When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected former Vol quarterback Josh Dobbs with the 135th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, he wasn’t expected to compete for a starting job right away. In fact, he may not even be expected to compete for a backup role in his rookie season.
But Dobbs was expected to come in and gradually absorb the Steeler’s playbook and learn the offense. So far, that’s exactly what he’s done. And according to Jacob Klinger of PennLive.com, it’s going smoother than anticipated, and that’s largely thanks to the offense he ran while at Tennessee.
“Coming to this setting they actually showed me that we ran a lot of traditional offense in college,” Dobbs stated. “We ran the same play, same scheme, same progressions, the same runs that I’ve run in college. Whether it’s red zone or in the field so it’s a little different, of course, in a huddle rather than getting signals from the sideline.
“But outside of that it’s still the same plays, still the same scheme, still the same type of verbiage I was running at the college level to help me translate over to the NFL level.”
Since Butch Jones has been the head coach at Tennessee, his offensive system has been a topic of discussion. Whether or not his system is a spread system or an option system or if it even translates well to the NFL have all been up for debate the last few years. But if Dobbs’ comments are to be believed, then Jones’ system works well with NFL offenses.
“Well he’s obviously been exposed to a handful of things. He’s seen things,” Randy Fichtner, the Steelers’ quarterbacks coach, said about Dobbs. “Whatever new concepts, he’s sharp enough to figure out.”
Dobbs appeared to finally master Tennessee’s offense as a senior after up-and-down play his first three years for the Vols. As a senior, Dobbs set career-highs in passes completed (225), yards (2,946), yards per attempt (8.3), and touchdowns (27). His 63 percent completion percentage was just three-tenths of a percentage point away from his career-high.
Now that Dobbs is in the NFL, he’ll have a large learning curve to overcome. But luckily for both him and the Steelers, Dobbs is already proving to be a competent student just like he was in college.
Although the Steelers don’t need Dobbs to contribute immediately, the early returns from their rookie quarterback are promising for the future. And Vol fans hope it means they’ll have a future quarterback to root for in the NFL as well.