Former Browns QB Gets Starting Call For AFC Playoff Contender

Joshua Dobbs

Getty Images Joshua Dobbs of the Cleveland Browns.

Former Cleveland Browns Joshua Dobbs is getting the start for the Tennesee Titans on Thursday night, just eight days after landing with the squad.

The Titans are taking on the Dallas Cowboys and have decided to rest some key starters like Derrick Henry. However, the call for Dobbs to start is interesting, considering rookie Malik Willis — who has played for injured starter Ryan Tannehill — needs all the reps he can get.

The start will be the first of Dobbs’ career and is well-deserved. While he never got on the field with the Browns in the regular season in any substantial fashion, he made an impression with his performance in the preseason.

The dual-threat Dobbs had some impressive exhibition outings and earned the backup role to Brissett for the first 11 games with Deshaun Watson sidelined. In three appearances in the preseason, Dobbs combined to complete 35 of 53 passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

When Watson returned, the Browns chose to roll with Jacoby Brissett as the backup and Kellen Mond as a third option. Mond was claimed off waivers after he was released by the Vikings during final cuts ahead of the regular season.

Dobbs made some spot appearances in the regular season with the Steelers. He is 10 of 17 for 45 yards in his career with no touchdowns and one interception. He has run six times for 31 yards.

Dobbs the ‘Rocket Scientist’ Made Impression on Browns

While the Browns decided to ultimately go a different direction, it did not mean Dobbs didn’t make an impression on the Browns, both with his play and demeanor.

“I knew Josh a little bit before we got here,” Brissett told The Athletic. “He’s a fascinating guy. So (smart). Every time he gets a question right (in a meeting), I go, ‘Of course, you got it right. You’re a f— astronaut.’ That’s what I always tell him.

“Our (quarterback) room is good. We bring out the best in each other. It’s a good, healthy learning environment. The coaches challenge us, and we challenge each other.”

The Browns front office was also ecstatic with how quickly Dobbs came along and his improvement. He ended up beating out former first-round pick Josh Rosen for the backup gig.

“Honestly, I can’t say we knew with a certainty that [Dobbs] would come in and perform this way, but from the spring until now, he’s taken ahold of the reins and really just gotten better every day,” Browns VP of player personnel Glenn Cook told reporters on September 1. “So credit to him, honestly, for coming in and doing so well.”

Former Browns QB Baker Mayfield Also Thriving

Dobbs is not the only former Browns QB making headlines. Former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield has turned a rough year into something to build on thanks to his stint with the Rams.

Mayfield’s NFL future was very much in question after he was released by the Panthers at the start of December but he’s made the most out of his time with the Rams. In three games, Mayfield has gone 2-1 in his appearances, notching 571 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. His QB rating (98.9) and completion percentage (69%) are both career highs.

“It’s been something really special,” Mayfield told reporters. “Obviously, timing-wise like we talked about, it’s just not how we drew it up, but it’s been really special.”

Mayfield’s future is still uncertain but has likely earned himself another shot when he becomes a free agent during the offseason. Whether he stays with the Rams or searches for another starting opportunity will be the question.

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