Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went on air last week and publicly discussed the Steelers’ quarterback situation. The 14-year NFL veteran voiced his displeasure with the Steelers for picking Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph in the third round of this year’s draft and said he “feels bad” for former Vol and second-year pro Josh Dobbs after that selection.
But Dobbs doesn’t feel sorry for himself. In fact, he welcomes the challenge.
Dobbs spoke with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, and he doesn’t view Pittsburgh’s selection of Rudolph as the end of his time in a Steelers uniform.
“I know how the league works. It’s just another opportunity to have competition,” Dobbs said in the interview. “I’m sure it will be a great addition to the (quarterback) room. (The Steelers) were really excited with how I performed last year in the preseason and in practices and overall preparation.”
While Roethlisberger questioned whether or not the Steelers felt like they messed up drafting Dobbs in 2017, the former Tennessee quarterback doesn’t look at it that way. He says he’s not taking the Steelers’ pick personally.
“It’s like you can’t really take it personal,” Dobbs added. “They are always looking for the next player. Quarterback is the most important position. No matter who they bring in, you have to compete every single day. Your play speaks for itself. That’s all you can do, show the leaps and bounds I made last year, continue to progress in the offense and add new ideas.
“I plan on being (at camp) and plan to compete. When you’re a true competitor, you rise to the competition.”
Dobbs was taken with the 135th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He didn’t register any stats during the regular season last year, but he played in all four of Pittsburgh’s preseason games and even started a game. He completed 38 of his 64 passes for 406 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions in the preseason, adding 34 rushing yards and a score on seven carries as well. That rushing touchdown was the game-winner against the Carolina Panthers in the final preseason game.
Rudolph was taken with the 76th overall pick in this year’s draft and put up gaudy numbers in college. During his four years at Oklahoma State, Rudolph completed 63.2 percent of his 1,447 pass attempts for 13,618 yards, 92 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions. He also scored 17 rushing touchdowns, though he didn’t run it much besides at the goal line.
Most NFL teams don’t keep four quarterbacks on the roster, so it’s likely the Steelers will have a choice to make between second-year QB Josh Dobbs and sixth-year quarterback Landry Jones as far as who to keep on the roster. Jones has appeared in 18 games over the last three years for Pittsburgh and has made five spot starts in place of Roethlisberger in that time. He’s completed 108 of his 169 passes for 1,310 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions. The Steelers have gone 3-2 in Jones’ five starts with all three wins coming against the Cleveland Browns.