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Joshua Dobbs Lands In Arizona With Chance To Be Starting QB

Veteran will try to win job in Kyler Murray absence with only two weeks of prep

New Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs throws a pass during Wednesday's practice.
New Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs throws a pass during Wednesday's practice.

Joshua Dobbs is finally going to play quarterback in Arizona after coming close a couple of times before.

Coming out of high school, Dobbs committed to Arizona State for some eight months, before changing his mind at the last second and attending Tennessee instead. And then this spring, he was deciding between coming to the Cardinals and going back to the Browns as a free agent, before choosing Cleveland.

But it doesn't take rocket science to know the Cardinals could give Dobbs – who is, after his schooling and offseason work with NASA, indeed an actual rocket scientist -- an opportunity he has yet to get in the NFL.

He could start for the Cardinals Week 1 and be that guy until Kyler Murray returns from injury.

"It's a whirlwind," said Dobbs, who arrived in trade last week from the Browns with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a fifth-rounder.

"I put starting expectations on myself. I know the QB situation will play out however the coaches see fit. For me, I am ready to compete every day."

Coach Jonathan Gannon isn't saying who the Cardinals will start at QB, whether it be Dobbs or fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune. But given the price the Cardinals gave up to get him at this late stage, Dobbs has an excellent chance to win the job.

Gannon, before Wednesday's practice, said Dobbs operated well during Tuesday's walkthrough. The coach added that he thinks Tune is also "ready to go" if the rookie has to start.

Gannon is looking for "command and production" from his starter, whoever that might be.

"And their ability to run the huddle and make plays, and operate the way we want to operate, that we have to operate, to give us a chance to win," Gannon added.

Dobbs has done this before, starting back-to-back games for the Titans – with Monti Ossenfort in the Tennessee front office – at the end of last season with the Titans chasing a playoff spot. Dobbs' first start came just eight days after signing.

He's only thrown 85 career passes, and 68 came in those two games. But Dobbs has been in the NFL since 2017, he's spent time with six different organizations (and two stints each with the Steelers and Browns), and he is comfortable knowing what has to be done.

"You learn the ultimate level of patience," he said.

His intelligence on such a short timeline can only help.

"He's smart," tight end Zach Ertz said. "I think that's well-noted. He's an astronaut or whatever he is.

"He's a guy that understands football. He's got a really good grasp of this offense, so him coming into the huddle, calling the formations, calling the plays, has been seamless so far. And he throws a very catchable ball."

Dobbs, who has his degree in aerospace engineering and actually served two internships at NASA, recalled how one media member believed when Dobbs was going into the NFL that Dobbs was too smart to play quarterback.

"Playing quarterback is the most cerebral position of all of sports," Dobbs said. "It definitely helps, especially study habits, processing information.

"It's the ultimate problem-solver position. Each time you are tasked 40 seconds and defenses are throwing curveballs at you, and you have to get your team into the best play possible."

The transition isn't over yet. The football part is easy. Learning the building, the area, even teammates is an ongoing process. He said after practice, while he was working out, one teammate approached him. "Hey, my name is Hayden," reserve center Hayden Howerton told him. "You took some snaps from me."

His career has been all over, but figured out soon after he got into the league he probably wasn't going to have 17 years with one team, like former teammate Ben Roethlisberger.

"When you really look around the league, that barely happens," Dobbs said. "Everyone's journey looks different."

What Dobbs is hoping is that he does indeed get to be a Week 1 starter for the first time in his career, and show that being in Arizona might've been the right place all along.

"If that is the case, I have put in a ton of work, I have a ton of sweat equity and I am extremely prepared for the opportunity," Dobbs said, "but it doesn't mean I'm ever complacent."

Images from the Arizona Cardinals Girls Flag Football Nike Kickoff Classic between Mountain Pointe and Mountain View High Schools

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