Joshua Dobbs
Joshua Dobbs has returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The Miami Dolphins released Josh Rosen last week, and many thought that the Pittsburgh Steelers should have signed him. However, in an unprecedented move, the Pittsburgh Steelers instead signed former Steeler Joshua Dobbs, whom the Jaguars just waived. To be able to add Dobbs to the roster, the Steelers released former starter and fan-favorite Devlin “Duck” Hodges. However, one question on many fans’ minds is, why pick up Joshua Dobbs instead of Josh Rosen?

Dobbs vs. Rosen

In a quarterback position battle between Joshua Dobbs and Josh Rosen, the outcome seems obvious. In his NFL career, Dobbs has only thrown 12 passes, with only six going for completions. His career QBR is a low 24. Dobbs has also never started an NFL game. Josh Rosen, on the other hand, may not have performed much better, but he has much more experience. Rosen’s career QBR is significantly better than Dobbs’ at 63.5, but overall he still has not played well. However, his 16 games started gives him an edge that Dobbs may never achieve.

Joshua Dobbs also had the privilege of playing behind Pittsburgh’s solid offensive line and had plenty of weapons surrounding him. Rosen, on the other hand, always seems short-staffed at both Miami and Arizona. Yet Rosen still produced far more than Dobbs ever has. So why did the Steelers pick up Joshua Dobbs and not Josh Rosen?

The reason that Pittsburgh selected Dobbs over Rosen is twofold.

1. The Steelers did not want to ruin Mason Rudolph’s confidence. The Steelers have expressed their confidence in Rudolph, and they do not wish Mason to falter. Rudolph already beat out Dobbs in 2019, so there would be no worries in his mind. However, he may lose some of his confidence competing against a former first-round pick with much more experience.

2. The types of quarterbacks in the league are changing. In 2019, the Steelers had five quarterbacks on their roster and practice squad. It was not only due to injury but also because they had to train the defense to play against faster and more mobile quarterbacks, such as Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson. Neither Rudolph nor Rosen could have filled that role in practice, as both are not exceptionally quick or elusive. Joshua Dobbs, on the other hand, was the second-fastest QB at his combine and third in the cone drill. His ability to elude defenses will allow to Steeler’s already tough defense to prepare for more elusive quarterbacks.

Conclusion

The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided that they are sticking with Mason Rudolph. This pickup of Joshua Dobbs over Josh Rosen proves that. However, this is also a sign of the ever-changing quarterback styles in the NFL. Now teams must build their roster and pick up players so that they can adequately play against unorthodox players such as Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. Joshua Dobbs may not start in an NFL game soon, but he will become integral to the preparation that the Steelers take to win football games in the future. That is something that Josh Rosen could not do for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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