Dobbs, Rudolph will be only QBs to play for Steelers against Packers
Ben Roethlisberger won’t take any snaps Thursday for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their second preseason game. That was to be expected — even before Roethlisberger was placed in concussion protocol Tuesday afternoon.
Landry Jones won’t take any, either, which is mildly surprising.
Wanting to get an extended look at second-year player Josh Dobbs and rookie Mason Rudolph, coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that the two young quarterbacks will divvy up all of the snaps when the Steelers face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
“They are going to play and play exclusively,” Tomlin said. “I haven’t detailed exactly the division of labor, but those two guys will be featured.”
Jones ran three series with the first-team offense in the Steelers’ preseason opener at Philadelphia. Last year, the veteran backup did not play in the first two preseason games, but he was dealing with an abdominal strain at the time. This year, Jones is healthy.
With Jones out last year, Tomlin used two quarterbacks against the Atlanta Falcons in the second preseason game. Dobbs played late into the third quarter before yielding to undrafted free agent Bart Houston.
This year, Dobbs is looking to build on a solid performance in the preseason opener. He completed 9 of 13 passes for 91 yards with a touchdown and interception in one-plus quarter of work. Rudolph played the second half and directed three field goal drives while completing 7 of 12 passes for 101 yards and no interceptions.
Tomlin would not say Tuesday that Rudolph and Dobbs are competing for one roster spot.
“We have four NFL-capable quarterbacks,” Tomlin said. “Some teams keep two, some teams keep three and very rarely do teams keep four. Those are the variables. We’ll see where the road leads. More than anything, I’m trying to create an environment where these guys have an opportunity to show what they are capable of and get better. So far, so good. I like the approach of the group. I’m not overthinking it, and I don’t want any of those guys overthinking it.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at email@example.com or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.