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'It was so cool to make a play'

Posted Aug 13, 2017

Dobbs rallies from rough start in Steelers debut.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. _ Josh Dobbs had so much fun playing in his first preseason game  that he wasn’t about to let a touchdown pass that was called back rain on his MetLife Stadium parade.

“I count all of them in my mind,” the rookie quarterback explained. “We had the whole celebration, everything, so that one’s definitely counting.”

It didn’t on the stat sheet, which insisted Dobbs finished 8-for-15 passing, for 100 yards, with one touchdown pass and two interceptions in the Steelers’ preseason-opening, 20-12 victory over the New York Football Giants on Friday night.

But Dobbs still appreciated the specifics of finding tight end Xavier Grimble in the end zone on third-and-7 from the Giants’ 11-yard line late in the third quarter, even if a holding penalty against offensive tackle Brian Mihalik ultimately negated the score.

“I was able to get out, evade the rush, and then ‘X’ did a great job of finding the hole in the defense and I was able to sit him down right in the end zone,” Dobbs explained. “That’s one, it’s kind of a feel, you gotta turn and you gotta rip it, you gotta throw it. Because if you’re a little late, the back side’s going to catch up to it.”

Dobbs was just as analytical assessing what had gone wrong on a pass he threw to wide receiver Eli Rogers that was intercepted by defensive end Devin Taylor early in the second quarter.

“They were in man (-to-man) coverage,” Dobbs recalled. “They brought both the internal ’backers. I thought we were going to have a good rub and get the ball to Eli.

“(Taylor) came, two-step rush, and then ended up dropping, being the middle-hole player. They got us with a good look on that. That was a tough look, but it’ll also be a good look to learn from and be able to improve for the next time.”

Dobbs completed his first pass of the night, for 4 yards to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. But the next five attempts resulted in two incompletions, two interceptions and a 1-yard reception by tight end Jesse James.

A 16-yard scramble on third-and-5 from the Steelers’ 17 seemingly had a calming effect on Dobbs.

He went 6-for-9 for 95 yards with one touchdown, a 28-yard strike to wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, and no interceptions after the chains-moving escape from the pocket.

There was also the 11-yard touchdown pass that wasn’t.

“I was able to respond from a little adversity at the beginning of the game,” Dobbs said. “Football is a game of adversity. A couple learning opportunities occurred pretty quick. We were able to learn from them and respond well and continue to compete and then come back and make some plays.

“It was a learning experience, the first time hearing the play in your ear, going from the wristband. It was a little different than in college, where you just look and you see the signals (from the sideline).

“I had a lot of fun. It was cool to have the first touchdown pass, that was a great feeling. And then the second one was a great feeling even though it got called back. It was so cool to make a play.”