Dobbs: 'It was a different season'

Posted Mar 7, 2018

Joshua Dobbs had to adjust to not getting any playing time in 2017.

Joshua Dobbs didn’t play one snap his entire rookie season, but don’t think for a minute he didn’t grow throughout the 2017 season. Quite the opposite.

Dobbs took advantage of every second, and thinks in the end it will benefit him having the opportunity to learn while watching Ben Roethlisberger play.

“I think it helped a ton because a lot of young guys kind of get thrust into action really early, so they probably play the game similarly to how they played in college,” said Dobbs. “They aren’t able to grow and watch someone who’s done it at a very high level for a long time and see how they’ve been successful.

“It was great to come in and get a chance just to watch Ben in games, watch the calls he makes at the line, the adjustments, how he goes through his progressions, how he gets out of different looks based on what the defense is giving him. Getting to learn from him, see how he approaches the meeting room, see how he approaches practice.

“That really helped me. I had a notebook and just took notes throughout the entire year on what I was learning. It’ll be great to go back in the offseason and review it and be able to put it into action in OTAs and next camp as well.”

Roethlisberger, who will be heading into his 15th season with the Steelers, never hesitated to help Dobbs, giving him tips, advice, and insight on a regular basis. 

“He would always give different coaching points on the field of different footwork, different things in the film room when we were watching games, just kind of explaining why he did something in a specific situation,” said Dobbs. “To have that resource, and then you have Randy (Fichtner) who’s been a great resource for Ben and who’s able to also give more insight into what he’s thinking and how he goes about his business, also gives you a lot of knowledge as well.”

While it was a great learning experience, it wasn’t always easy. Athletes play sports because they love to be out on the field playing. Watching, being on the sidelines, it was a struggle and something Dobbs had to adjust to.

“This was actually my first football season where I didn’t play since I was five,” said Dobbs. “So, it was weird. It was a different season. Any competitor would say you want to get on the field, and that’s why you come here every day. That’s why you work every day. That’s why you work so hard in the offseason. You want to play in the games, on gameday. It’s tough. The quarterback position is the only position on the field where only one guy plays, so you’ve got to take it with a grain of salt. You can’t let that deter you. You can’t let it take away from your competitiveness, but you also have to just be humble, be patient and just stay ready.

“It was something that I obviously just had to cope with and deal with myself and just understand staying patient, staying ready, staying opportunistic, and whenever your number is called, whether it’s this year, next year, whenever, you’ve got to be ready to go. But you’ve got to stay mentally locked in each and every week. It was a learning experience for me. It was a long year per se, but I learned a lot and I learned a lot about myself as well.”

Landry Jones was someone Dobbs could lean on for advice on how to handle not playing, as Jones has been down the road.

“Just being in the room with him, seeing how he goes about his business, even when you’re not playing, but still how you’re focused on the game plan, how you’re studying it, how you’re watching the looks and how you’re really preparing as if you’re starting the game,” said Dobbs. “It’s cool to get that insight from him because it’s different from college to the NFL level. The amount of studying that you have to do and the details and nuances of each defense are so much more. To be able to dive in with that and learn how he goes about his business was crucial.”