Ex-Steelers QB Josh Dobbs Making ‘Strong Case’ to Be Browns Backup

Don’t look now, but former Pittsburgh Steelers fourth-round pick Josh Dobbs might well be the backup quarterback for the Cleveland Browns this season. That is, at least until Deshaun Watson returns from his 11-game suspension, at which point Dobbs would presumably drop to No. 3 behind seventh-year pro Jacoby Brissett.

Josh Dobbs Has Been ‘Fun to Watch’

On Sunday August 21, the Browns were defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles, 21-20, in a Week 2 preseason game in Cleveland. But it wasn’t for lack of effectiveness on the part of Dobbs, as the Browns scored — two touchdowns and two field goals — on the four possessions for which he was the quarterback.

“Dobbs is fitting well inside the Browns’ offense, and the Kevin Stefanski offense really fits him well: short, timing throws, allowing him to roll out. He’s very, very athletic, and he can keep the ball and get first downs with his own legs,” noted Jim Donovan of WKYC before confirming that the 27-year-old has been making “a strong case for himself for the Browns to be comfortable with him as their backup quarterback.”

“He’s been fun to watch all camp and he’s been very fun to watch today,” added News 5 Cleveland sports journalist Camryn Justice on Sunday.

#Browns Josh Dobbs 10/15 for 112 yards. Rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown.

He’s been fun to watch all camp and he’s been very fun to watch today.

— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) August 21, 2022

One play in particular epitomized the joy that Dobbs is bringing to Cleveland fans, a 36-yard first-quarter scamper will be remembered as the “crop top scramble,” as Dobbs was very nearly undressed by an Eagles defender as he escaped the pocket.

They tried to take his jersey but @josh_dobbs1 said NOT TODAY.

📺: #PHIvsCLE on @NFLNetwork (check local listings)
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/GH49hZ3d4L pic.twitter.com/DZGr9nIAT7

— NFL (@NFL) August 21, 2022

“He got my undershirt,” said Dobbs after the game. “I don’t even know how he got it. He ended up making a nice little crop top for me.”

“He got my undershirt. I don’t even know how he got it. He ended up making a nice little crop top for me.” – #browns QB Josh Dobbs in his postgame press conference. 😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/Z4qAdgtBvS

— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) August 21, 2022

But Dobbs also made some nifty throws against the Eagles, like this so-called “dime,” yet another reason why he has been called a “pleasant surprise” by one Browns beat reporter.

Dobbs dime. @josh_dobbs1

📺: #PHIvsCLE on @NFLNetwork (check local listings)
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/GH49hZ3d4L pic.twitter.com/sqvKqUx3Yb

— NFL (@NFL) August 21, 2022

Dobbs Signed With the Browns a Day Before Dwayne Haskins’ Death

Notably, it wasn’t a slam dunk that Dobbs would get another chance to remain in the NFL, even though he has been with a team since he was drafted No. 135 overall by the Steelers in 2017.

The former Tennessee Volunteer standout had a tryout with the Patriots in March 2022 and a tryout with the Ravens in early April but went unsigned after both visits. In between he made news for a tweeted message he sent in the immediate aftermath of the Will Smith-Chris Rock Oscars altercation. Finally, he signed with the Browns a day before Steelers third-string quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed in an accident in South Florida.

Now he’s competing with former Top 10 overall pick Josh Rosen to begin the season as Cleveland’s QB2. It’s a competition he seems to be winning by a wide margin.

As noted by Jake Trotter, who covers the Browns for ESPN, Dobbs has completed 24 of 39 passes for 249 yards. He has yet to throw an interception and has been responsible for one passing TD and one rushing TD to go with his 56 yards rushing.

In two preseason games, Josh Dobbs is 24 of 33 for 249 yards with 2 total TDs, no picks, plus 56 yards rushing #Browns https://t.co/zomZnWS6wI

— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 21, 2022

As for his NFL experience, Dobbs has thus far appeared in a half-dozen regular-season games, all with the Steelers. During those games he has completed 10 of 17 passes for 45 yards with one interception.

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