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Thread: Who will back up Big Ben this year?

  1. #61

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    Fichtner: ‘I Want [Rudolph] To Be The Backup, But I Want Josh To Be The Backup Too’

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on June 16, 2019

    When you have a first-round draft grade on a player, regardless of where you drafted him—if you even acquired him in the draft—you expect him to be good. The Pittsburgh Steelers actually pretty much acknowledged that they had a first-round grade on quarterback Mason Rudolph, whom they drafted in the third round a year ago.

    While he is firmly entrenched behind Ben Roethlisberger of course, who is under contract for the length of Rudolph’s rookie contract, the Oklahoma State product still has the opportunity to move up this season, trying to take the backup role away from Joshua Dobbs, who did the same to Landry Jones last year, in his own second season.

    Dobbs showed significant growth from his first offseason to his second, and the Steelers expect similar from their other young quarterback over the course of the next few months. Rudolph has already drawn some praise, in fact, including from offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, who said that he looks “a lot more comfortable” than a season ago and also praised hi improved communication.

    “It’s easier just to see him break the huddle and feel confident about what he called”, the offensive coordinator said. “There’s a lot of thinking that goes on. Make no mistake that any quarterback in this league that plays as a young guy coming in the league, there’s a transition time. And for him, I’m thankful that he has that transition time”.

    Fichtner caught himself on that last statement, qualifying it. “Unfortunately”, he said, “he really doesn’t, because he’s got to try to be the backup, right now. I want him to be the backup. But I want Josh to be the backup too”.

    Really, at the end of the day, it’s a good problem to have when you don’t know which of your two young backup quarterbacks is going to be just that much better than the other one to win the backup job. The Steelers wouldn’t have drafted Rudolph if they didn’t believe he had a higher ceiling than Dobbs, but the playing field evens out immediately after the draft, and they now have the same opportunity in an open competition.

    The Steelers turning to youth as their backups has been a somewhat recent development, now with Roethlisberger so deep into his career, starting with Jones, drafted in 2013, who didn’t become the primary backup until 2016.

    Prior to that, Roethlisberger’s backup were mainly Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, and then Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski wasn’t older than him—in fact he’s a bit younger—but he still represented that peer level, rather than the protégé.

    Taking on that mentor role or whatever you might want to call it has been new for Roethlisberger over the past half a decade or so, but outside of an off-the-mark comment here and there, has seemed to take to it well.

  2. #62

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    ‘Fourth Arm’ Devlin Hodges Not Lacking For Confidence

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on June 25, 2019

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are maybe the only team in the NFL who always has three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. They also pretty much always have four quarterbacks on their offseason roster. for 2019, it’s pretty likely who the three are who will make the team—Ben Roethlisberger, Joshua Dobbs, and Mason Rudolph—but the number four arm is reportedly not looking out of place. Nor does he lack for confidence.

    “If you ask me, I think I should be the number one pick”, rookie Devlin Hodges, who was a rookie minicamp invitee, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I feel like everyone, if they are confident in themselves, that’s what they should think. I am a confident player; I know I have a lot of to learn. But I am excited”, he added. to “take each opportunity I have to show the coaches that I can play at this level”.

    Hodges came out of Samford, a name that you might be familiar with because that is where 2013 seventh-round defensive end Nick Williams was from. He is the only player that the Steelers have ever drafted from the small school, and there have been just 17 ever in the NFL (six drafted), with Courtland Finnegan being the most notable. There was a long gap between 1968 and 2006 where none made it in to the NFL, but seven, including five draft picks, have found success at some level since then.

    Hodges is hoping to continue the positive trend for the small school over the course of the past decade and a half, but that would have to include unseating one of two young quarterbacks that the Steelers like. Dobbs was threatened last year, but ended up unseating backup Landry Jones.

    “But I am here with an opportunity, and I have a job, I have a role. I have got to challenge myself to stay locked in”, Hodges said. “That’s why I am getting in throws after practice, because I have to make sure when my number is called I am ready for whatever I’m asked to do”.

    How many opportunities will he even get, though? That is the real question facing him. Roethlisberger is going to get his time off during training camp and in the preseason—he only played 25 snaps last year—but obviously Dobbs and Rudolph, who will compete for the backup spot, will take up most of the rest of the snaps throughout July and August.

    When is the last time that a fourth arm has ever made any type of headway for the Steelers? If it has ever happened, it has been quite a while. It goes without saying that Hodges’ odds are long, but the only way to push through that is to have confidence in your own abilities. And that he has.

  3. #63

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    Dobbs is a great at running, that's it. Watch what happens to the Ravens QB this year after other teams game plan for him. We need a Ben style QB to replace Ben.

  4. #64
    Pro Bowler

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    Quote Originally Posted by KYPITTFAN View Post
    Dobbs is a great at running, that's it. Watch what happens to the Ravens QB this year after other teams game plan for him. We need a Ben style QB to replace Ben.
    I don’t think they are going to run the same scheme with Jackson this year.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh wow View Post
    I don’t think they are going to run the same scheme with Jackson this year.
    Robert Griffin III: Ravens offense will “shock some people”

    Posted by Josh Alper on June 28, 2019, 2:18 PM EDT

    Lamar Jackson‘s ascension to the starting quarterback job led the Ravens to remake their offense this offseason, but Jackson isn’t the only player who has been learning how to run it.

    Robert Griffin III re-signed with the Ravens to serve as Jackson’s backup and the process of familiarizing himself with the offense began shortly after he agreed to a deal. Griffin sat for a meeting with offensive coordinator Greg Roman and quarterbacks coach James Urban to begin a process that has continued over the last few months.

    Griffin said the “game is about mismatches” and that the Ravens are hoping to create those with a unit that can make plays on the ground or through the air.

    “I’ve got to make sure I understand the offense, forward and backward,” Griffin said, via the team’s website. “The offense will look different. I think we’ll shock some people with what we’re going to do. If we need to run it 60 times, we can do it. But if we need to throw it 30 to 40 times, we can also do it. I think that’s what we’re working on, to make sure we have those capabilities.”

    If called upon, Griffin said he’s “a better quarterback than I’ve ever been” although the Ravens won’t be putting that to the test unless something goes very wrong for Jackson.
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  6. #66

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    Alex Kozora


    Defense wins 7 shots, 4-3. Dobbs threw 2 picks and bad overthrow of wide open Scotland-Williamson. #Steelers

  7. #67

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    – I’ll have to tally up Dobbs’ numbers from the first two days but rest assured they aren’t pretty. The QB on all three interceptions through the first two days. Not all his fault but still not loving his accuracy and ball placement to all areas of the field. Rudolph hasn’t “wowed” either but he’s been better of the two. Long ways to go though, to be fair. Battle is determined in late August, not late July.

  8. #68

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    La Canfora Thinks Steelers ‘May Be In A Position’ To Get Trade Compensation For Joshua Dobbs

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on July 30, 2019

    Are you looking for a reason to believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers would never in a million years trade Joshua Dobbs? Well then you’re in luck, because I have one for you: Jason La Canfora recently suggested that he believes it’s a possibility. Given his track record, one can assume that Dobbs should be in line for an extension shortly.

    La Canfora went on The Fan yesterday speaking with Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller to discuss the Steelers’ training camp so far, and at one point in the conversation, it turned to the quarterback position. “I think they may be in a position where they can get a decent draft pick for Josh Dobbs”, he told his hosts.

    Dobbs was selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, replacing Zach Mettenberger, who was claimed off waivers during the 2016 preseason after Bruce Gradkowski suffered an injury.

    He served as the Steelers’ number three quarterback during his rookie season behind Landry Jones. But after the team drafted Mason Rudolph in the third round last year, it was widely believed that he was the most likely to be on the outside looking in come September.

    Instead, the team went with Dobbs as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup, releasing Jones, with Rudolph serving as the number three, but now the expectation is for Rudolph to secure the backup job, as the former did, in year two.

    In fairness to La Canfora, it hasn’t been an untouched topic, suggesting that Dobbs could be traded if Rudolph wins the backup job, especially if rookie undrafted free agent Devlin Hodges shows anything, as Pittsburgh on an organizational level is committed to carrying three quarterbacks.

    “If you can get a five or something that moves you up a little more if he actually plays where he goes. I mean the reality there is does a team get stuck?”, La Canfora said. “Does a team that thinks he’s pretty good lose a quarterback or maybe two, and be in a position where you can get more than that?”.

    He also offered that Dobbs is “somebody that teams have sniffed around last year”, which is frankly the first that I have ever heard of this notion. “If he looks the part in the preseason and someone is in a bind I wouldn’t rule it out”.

    If course, if he looks the part, the Steelers are going to keep him. And if he doesn’t look the part, then chances are nobody is going to offer the team much in return for trading him, which, again, makes it unlikely that they would trade him.

  9. #69
    Hall of Famer

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    Dobbs stinks. he never had the skills to be an NFL QB

    good college QB who could make some plays with his legs and that's it

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Spaghetti View Post
    Dobbs stinks. he never had the skills to be an NFL QB

    good college QB who could make some plays with his legs and that's it
    Truth. As inconsistent as they get


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