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Steelers training camp battles: Landry Jones vs Josh Dobbs

There’s no quarterback controversy for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Ben Roethlisberger has a unquestioned hold  on that position.  The backup quarterback however, may be a different story.  Most people believe that Landry Jones is the backup, and Josh Dobbs will be third string.  That may not necessarily be the case once the team breaks camp for the start of the 2017 season.  The Steelers have a lot on the line determining who will be the eventual successor to Big Ben once he finally decides to retire.  This may push the team to seek to find out what they have in Dobbs sooner rather than later.

We all know what Landry Jones is at this point.  He’s an average backup quarterback who will never be a full-time starter in the NFL.  That’s not a bad thing, in fact it can be a very valuable commodity to have.  Steelers fans saw first hand what having a backup who is incapable of playing the position looked like during the Mike Vick experiment.  Vick struggled mightily, and it cost the team games during Roethlisberger’s absence.  While Jones doesn’t excite you in any way, the fact remains he knows the system inside and out.  When called upon, he has been good enough to put the team in a position to win on most occasions .  All of this is great when you know your franchise quarterback is returning at some point down the line.

This is where things get complicated.  For the first time in the Colbert/Tomlin era the Steelers can’t totally rely on Roethlisberger being there for the forseeable future.  For that reason, the club should be motivated to see what they have in Josh Dobbs.  The Steelers used a relatively high pick on this player, now they need to know if he can be the answer to the future quarterback question.  This will almost certainly result in more snaps both during training camp, and in the pre-season.  Dobbs has the talent and the intelligence to take this opportunity and grab the backup job away from Landry Jones.  It seems to make all the sense in the world for the Steelers to make Dobbs the backup and see if he is indeed the heir to Ben Roethlisberger if he plays well during the preseason.  The drawback is that this team is on the verge of a Super Bowl, and do they want a rookie filling in what could be crucial games?  Knowing the conservative nature of this team, the answer is probably no.  Barring an injury to Jones, or Dobbs really lighting it up during the pre-season expect Pittsburgh to go with the veteran in this case.  Like it or not, we are in for one more year with Landry Jones getting the nod should the unthinkable happen.

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