Joshua Dobbs isn’t backing down from the competition to be Ben Roethlisberger’s backup when the NFL regular season gets underway.
The Alpharetta High School graduate impressed in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first preseason contest last week, throwing for 91 yards and a touchdown in a 31-14 thrashing of the Philadelphia Eagles, the defending Super Bowl Champions.
A second-year quarterback, Dobbs is battling with Landry Jones and Mason Rudolph for positioning on the Steelers depth chart. Dobbs completed nine-of-13 passes against the Eagles. One of his incompletions was picked off. He also rushed twice for 19 yards.
His highlight of the game came with 25 seconds left in the second quarter. Taking a shotgun snap, Dobbs avoided some pressure by stepping up and left of the pocket before firing a pass into the end zone. Damoun Patterson reached up and snagged the ball as it sailed over a defender’s head for a 29-yard touchdown.
“The two-minute drill is like the ultimate competitor’s dream,’’ Dobbs told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s you against the defense. We had a ton of third-down conversions on that drive. It definitely felt great to cap off that first half with the two-minute drive for a touchdown.”
Dobbs played his college football at the University of Tennessee and was a fourth round draft pick by the Steelers in 2017. The 6-foot-3 north Fulton County native didn’t see the field during a regular season game last year, relegated to third string behind Jones and Roethlisberger.
Even with added competition from Rudolph, a rookie, Dobbs is going to continue to put up a fight for a spot on the Steelers’ roster. If he continues his solid play in the preseason, he won’t make the decision easy for the Steelers when cut-day comes.
“I am just competing,” Dobbs told The Athletic. “Every time I step on the field, I am competing. That’s my mentality. I am competitive so anytime I get the opportunity, I am trying to drive the ball down the field every single drive I get.”