Now that Cleveland knows Deshaun Watson will miss the first 11 games of the regular season (stemming from 24 sexual misconduct civil cases), they’ll need to keep a third QB on the roster. With Jacoby Brissett already slated as the starter to begin the year, that leaves Joshua Dobbs and Josh Rosen to battle for that third spot. Based on the first half and change of the Browns’ second preseason game against the Eagles, Dobbs is looking to wrap this competition up now.
Dobbs started the game against Philadelphia and came out firing on all cylinders, passing and running the ball. He threw for 112 yards and rushed for 47, including a 34-yard run which set up his own three-yard rushing TD in the first half. Although it’s the preseason, Browns fans haven’t had much to be happy about this offseason, and many of them are pumped about Dobbs’ performance on social media.
Dobbs was drafted by the Steelers in 2017 and spent his first few years there, but only touched the field briefly in 2018 and 2020. Pittsburgh shipped him to Jacksonville in 2019, then turned around and re-signed him for the 2020 and 2021 campaigns. So, it’s been a rollercoaster ride for Dobbs since entering the NFL. One fan points out the irony in a former Pittsburgh Steeler being the one to unite Browns fans in cheering him on.
After Dobbs’ outing against Philly, all that stands in his way of sticking in Cleveland is Rosen. Dobbs brings a dynamic aspect that Rosen can’t match. Besides, Rosen has had plenty of opportunities as a starter and backup and has rarely delivered anything meaningful to any team he’s played for. At this point, I’m amazed to see Rosen on a roster. The Arizona Cardinals drafted him 10th overall in 2018 but had seen enough after his rookie year, where he posted a 3-10 record.
If this plays out in Dobbs’ favor, it could be the best opportunity he’s had in his career thus far. He’d be the backup for the Browns for at least 11 games, and you’re always just one play away from having your number called. At that point, Dobbs needs to be prepared to play at any time. If Dobbs does make it, this would be one of the few times we’ve seen a team with an all-black QB room.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying Dobbs should get the temporary QB1 position over Brissett, but he’s likely done enough to secure that second spot. In Cleveland’s first preseason game, Dobbs was the only Browns QB to record a passing TD, with Rosen and Watson both seeing time that game. Sometimes it takes guys a few years to find their spot in the league, and it seems Dobbs is carving out space for himself in Cleveland.