Will the Steelers Dress 3 QBs Against the Browns?

Josh Dobbs

Jason Miller/Getty Images Joshua Dobbs of the Pittsburgh Steelers scrambles while pressured by Olivier Vernon of the Cleveland Browns on January 03, 2021.

Immediately after last Sunday’s 24-22 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked whether the Steelers might dress three quarterbacks for this Sunday’s playoff rematch. “It’s a possibility,” he said, succinctly.

Of course, Tomlin was asked because third-string quarterback Josh Dobbs had a package of plays in the regular season finale, one that was used to some success, mainly in the form of 20 yards rushing. Utilizing Dobbs again is certainly worth considering, especially in light of the team’s woeful running game, which produced the fewest rushing yards in the NFL this season (1,351) and a league-low yards per carry (3.6).

But it’s doubtful that the Steelers will activate Dobbs—at least not in the next game. After a week off, Ben Roethlisberger is as fresh and rested as he’s going to be the rest of the way, and the Steelers won’t want to take him off the field in favor of Dobbs.

During his session with the media on Wednesday, Roethlisberger admitted the week off has done him a world of good. “In terms of the rest and time off, I feel it, a hundred percent. My legs feel a lot better. My knees feel fresher. I haven’t thrown a football, other than throwing in the house [with my kids]…. I’ve enjoyed these last couple days, to let my body—especially this time of year—kinda get back.”

Never mind the fact that the Browns are going to spend time preparing for Dobbs this week—albeit virtually.

But it wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise if Dobbs re-emerges later in the postseason, assuming the Steelers advance. At some point, Roethlisberger might be banged up again—and the offense might need a change of pace, or someone with young legs to maximize the chance of success in short-yardage running situations.

Ben Roethlisberger on Josh Dobbs

Asked about watching Dobbs in the season finale—and the prospect of possibly utilizing him in the playoffs—Roethlisberger said, “I thought Josh did a great job with his handful of plays and kinda sacrificed his body on a couple of them too.”

He’s on board with the idea of Dobbs running a package of plays again against the Browns: “I’m all for it, I literally will do whatever it takes to win this football game. You never know what you’re gonna see.”

He did get a little disingenuous though when he said, “That’s the cool part. No one who is going to start at quarterback. We’ve got three options….”

Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges Responds

Luckily, Pittsburgh’s fourth-string quarterback, Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges, has a good sense of humor about being left out of the equation.

Afterwards, he tweeted:

Hodges has been on the practice squad all season, but started six games last year when Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph were out due to injury.

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