Steelers add more quarterback competition with Josh Dobbs returning
By Tommy Jaggi
The Steelers re-signed one of their own on Wednesday. Here’s why adding Josh Dobbs will only improve the competition at quarterback.
The Steelers haven’t done much in the way of adding players this offseason, and the money clearly wasn’t there to bring in any high-priority free agents. However, Pittsburgh did elect to sign former first-round quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, to a risk-free, one-year deal earlier this offseason. Haskins clearly didn’t pan out in Washington and after a few off-field distractions, the former Ohio State quarterback became available.
On Wednesday, the Steelers added yet another depth option to their quarterback room as Joshua Dobbs has officially re-signed with the team, according to Mike McCartney. Dobbs was a former fourth-round pick by Pittsburgh back in 2017. Despite his intriguing arm talent and athletic traits, he has earned just 17 career pass attempts in the NFL over his first four seasons, according to Pro Football Reference. Though he is inexperienced, the competition should only make things better for the Steelers.
What Dobbs’ signing means for other Steelers quarterbacks
As of now, it’s certainly safe to assume that Ben Roethlisberger and former third-round pick, Mason Rudolph, will be locked into their roles as the team’s first and second quarterbacks in 2021. While Ben isn’t giving up his job anytime soon, it’s possible that Dobbs’ signing could stir up the depth chart a bit.
Rudolph’s most recent game in Week 17 of the 2020 season was arguably the best of his career so far, as he showcased the ability to push the ball down the field. He fell just short in his effort to upset the Cleveland Browns and keep them out of the playoffs. Rudolph will no doubt be given every opportunity to be the first man off the bench behind Roethlisberger this coming season and, knowing Ben’s injury history, there’s a good chance he could find himself in a few games.
Dobbs vs. Haskins for the third quarterback spot
Because of his former first-round status, many would already like to pencil in Haskins as a roster lock in 2021, but I can tell you that this is far from guaranteed. With just $850,000 owed to Haskins this year, bringing him in was just a drop in the bucket of the salary cap, and Pittsburgh wouldn’t bat an eye in if they were forced to release him.
While many believe that Haskins has a chance to become the next long-term starter when Roethlisberger’s career is done, I would urge you to err on the side of caution. I had a lot of questions about Haskins’ game coming out of Ohio State in 2019, and so far, my concerns have all been quite valid. Though his arm is plenty big enough to be a franchise passer, he doesn’t have pinpoint accuracy and he’s a bit of a statue in the pocket.
Meanwhile, Dobbs has done very little in his first four NFL seasons but actually possesses more tools and mobility to work with. Roethlisberger loved having him around, and perhaps the Steelers would rather keep him as their scout team quarterback in 2021.
Regardless of what happens, competition is only going to make this quarterback unit stronger, and we hope to see the best players win out. If they are each given an equal shot during training camp and preseason, it will be interesting to watch how things unfold in 2021.