Quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner addresses the media following the Steelers’ pick of Joshua Dobbs.
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Nothing gets the juices of the fan base flowing quite like drafting a quarterback, and the Steelers opened Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft by doing that for the first time since 2013. That was the year when the Steelers used their second pick in the fourth round – the 115th overall – on Landry Jones, and today they again added a quarterback in the fourth round when they used the 135th overall selection on Joshua Dobbs.
Joshua Dobbs jersey, quarterback, Tennessee (fourth round): “He’s a really intelligent, bright-eyed kid. As the face of a franchise, he’s the kind of kid you want to develop.”
He’s another player who was productive in a power conference (Tennessee of the SEC). Dobbs 6-foot33/8, 216 pounds) completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,946 yards and 27 touchdowns (with 12 interceptions) in 2016 at Tennessee. He also rushed for 2,160 yards and 32 touchdowns and averaged 4.9 yards per carry in his four-year college (two as a starter). Dobb’s 7,138 career passing yards rank second to Peyton Manning at the school, and Dobbs’ 3,781 yards of total offense in 2016 fell 9 shy of Manning’s single-seeason mark at Tennessee.
At the early stages of the season rookie Artie Burns’ coverage was on point, but his tackling wasn’t where he, or anyone else, wanted it to be. Physically he just wasn’t playing up to the standard, and missed tackles were noticeable.
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Listen live to Steelers CB Artie Burns during the “Steelers Huddle” on SNR. The program is scheduled to air every Tuesday throughout the season from 7-9 p.m.
Artie Burns has been the first to admit his tackling at the beginning of the season wasn’t up to the standard that he expected from himself, and the team expected from him as well. But over the course of the last few months he has improved significantly in that area, and Coach Mike Tomlin likes what he is seeing.
If there is one thing that makes Al Golden, the former University of Miami head coach, who is now the tight ends coach for the Detroit Lions, happy it’s that Artie Burns hasn’t changed since he was a teenager.
Sure, Burns has matured as a player and a person, but the Steelers first round draft pick is still the same person that Golden fell in love with when he was recruiting him to become a Miami Hurricane.
Artie Burnshad to wait until the finale at Carolina to finally see the field this preseason, but once he got there he saw plenty. And that was what Burns was hoping for all along.
Life has been an exciting whirlwind for Artie Burns since the Steelers selected him in the first round of the NFL Draft, and that continued when the rookie was signed to a four-year contract today.
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At 6-foot and 193 pounds and with a combine time of 4.46 in the 40-yard dash, Burns has the height, weight and speed to contend with the big receivers he’ll see in the NFL. The term “good-sized athlete” applies, and he has the potential for growth physically as he grows his game.
He doesn’t remember exactly when it happened, but Sean Davis said there was a game when all of a sudden things started to slow down. It was the point where he went from being a rookie trying to figure everything out, to an NFL player who got it.
Last Sunday in Cleveland, Davis started at strong safety and experienced playing 100 percent of the defensive snaps in the Steelers’ 24-9 win over the Browns.
Award season is in full effect at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, and Sean Davisand Arthur Moarts are the last winners, receiving the Pittsburgh Chapter of Pro Football Writers of America’s annual awards.
Davis, the Steelers’ second-round draft selection in 2016, received the “Joe Greene Great Performance Award,” given annually to the Steelers top rookie. Davis has played in all 15 games in 2016, starting eight of them. He became the first Steelers’ rookie defensive back to start a season opener since 1997.
The selections of cornerback Artie Burns and safety Sean Davis one calendar year ago was the start of building a younger, faster secondary capable of making plays on the football, but the way NFL offenses throw the ball around a defense never can have enough of those kinds of players. Also to be considered is the percentage of time the defense is aligned in a sub-package, and therefore there is a need for hybrid players who would allow the unit to defend either the run or the pass without having to make wholesale personnel changes.