearn some bad habits before he can go forward. Maybe he will, but it’s crazy to expect him to be good based on what we’ve seen.

  • Boom

    Glad to hear you’re ok.

  • James Churchwell

    Austin you comments about Dobbs are point on, actually I don’t think any of the commentators for the Steelers and a lot of fans want him to succeed. I could go further in my statements but I get too frustrated reading and analyzing what I feel is going on with the negative comments about Dobbs, because when I do my thoughts are tooo close to being right….I mean the young mans FIRST Pro. game and ALREADY he sucks…REALLY?!

  • Michael Mosgrove

    thanks man. i still havent slept yet. and this is after waking up at 5 am yesterday.

  • joe triplehorns

    I hope he grows into being a top QB,because i have Browns fan friends that just won’t acknowledge that Steelers take chances on QB’s in the mid to late rounds like the Browns take chances in the first three rounds yearly. It’s the same possible leap of faith,with the exception of Steelers ain’t wasting the 1st or 2nd round on ’em.It would be great to gloat more than I already can! But just like all those Browns 1st round QB’s…NOBODY KNOWS right away how good they will be.

  • James Churchwell

    YES, YES, YES thank you Dennis….You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT….WTF? Scholl up a few and read my comment that I responded to Austin TxStillerFan, Man I hope my thoughts are wrong on why I feel some people are calling this a wasted pick.

  • James Churchwell

    I’m glad to see that you recognized that opinion entitlement thing goes both ways…And by the way I’m glad you changed your mind on that hanging thing because if you did you wouldn’t have been around to see how awesome a qb he turned out to be for The Steelers or some other team’s GM who had the depth and knowledge of the position to see the potential of this young man in his position past the FIRST Pro. game he’s ever played in to know that there is something special about this kid, and no I’m not going to say “Let’s wait and see”, I’m putting myself out there now….barring injuries of course.

  • Matt Manzo

    Crazy! Glad you’re alright!

  • AustinTxStillerFan

    There are more parallels with the Brady situation than you might realize. I lived in Boston the year that Brady replaced Bledsoe. Bledsoe went down with an injury and Brady got a chance to play. He did so well that when Bledsoe got healthy, he road the bench. The key takeaway was that Brady came into the league with a franchise QB in front of him. There was no pressure to play Bledsoe excessively to get him ready in the preseason and there was no pressure for kid-Brady to play immediately. A lot of snaps were available for QB2-4 in that preseason.

    I would argue that part of the reason that it is a once in a generation occurrence is because very few teams have a franchise QB in place and very few teams carry a 3rd QB. I would further argue that it happens infrequently because there are too few in game snaps available to develop QB’s and too much pressure to win. Guys that have the potential to be franchise QB’s never get the chance to develop into them. Do you think that Landry Jones would have developed as he has without all the snaps he got in the preseason?

    There is a LOT of talk in Steeler Nation about the “waste” of carrying a 3rd QB and using picks on QB’s. I’ve bemoaned it myself. I think I’m coming around to the idea, primarily because of the development of Landry Jones. No, I do not think Landry is Ben’s replacement. I think that the progress he has shown demonstrates what we see in other positions: the guy you see in preseason one, game one is not the guy you will see after a couple years of coaching and some in game experience. Thank god the Steelers didn’t give up on Deebo after his first game like everyone wants to give up on Dobbs. Making a habit of picking up guys that have potential but do not check all the boxes every 2-3 years and developing them to see what they become makes a lot more sense in that context. Joshua Dobbs may not surpass Landry Jones. He may not be the guy. If he turns out to be Brady 2.0, we’ll be glad they “wasted” the pick.

    Oh, and by the way, Brady’s generation is almost out the door. A new one is on the way in…. It’s a new generation and time for lightning to strike… why NOT Dobbs?

  • Zarbor

    Yeah, the fact is we don’t know. But to use Brady and Harrison as examples is lame. They are the exceptions out of how many? Tons. Actually, using Brady is the worst. We have never and probably never will see anyone go so late and not only make it but end up as one of if not the best.

    There are many things that has to fall in place besides the QB to make that scenario possible and the Patsies will tell you Brady was a fluke. However, in this modern era of football, outside of Russel Wilson who went in the 3rd round, I don’t recall any QB winning a SB in the modern era not named Brady lower than that.

    Is it possible? Yes, but not likely. Can Dobbs be one of those rare exception? Probably not and I wouldn’t hold my breath. Why? Well, he has soooo much to work on just to be a starter. Not a great QB, a starter in this league. He doesn’t seem like a football junkie. You know a guy who is obsessed with being the best or with winning. He has conflicting interest, astrophysics. Lastly our system is not geared towards his best abilities. His best skill now is running not his smarts. We’ve seen it in college. He’s NOT an accurate passer and not really a pocket QB. Can we make him into these to fit our current system? Good luck. Seems like a square peg in a round hole.

    If the kid was an accurate pocket passer, I would feel much better about his chances. Wish him well and hope he proves me wrong. History is not on his side and neither are the odds. However Landry Jones isn’t much competition for him to overcome. Our QB situation is a complete mess if Ben retires.


    You make some good points re the once in a generation AND that nobody can pik ’em – I was shocked at how many of Belicheats QB picks have floundered.
    From my perspective this is not about Dobbs I just felt like that pick should be used to support a win now approach.

  • Bradshaw

    I didn’t see anything that tells/shows me that Dobbs can’t be better than Landry pretty quickly. (Landry had the worst preseason I’ve ever seen by a QB in his first season. Personally, I would have cut him that year and gone another direction way before Dobbs entered the equation.)

    I didn’t see anything that tells/shows me that Dobbs can’t become what the Steelers need him to be. Will he be a franchise QB someday? Time will tell.

  • Steeler Nation!

    I think most people that have seen him play college ball doubt that he will translate to being a successful pro QB. Count me as one of those. I too wish that we had invested that pick into a position that might help us win a championship or 2 over the next couple of years while we still have a franchise QB. Instead of drafting a guy you hope does NOT have to get on the field. I hope I’m wrong, but I never saw big time NFL QB in this kid.

  • joe triplehorns

    And I concur. But 1 more point. Most all 4th round picks take time to groom or get cut within 3 years. But most are in need of time to groom.

  • joe triplehorns

    Teams 4th round picks are not usually starters right away. 4th rounders take 1 to 3 full seasons to groom. So taking a chance with the 4th round is a nice starting point.Until Steelers are ready to spend a 1st round on a QB. Only Browns and teams of that caliber start 4th rounders in their rookie years.Therefore, this pick of Dobbs will need grooming just like 95% of all other Steelers 4th rounders.

  • joe triplehorns

    I think Kizer and Mahomes are going to be starters for years to come.


    Mahomes will, in my estimate, will turn out to Ben the pick of this bunch.

  • Jay Brenner

    Agreed, I f they have a shot at 1 of the big three next year I’d draft him in the first round. I would even move up to do so. I drool over the thought of getting Sam Darnold. I believe ne will be Bradyesque but more athletic and bigger arm will see.