Can Cardinals new QB Josh Dobbs make a case to start in 2023?

Under the leadership of Arizona Cardinals general manager Monty Ossenfurt, the franchise has been focused on adding investment capital when it comes to making deals.

Most Thursdays, the Cardinals have followed this trend, sending safety Isaiah Simmons and offensive lineman Josh Jones (and seventh-rounder of 2024) for draft picks.

That was until Arizona’s third trade of the day, acquiring quarterback Josh Dobbs from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fifth-round pick. The Cardinals also regained seventh place in the trade.

To recap: The Cardinals got a seventh-round pick on a Simmons trade, flipped a seventh-round pick on a Jones move into the fifth and then used a fifth-round pick to touchdown on Dobbs. When the dust settled, the Cardinals folded with Dobbs and a Browns seventh infielder.

Not only is the change of philosophy strange, the timing is also strange. With two and a half weeks until the first game of the regular season, can Dobbs get starting approval at one point or another in 2023?

for every Arizona Sports John Gambadoro, Dobbs Ho He is likely to take on role #2. With Colt McCoy the expected Week 1 starter in place of the injured Killer Murray, that would put Dobbs ahead of rookie and training camp standouts Clayton Toon as well as veterans David Plouffe and Jeff Driskel.

However, that doesn’t mean Dobbs couldn’t make a case for starting sometime in 2023. And there’s reason to believe that.

A look at three big factors that could help his cause in the desert:

Could newly acquired QB Josh Dobbs start for the Cardinals in 2023?

New contest

Cardinals adding Dobbs says something about not only what they think about the QB, but also how they feel about the current situation with their current signal callers.

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While McCoy has dominated most first-team appearances, rookie Claytonton remains a name that many believe should get the starting nod in Week 1 based on the veteran’s appearances in limited action and what the rookie can bring from a running point of view. .

Tune has certainly been given the chance to prove his case, getting extended appearances in two pre-season performances and even taking on some first-team reps as recently as Thursday’s joint training with the Minnesota Vikings.

Sure, the rookie has blinked at times, but you can’t add another competitive arm into the room on this near-demotion day unless you want to see something off center.


Aside from Arizona’s trend of adding venture capital, another trend the team likes to take is bringing in players familiar with the coaching staff and/or teammates.

Dobbs fits this mold in more ways than one.

Before heading to the desert in 2023, Dobbs served under Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing and quarterbacks coach Israel Wolffork during their time with the Cleveland Browns. Petzing served as the QBs coach while Woolfork joined through the Bill Willis Coaching Fellowship and worked closely with the Browns’ signal callers.

Although Dobbs never took a regular season pick for the Browns — he sat third on the depth chart behind Jacoby Brissett and Deshaun Watson — the QB spent seven months under their tutelage.

The Arizona offense likely reflects a lot of the offensive philosophies that Cleveland incorporates, including the aggressive offense that Dobbs had an idea for.

After his first stint in Cleveland ended by being waived upon Watson’s return from suspension, he signed with the Detroit Lions’ coaching staff before finding his way to Titans and Cardinals general manager Monty Osenfurt, who had served as director of player personnel at Tennessee. From 2020 to 22.

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And unlike the Browns, Dobbs caught a glimpse late in the season, completing 58.8% of his passes for 411 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. It wasn’t as productive a start to the record book after two losses, but it still provided a chance for Dobbs to put something on the tape.

Ossenfurt must not have thought the show would be so bad if he was willing to pull the trigger on Dobbs.

Added capacity

Finally, Dobbs brings with him a running ability that McCoy does not have. And while Tune showed off his wheels, he’s still getting his feet wet in the NFL world. Dobbs was drafted in 2017.

Now not running the post-burner league-wide, Dobbs recorded 14 carries for 75 yards for an average of 5.4 yards. But come back from his college days in Tennessee, and it’s clear Dobbs can play rock.

Originally an Arizona native out of high school, Dobbs instead went to Tennessee, where he racked up 2,160 yards and 32 rushing touchdowns.

His senior season was his most remarkable for his running game, as he amassed 831 yards and 12 scores on 150 carries. He averaged a career high of 5.5 yards per attempt.

And while James Conner is expected to lead the way in terms of carries, rushing and touchdowns, Dobbs should get more than a few chances to move the chain with his legs.

Just look at the offense Betzing is coming from in Cleveland, where Watson (six starts) and Brissett (11 starts) combined for 418 yards and three touchdowns in 2022.

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At the very least, Dobbs gives the Cardinals another option in QB room.

As they say, let the games begin.

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