Cue the overreactions and hot takes, the NFL preseason has officially begun!
This is the time of year to pay attention to every single detail and to treat each obstacle as if it has the potential to derail your favorite team's entire season. Every injury, every roster cut, and every play - mostly holding your breath hoping a key player doesn't get hurt - can feel as if you are living in some type of football purgatory.
But speaking of potential, Joshua Dobbs, the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers showed flashes of ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL Friday night against the New York Giants.
However, it did not start well. In fact, the only other NFL quarterback to have a worse start this week was Bears quarterback Mike Glennon.
At least the Steelers aren't paying Dobbs $14 million for the 2017 season. And Glennon has been in the league since 2013, which is far more concerning if you buy into preseason judgements.
The first three drives of the night were three-and-outs for the Steelers. Dobbs' accuracy was pretty bad and included the first interception of his career:
Valentino Blake with the PICK. #PITvsNYG pic.twitter.com/B0CRljjyXp— NFL (@NFL) August 11, 2017
He also threw another interception on the next drive. After the first four drives, these were Dobbs' stats:
1-for-4, 4 yards, 2INT.
Oof. pic.twitter.com/rBwFjZiqyw— RockyTopTalk (@RockyTopTalk) August 11, 2017
On the next drive though, Dobbs used his infamous scrambling ability to net 16 yards on a 3rd and 5 and get the first down. After that, he looked much more comfortable in running the offense.
Dobbs' technique also began to improve. While he was scrambling, right as he was ready to release, you could see him set his feet and square his shoulders up before throwing the ball. His delivery also began to improve as well.
Then just a few plays after the scramble, Dobbs hit wide receiver Cobi Hamilton on a beautiful 44-yard gain on the inside seam.
NICE catch!@josh_dobbs1 ➡️ @cobiham11... Gain of 44! #PITvsNYG pic.twitter.com/5SFtdU1YVi— NFL (@NFL) August 11, 2017
There were plenty of learning experiences tonight, both good and bad for the VFL. Dobbs managed to get a good taste of what true NFL speed is like when he attempted to scramble, only to be tracked down and sacked from behind by Kerry Wynn - the same guy who picked him off for the second interception.
After the Steelers recovered a Giants fumble, Dobbs seized the opportunity - hitting Hamilton again - but this time for a 28-yard touchdown pass.
BEAUTIFUL!@josh_dobbs1. @CobiHam11. SIX! #PITvsNYG pic.twitter.com/LSiFhfo330— NFL (@NFL) August 12, 2017
I couldn't help but yelp a manly, yet high-pitched whoop when Dobbs made that play. And I'm talking like 80-20 in terms of manliness here, don't debate it.
Dobbs put the Steelers in the lead with a score of 10-9 in the first half - not bad when playing against a top-ten defense. He went 5-10 for 83 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs and had the one scramble for 16 yards.
Kurt Warner's half-time assessment was that the NFL is too fast for Dobbs at the moment, which is completely expected. Any one expecting Dobbs to be the next Dak Prescott is just setting themselves up for a big-time let down.
As the night went on though, Dobbs started making some noticeable progress, especially on this excellent scramble that would've been an 11-yard touchdown pass, but was called back due to a holding penalty:
Josh Dobbs gets this one called back, but does a nice job extending the play. pic.twitter.com/xN2bAGMbDE— RockyTopTalk (@RockyTopTalk) August 12, 2017
The ability to make this type of play is what made Dobbs the highest drafted UT quarterback since Peyton Manning. He has all the tools to be successful, and just needs time to put it all together.
Overall, Dobbs finished 8/15 for 100 yards and 1TD/2INT alongside one rush for 16 yards. When he exited the game, the Steelers had a one-point lead.
Hey, that's all you can ask for from a rookie making his first NFL start. Give the team a chance to win and let the defense hold the lead in the fourth quarter.
Again this is only the first preseason game of the kid's rookie year. He still has so much to learn and to grow before he can even think about sniffing the field in a real-game scenario. But tonight showed that he is willing to put in the work and that he can make plays in the NFL.
I can't wait to see where it goes from here.
What did you think of Dobbs' performance against the Giants?
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