Armchair GM

Josh Dobbs vs Landry Jones: Who Will be Leaving Town? Pt. 1

July 6, 2018
12 minutes read
Josh Dobbs vs Landry Jones: Who Will be Leaving Town? Pt. 1

I’ve been reading a lot of articles. lately referring to recent Draft pick, Josh Dobbs, as the ‘odd man out’ in the Steelers’ suddenly crowded Quarterback room. I think they are reading the tea leaves and Kevin Colbert all wrong. I also think Stockholm Syndrome needs to be renamed Landry Jones Syndrome because of the amount of Steelers fans who are now fighting on the side of one of the lower tier backup quarterbacks in the NFL.

There were two things that went through my mind when Max Starks called Mason Rudolph’s name on Draft Day. The first was, ‘Good, I picked another player the same as the Steelers in my Mock Draft!’ The second was, ‘Landry Jones is toast’. My other thought was ‘I’m sure glad  the Steelers have a real Left Tackle, now, in Alejandro Villanueva’… oh wait… that’s three things…

I thought my thoughts on Jones would be universal but then I had a Facebook exchange with a friend and fellow Steelers fanatic and he seemed to think it was Dobbs who would be out. I then started seeing Jones being referred to as a ‘proven backup quarterback’. Of course this has to all be sorted out in games and on the practice field but I think we should take a look at this situation and see who is more deserving and has a better chance of the #2 spot behind Big Ben.

Since Dobbs is fresh out of college and Landry Jones essentially plays the same game, now, he did in college I think we need to start with both player before they were in the NFL.

College Stats vs College Stats

Landry Jones

Year    G         Cmp    Att       Pct      Yds     Y/A      AY/A   TD       Int        Rate

*2009  13        261     449     58.1    3198   7.1       6.9       26        14        130.8

*2010  14        405     617     65.6    4718   7.6       8.0       38        12        146.3

*2011  13        355     562     63.2    4463   7.9       7.8       29        15        141.6

*2012  13        367     555     66.1    4267   7.7       7.9       30        11        144.6

Career            1388   2183   63.6    16646 7.6       7.7       123     52        141.5

Jones was a high producing QB in college. One of the biggest knocks against him stat-wise is his touchdown to interception ratio. That pretty much backs up scouting reports that he has decision making problems. Jones often threw into double and triple coverage and while his arm isn’t bad, he doesn’t have the juice to overcome that sort of thing. His slightly below average yards per attempt indicates that Jones was checking down an awful lot. Jones had major mobility problems. He was sacked 54 times which contributed to a horrendous 132 carries for -375 yard and -2.8 yard per carry for his college career. Yes, those are minus signs. All of these shortcomings have continued in Jones’ pro career.

Josh Dobbs

Passing Stats

Year    G         Cmp    Att       Pct      Yds     Y/A      AY/A   TD       Int        Rate

2013   5          72        121     59.5    695     5.7       3.8       2          6          103.3

2014   6          112     177     63.3    1206   6.8       6.3       9          6          130.5

2015   13        205     344     59.6    2291   6.7       6.9       15        5          127.0

2016   13        225     357     63.0    2946   8.3       8.3       27        12        150.6

Career            614     999     61.5    7138   7.1       6.9       53        29        133.2

Rushing and Receiving Stats

Year    G         Att       Yds     Avg     TD       Rec     Yds     Avg     TD

2013   5          38        189     5.0       1          0          0          0          0

2014   6          104     469     4.5       8          0          0          0          0

2015   13        146     671     4.6       11        1          58        58.0    1

2016   13        150     831     5.5       12        1          4          4.0       1

Career            438     2160   4.9       32        2          62        31.0    2

Dobbs was only a two year starter so his career stats won’t measure up to Jones’ in most categories. What stands out here is the improvement Dobbs shows from season to season. He was getting knocked for his long ball in his Junior year so he obviously worked on it and the next year was one of the long ball passing leaders. Look at the huge jump in AY/A from his Junior to Senior year. Dobbs QB rating was higher than Jones’ in his Senior year. And then the rushing yardage is where Dobbs really separates himself from Jones, adding 2,160 POSITIVE yards and 32 touchdowns. This reflects Dobbs advanced ability to improvise, as well. He even caught passes. I’ve included his 58 yard receiving TD below because it’s FUN and clearly show Dobbs’ elite athletic ability.

Bowl Game vs Bowl Game

We will start with the final bowl appearance and biggest game of each player’s college career.

Landry Jones and Oklahoma vs Texas A&M, Cotton Bowl 2012.

Jones went 35/48 for 278 yards but with a measly 5.8 yards per attempt with 1 TD, 1 Int. and a dismal  68.3 QB rating. He also threw 3 horrible passes into double and triple coverage, hung on to the ball too long for a sack and had two pass batted down at the line of scrimmage. Oklahoma lost to the Aggies in a 41 to 13 blowout.

There is such a ‘sameness’ to Jones play, frankly, I find it hard to concentrate on him for a whole video. He doesn’t have that extra gear or a quality that shows he can reach deep down in adversity and rise to the occasion. He’s the same guy first play of 1st Quarter as he is in the 4th Quarter. Jones survives on what the defense gives him, mostly throwing underneath stuff and dink and dunk passes. This to me, is a player who doesn’t want to be responsible for losing a game. Not one who is playing to win.

Josh Dobbs and Tennessee vs Nebraska, Music City Bowl, 2016

Josh Dobbs last college game he threw 23/38 for 291 yards for 7.7 yards per attempt with 1 touchdown, no interceptions and a respectable but unspectacular 91.5 QB rating. Again, here’s where Dobbs really separates himself from Jones. He ran 11 times for 118 yards, 10.7 ypc and scored 3 touchdowns. So, Dobbs was responsible for 409 yards of total offense, as well as 4 touchdowns. The only problem I saw was Dobb’s occasional  tendency to throw before he sets his feet which result in floaters or wobblers.

Dobbs played the entire game like a winner, never got rattled. He kept his eyes down the field, didn’t duck and dash, only leaving the pocket when there were no other options.  He showed great vision and a nice arm for the long ball throwing a perfect strike for a 59 yard TD in the 4th Quarter. For his performance Dobbs was named MVP as the Volunteers beat the Huskies 38 to 24.

Strengths and Weaknesses vs Strengths and Weaknesses.

The following are Jones’ and Dobbs’ scouting reports from

Landry Jones

Draft Analysis: “A little bit like Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson (Who?). To be fair, you have to go back to his junior tape, maybe even his sophomore tape. I feel the more pressure he was under to win games, he was forcing things to win games. I have a fourth-round grade on him.” — Mike Mayock

Strengths: Prototypical pocket passer with NFL size. Extremely productive. Can stretch the field with his arm and shows good zip on passes to all parts of the field when his feet are set. Quick release makes him very effective in the short to intermediate passing game. Challenging throws in every start, whether threading the ball versus cover-two or connecting on a back-shoulder pattern.

Weaknesses: Really struggles when under duress. Feels pressure when it isn’t there. Not an elite athlete, takes time to get to hand-off spot from under center. Can move out of the pocket to escape pressure, but is usually caught up in traffic and is brought down too easily in the backfield. Confidence waxes and wanes throughout the game and season. Ball comes out of his hand poorly at times, floating across or down the field. Downfield accuracy is erratic, missing open receivers on the run; also misfires on out routes too often. Inconsistent on his touch on fades or throws over the top of defenders. Looks to the sidelines for pre-snap adjustments, looks to be confused by complex defensive looks.”

Josh Dobbs

Draft Analysis: “The Steelers offense essentially stalled (with Landry Jones at QB) when Ben Roethlisberger was out last season, so drafting a serviceable backup was essential for the playoff contenders. Dobbs is an athletic developmental QB whose flashes in college suggest he could carve out a career as a dynamic backup with spot-starter potential.” –Mark Dulgerian

Strengths: Has the ball handling and release quickness to get the ball out early when challenged by sudden pressure. Able to get through progressions to the check down option. Throws a tight spiral with adequate drive velocity. Eye-catching deep pass accuracy (47.7 completion percentage) with 14 touchdowns on throws 21-plus yards. Displayed good mental toughness. Can make timely exits from the pocket and win with his feet against overzealous rushers who vacate their rush lanes. Has explosive ability as a runner. Offers a team packaged-play potential in short yardage situations.

Weaknesses: Could use more weight on his frame. Below average delivery balance affects his accuracy and ball placement. Footwork is uneven and causes him to throw from unbalanced platform too often. Throwing motion causes him to push some throws. Floats the deep out allowing defenders to close out his passing windows. Decision making not where he needs it to be. Can’t always get away from poor looks once he’s made his mind up pre-snap. Threw nine interceptions on just 104 attempts beyond 10 yards this season.”

These scouting reports are very telling and many of the tendencies the QBs show in college carry on at the next level

So ends Part One. In Part Two we look at Dobbs vs Jones in their NFL career.

Go Steelers!!!

Jeffrey Burton

115 posts

One Comment

  1. Mr. McBlitzface

    Dobbs has had time to learn the play book. It’s time to move on from Jones.