MOBILE, Ala. — Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs is measuring up to his Senior Bowl competition from a statistics standpoint, according to player performance metrics.
Former Vols offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, who’s now at Indiana, said Dobbs has put the work in to get the desired results this week at the Senior Bowl.
“The fact Josh is going under center at the Senior Bowl and performing well is not a surprise to me, because I know he’s been working very hard on it,” DeBord said in an exclusive interview with SECcountry.com. “You’re not going to find a guy that will out-work Josh.”
DeBord said the only reason he didn’t put Dobbs under center more at Tennessee was that it didn’t fit the program’s offensive system.
Dobbs, who measured in at 6-foot-3 1/2 and 216 pound at the official weigh in on Tuesday at the Mobile Convention Center, had the highest NFL Passer Rating (105.4) among the Senior Bowl QBs when under pressure this season.
A breakdown compiled and distributed by ProFootballFocus.com took a closer look at the quarterbacks who will play in Saturday’s Senior Bowl (TV: 2:30 p.m. eastern, NFL Network) and released key statistics.
Dobbs’ accurate throws impressed South Team coach Hue Jackson — also the Cleveland Browns head coach — from the start of the opening practice.
Jackson named Dobbs the starting quarterback for the South team on Thursday.
DeBord, who spent the past two seasons leading the Tennessee offensive attack, took some time with SECcountry.com to provide further insight into some of Dobbs’ numbers.
NFL Passer Rating Under Pressure (when QB hurried, hit or sacked on drop back):
Josh Dobbs, Tennessee 105.4
Nate Peterman, Pitt 103.5
Sefo Lifau, Colorado 69.1
Davis Webb, California 68.9
C.J. Beathard, Iowa 48.0
Dobbs also had the best NFL QB rating of the five FBS quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl when blitzed:
DeBord: “I always felt like Josh anticipated well, and that’s through his film study and practice habits. He always knew where he would go with the ball against different coverages and blitzes.”
Another category Dobbs led the QB group in was when given 2.6 seconds or more to pass:
DeBord: “That goes back to Josh feeling comfortable with the protection, but also staying with his progressions with his throws. We tried to do as much carryover as we could from game to game while doing things out of different formations.”
Dobbs was second-best vs. “standard rush” during the 2016 campaign:
The Tennessee QB was fourth among the Senior Bowl QBs when “kept clean” this season:
According to Dobbs’ target profile, the Vols’ quarterback most popular routes thrown were:
Hitches 20 percent
RB routes 17 percent
Go Routes 13 percent
Dobbs enjoyed “above average production” according to the metrics on:
Slants (16-24, 243 yards, 127.6 rating)
Go Routes (20-45, 667 yards, 15 TDs, 4 INTs, 93.8 rating)
DeBord: “The slants were always a big part of our offense on first and second downs and the go route was something he didn’t complete real well my first year. I give credit to Josh for spending a lot of time on those go routes after we said we had to be good at those to be an effective offense. He gets all the credit for that.”
Dobbs had “below averaged production on:
Corner Routes (4-10, 87 yards, 2 INTs, 32.1 rating)
Crossing Routes (17-32, 245 yards, 1 INT, 6 Dropped passes, 65.2 rating).
“Those are both moving routes, and routes going away from him. They aren’t easy to complete, but also we didn’t throw a lot of corners and digs. We used them, but not something that was a high rep for us. I would say not throwing as many of them would be a factor.”