After spending his first six years in the NFL as a journeyman backup, former Tennessee Football quarterback Joshua Dobbs is now in position to start for his third team within a year. The Vols quarterback may be in his best situation yet, too.
Dobbs was traded to the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday. Minnesota is a playoff-caliber team and just lost Kirk Cousins for the year. Finally, Dobbs is playing for a team that isn’t tanking and for a coach who won’t be clueless when it comes to using him. It’s long overdue.
Throughout this NFL season so far, Dobbs has been starting for an Arizona Cardinals team that initially planned to tank for USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams. However, Kyler Murray getting healthy, Williams faltering and Dobbs himself playing well enough to stall the tank may have changed those plans.
Even with all that, which has led to a 1-7 start, Dobbs is completing 62.6 percent of his passes with just under 1,600 yards and 258 rushing yards. He’s got 11 total touchdowns. Those may not be great stats, but again, he was having to uplift the whole franchise, similar to what he had to do with Tennessee Football under Butch Jones.
Before Arizona, Dobbs got his first start with the Tennessee Titans last year. Sure, that was with a playoff-caliber team, and indeed, a playoff spot was on the line. However, Dobbs was playing for a team decimated by injuries under an offensive coordinator in Todd Downing who had no idea how to utilize his skills. It was a bad mix.
Minnesota, meanwhile, is a completely different situation. At 4-4, they are right in the thick of every playoff race. Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell is a Sean McVay protege who got them to the playoffs his first year. He specializes in coaching quarterbacks and was the offensive coordinator of the 2021 Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.
As if that connection wasn’t enough, O’Connell just happened to be born in Knoxville. You don’t think he has paid attention to Dobbs dating back to his Tennessee Football days? Simply put, Dobbs is going to get a fair shot, he’s got a good coach, and he’s playing for a good team. This is his chance.