In most cases, the quarterbacks’ preview is almost always the easiest one to do. You pencil in Ben Roethlisberger and it falls into place from there. This season seems to be pretty similar although many fans think otherwise. I’ll address it today in our latest 2017 Camp preview.
Locks: Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Josh Dobbs
With four quarterbacks in camp this year, doing the math isn’t exactly rocket science. The Pittsburgh Steelers spent a draft pick on Dobbs which makes it extremely doubtful he’ll be anywhere but on this roster. In the case of Landry Jones, his fourth round selection will continue to be one of the worst picks in my mind of the Colbert Era. Not because I don’t like Jones but because at the time, the team desperately needed cornerback help and that would have been a great time to select one.
That said, Jones has been a fine backup quarterback. He’s 2-2 as a starter with a completion percentage just over 60. He has seven career touchdown passes and six career interceptions. While those numbers are average, that’s exactly what you need from your primary backup. The goal for Jones and any other backup is to “not lose games” and he has been largely able to do that. Would I trust Jones to be a long-term starter during the season? No, I wouldn’t but on a game or two basis I’m fine with it.
Let me return to Dobbs for a moment… This is a bright, engaging young man who has already endeared himself to Steeler Nation. Many are already stating that he’ll be the primary backup and Jones will be traded or released. I am nowhere close to going there at this time. Dobbs was a two-year starter at Tennessee with career completion percentage of just over 60. He had a TD-INT ratio of 53-29 and to be honest, suffered from a lot of dropped balls.
Where Dobbs has deficiencies is in accuracy and deep throws. One of the most important throws in pro football is the deep out and Dobbs’ ball tends to float which is a recipe for disaster. That will be an area of focus in camp for anyone curious about the QB competition.
On the Bubble: Bart Houston
Mr. Houston is what we call a “camp arm.” He completed a grand total of 125 passes in his four-year career at Wisconsin. I’m sure Bart is a fine young man but his chances of making this roster are as good as mine.
Significant Question(s): Can Dobbs unseat Jones as the number two? Personally, I don’t think it happens this season. I’m not saying it won’t or it can’t but I just don’t believe it will due to Jones’ experience and command of the offense he’s been in the last four seasons.
Can Ben Roethlisberger stay healthy? This is unfortunately a question each season and if the Steelers truly believe they need home-field advantage to beat the New England Patriots then he cannot afford to miss any time. Even one or two games lost to injury could alter the Steelers’ postseason plans. A healthy Big Ben is crucial to success which goes without saying.
Final Roster Prediction (3): Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Josh Dobbs