Opportunity Rockets for Dobbs

Oct. 29, 2013

Here are sound bites from Joshua Dobbs' teammates on the Vols' new starting quarterback:


"Just his overall maturity. I remember having to play as a freshman and he is more locked in than a lot of us, a lot of the seniors. That shows in the game, his preparation, that we have a chance. He played well, he didn't look frightened, or scared or anything."

"It means a lot. People have to start respecting the pull of the quarterback, their WILL linebacker will be itching to stay outside or they will hold a safety or something like that. It definitely helps out."

"Just more locked in than a lot of freshmen. We were in the position that we knew we had to play. He didn't know he was going to have to play, but he prepared every week the same, he prepared for that week the same and it showed."


"I heard that he was a smart kid. He got those awards while he was on his way to Tennessee. I don't feel like it is big difference those because all of our quarterbacks know the plays and where we are supposed to be. They help us out."

"We weren't really surprised with what he did. Coach Jones prepared us for that situation. He came here and just did his job. I feel comfortable with any quarterback that the coaches put back there for us."

"I feel like all of our freshman came in here and learned the playbook pretty well. He just happened to be one of them also."


"He's a more vocal leader than anything. Just like the offensive line, he's taking command of things and making sure we're getting lined up fast enough and things like that. He's doing the little things that every quarterback should do."

"It was exciting to see the plays that he made in the short time that he was on the field. So, it gives us a lot of confidence in him."


"It didn't surprise us, I have faith in him. I watched him all camp, all throughout the summer; he picked up on the playbook early. All it took was for him to just get in there and perform and that is what he did."

"It is very important in general. Like I said, we are going to do us. He is going to bring something new to the team as far as his speed. When he is getting blitzed, he will roll out of the pocket, step into the pocket, run away from defenders and if there is nothing there he is able to run the ball. I think with his speed he will be very versatile."

"It is exciting because when pressure is brought, and he has to roll out of the pocket, that is when a big play can occur downfield."

"He gets the guys together, but before we take the field he will get the play call out, pull us all together and remind us to attack the field because we are a fast tempo team. His job is to lead and that is something that he has been doing well."

By Brian Rice

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For the third time in nine games this season, Tennessee will have a new starting quarterback on Saturday when the Vols travel to No. 10 Missouri.

With Justin Worley, who started seven of the first eight games this season, on the shelf with a thumb injury, freshman Joshua Dobbs gets the call against the Tigers.

Ironically, the circumstances around Dobbs' first start mirror those around Worley's first nod two seasons ago. Worley came on late in Tennessee's loss to Alabama in 2011 after an injury sidelined starter Tyler Bray and left the quarterback situation unsettled, with Matt Simms and Worley behind on the depth chart. Worley made his first-career start a week later against South Carolina.

Dobbs came on in relief after an injury to Worley, first suffered against USC, was aggravated in the first half against Alabama. Dobbs was 5-12 for 75 against the Crimson Tide and led a pair of second-half scoring drives. Now, he draws the starting assignment in an SEC game a week later.

"It'll be a great challenge for him in a great venue against a great opponent," head coach Butch Jones said of Dobbs' opportunity. "I know that he's looking forward to that."

The guys charged with catching the passes Dobbs will throw aren't expecting any fall-off at the quarterback position.

"He's wired different," Pig Howard said of Dobbs. "He's a leader. He came in from day one working hard and knowing the playbook inside and out."

The offensive line that will stand between him and a potent Missouri pass rush is confident in the freshman, partly because of the maturity that he brings to the huddle.

"No matter who is behind us, we know we have to protect," senior Zach Fulton said. "We know they are going to do their job, we have confidence in them. He's a more vocal leader than anything, he's taking command of the offensive line, making sure that we're lined up, taking care of the little things like a quarterback should do."

That Dobbs got an entire half of game action was important. The fact that it came on the road against the top-ranked team in the country only underscores how impressive he was in his debut and how much that experience will help in another tough environment in Columbia.

"It was pretty exciting to see the things he was doing on the field in the short amount of time," said Fulton in reference to Dobbs' game action against Alabama that also included 19 rushing yards on three carries. "It gives us a little more confidence seeing him do the things he did."

"The live game reps that he received last week are very, very beneficial," Jones said. "Now, to have the amount of first-team reps will be big. Everyone asks with a freshman quarterback if you have to scale back your offensive package, it's quite to the contrary."






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