Pittsburgh Steelers QB Joshua Dobbs getting golden opportunity

Aug 10, 2017 | by Ryan Wooden, all22.com

The Steelers want keep starter Ben Roethlisberger fresh by keeping him out of harm’s way, and backup Landry Jones is dealing with an injury. That leaves Dobbs as the starter, and he’s got an excellent chance to start the developmental process on a positive note.

Dobbs will get pivotal reps with the Steelers’ first-team offense in a no-pressure situation. If he struggles, there’s no risk of losing the coaching staff’s confidence. If he does, he can start earning the confidence of Steelers fans and begin generating some faith in his ability to succeed Roethlisberger whenever he decides to retire.

And if he’s dominant, he can start working his way into the conversation to earn the backup role ahead of schedule.

Jones has been the backup the past two seasons, but he hasn’t done a lot to instill a lot of confidence in his ability to lead the team if Roethlisberger is injured. That’s important because Roethlisberger has missed six games in the past two seasons and has only played a full 16-game slate three times in his 13-year career.

It’s become nearly inevitable that the Steelers will turn to their backup at some point in any given season. Those valuable starting reps that become available when they do could stand to accelerate the process for Dobbs.

At the moment, Pittsburgh doesn’t know when Roethlisberger will decide to hang them up. He hasn’t committed to anything beyond this upcoming season.

However, Dobbs is currently viewed as a multi-year project. So the worry is that Roethlisberger could hang them up before the organization has a chance to form a full-fledged opinion on the prospects of Dobbs as the starter, and then they could choose to go another route.

But, if Dobbs can fight his way to No. 2 on the depth chart and then begin to prove himself with any game action he might receive, he can alleviate those concerns. That all begins Friday night.

He can’t do it all in one preseason game. Yet, he can begin to make things interesting by establishing solid chemistry with the Steelers’ first- and second-teamers against an impressive Giants defense.