Ready for anything

Randy Fichtner thinks Josh Dobbs would be ready in the event the Steelers needed him on Sunday.

The Steelers' new offensive coordinator knows the Steelers' new backup quarterback would have no choice if starter Ben Roethlisberger would prove unable to go.

"(Dobbs) has to be ready," Fichtner said. "But I think anyone playing in their first real game probably isn't ever ready enough."

Roethlisberger (elbow) did not participate in practice for the second consecutive day today, which leaves Dobbs, a second-year pro and a first-year backup, somewhere between the on-deck circle and under center with Kansas City's visit to Heinz Field looming.

"I know if my opportunity comes and my number's called to be ready to go in and play and play to win and compete at the highest level," Dobbs said after practice today. "And if I'm on the sideline again, helping Ben, seeing as much as I can see and helping him in whatever I can.

"It could go either way. You just have to be ready for both situations."

Dobbs' next NFL game would be his first.

"At the end of the day it's still football," he said. "Obviously, you're in the NFL at a different level. But I've been here for a year, a year and a half. I kinda have the lay of the land. I've been seeing a lot of looks in practice and in (preseason) games.

"I wouldn't say there's a challenge. It's just excitement with the opportunity that's in front of you to go out and make the most of it."

Dobbs, a fourth-round draft pick in 2017, is listed second at quarterback on the Steelers' depth chart and rookie Mason Rudolph, a third-round pick in April, is No. 3.

Sixth-year pro Landry Jones, who started five games from 2015 through 2017 as Roethlisberger's backup, was released on this season's roster cut to 53.

"It maybe wasn't a surprise from the inside," Fichtner said of the decision to keep Dobbs. "He's making some strides, just in system, in terminology, in familiarity, in defensive familiarity, in anticipation, but those things all happen with having reps.

"He grew through all that. He got a lot of reps last year, paid dividends for this year, and obviously took advantage of his reps this year."

Dobbs likened what might happen on Sunday to his college debut at Tennessee on Oct. 26, 2013.

'I was 18, a freshman," he recalled. "I was supposed to redshirt. We were at Alabama. We were down 35-0 at halftime and the starting quarterback got hurt. I scored 10 in the half, they scored 10 in the second half so I guess I did pretty well."

Tennessee lost, 45-10, despite Dobbs' five completions on 12 attempts for 75 yards and his three carries for 19 yards.

"I've been thrust into action before," he said. "You just have to be ready when your number's called, go out and make plays and just play football how you've been doing your whole life."