No one was expecting rookie quarterback Josh Dobbs to perform flawlessly in his first game as a pro. Predictably, Dobbs experienced his ups and downs in almost three quarters of play against the New York Giants Friday.
Given the start after the Steelers decided to rest Ben Roethlisberger, the biggest thing fans and coaches were looking for in Dobbs was how well he has learned Todd Haley’s offense. Dobbs started the game poorly, with the offense sputtering to three-and-outs on its first three possessions. Dobbs then threw the first of two interceptions when his arm was hit while attempting a deep pass. Dobbs threw his second interception after staring down a receiver over the middle.
After his rocky start, however, Dobbs settled in and showed flashes of his potential. He completed two well-thrown balls to Cobi Hamilton, one a 44-yard deep pass down the seam and the other a 28-yard touchdown pass on a similar route. Dobbs had a second touchdown pass called back for a holding penalty, but generally settled down after a nervous start. Dobbs also displayed his scrambling ability on multiple occasions, showing his potential as a dual threat quarterback. Dobbs’ final line will not jump off the page, 8-for-15 for 100 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, but the rookie performed adequately in his first NFL action.
The speed of the game appeared, expectedly, too much for Dobbs at this point in his development. The Steelers are not looking for Dobbs to set the world afire and start his rookie season, so if he can show improvement in his decision-making and adjusting to the speed of NFL defenses for the duration of preseason Steelers coaches and fans alike should be pleased. Landry Jones may get some action in the Steelers next preseason game, but if Dobbs can build on his performance against the Giants, he should be in pole position to earn the backup role for the 2017 season.