With the possibility of Ben Roethlisberger retiring soon looming over Pittsburgh, the Steelers need to find his replacement. Can Josh Dobbs be that guy?
Though we knew Ben Roethlisberger would retire someday, it never felt like that day was approaching any time soon. That is, until this past January, when the long-time Steelers quarterback said he needed to consider whether he wanted to play another season. Roethlisberger made these comments just days after New England dominated Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game.
The future Hall-of-Famer eventually announced that he does plan to play this season, which will be his fourteenth in the NFL. Just about everyone expected him to continue his playing career, at least for this upcoming season.
Roethlisberger would not say for sure if he will continue playing beyond the 2017-18 season.
Though he’s not considered to be that old for a quarterback — just 35-years of age — Roethlisberger has taken a good amount of punishment in his career. His trademark playing style of running around and extending plays has led to a lot of hits taken over the years. Also, the man known as “Big Ben” is abnormally big and strong for a quarterback, which undoubtedly has led to defenders bringing a little extra when trying to take him down.
I don’t believe he will hang them up after this season, but it wouldn’t come as a major surprise if he does.
Are the Steelers prepared to lose Roethlisberger, who is their franchise leader in almost every major passing category? Well, no team is ever really prepared to lose its franchise quarterback — unless you’re the Green Bay Packers, who were able to replace their all-time great quarterback with another all-time great. Chances are, the Steelers won’t be as fortunate as the Packers were.
The Steelers did address the quarterback position when they selected Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round of the draft. It was a solid pick for Pittsburgh, as the team needed a quarterback that could come in and compete with Landry Jones for the backup role.
Dobbs is very raw, and is nothing more than a developmental project at this point. Could he develop into at least a capable NFL starter and take over after Roethlisberger retires? Perhaps.
If you watched any Tennesse games last season, the potential was hard to miss. The former Volunteer quarterback has a quick release and possesses adequate arm strength to make all of the necessary throws. He also has good speed for his position, with the ability to scramble out of the pocket and make plays.
He has some major flaws, however, which contributed to his fall to the fourth round.
The biggest knock on Dobbs heading into the draft was his sloppy mechanics — in particular, his footwork and ball placement. His poor mechanics led to struggles with accuracy and consistency in college. The good news is, the rookie quarterback can make improvements in these areas through good coaching and hard work.
Dobbs is a low-risk investment with the potential for high reward. Ideally, he will sit behind Roethlisberger for a few seasons and get a chance to develop. If everything aligns perfectly, he could have a chance to become the next Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback.