Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin did anything but stand pat after cutting the Steelers initial 2020 roster down to the NFL mandated 53 man limit. As anticipated, the Steelers made changes to their roster, but they did so unexpected ways.
Everyone expected the Steelers to bring in an inside linebacker to replace either Ulysees Gilbert and Robert Spillane behind Devin Bush Jr. and Vince Williams; instead, the Steelers brought back Sean Davis and Joshua Dobbs – two players who were on their 2019 opening day roster.
- As a consequence, the Steelers waived safety Curtis Riley and quarterback Devlin Hodges.
Curtis Riley has already returned via the practice squad, but thus far the Steelers have not moved to add Devlin Hodges, although they are expected to do so, per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Dobbs Return a Surprise. Davis? Not So Much
The Steelers decision to bring back Joshua Dobbs, whom they traded to Jacksonville in week 2 of the 2019 season, counts as a major surprise.
The Steelers drafted Dobbs in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft and while Dobbs didn’t do much, word was the quarterback who moonlighted as a rocket scientist did all he could. A year later the Steelers drafted Mason Rudolph in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft, yet Joshua Dobbs did enough in training camp to cause Pittsburgh to part ways with Landry Jones.
- This wasn’t a trivial decision as Joshua Dobbs saw action twice that season.
First in Baltimore where he looked decisive in converting a 3rd down pass deep in Steelers territory, and then in Oakland, where he looked tentative while Ben Roethlisberger stood on the sideline. That was followed by a 2019 preseason effort where Dobbs’ development seemingly stalled, leading to the trade.
What is surprising is that Joshua Dobbs didn’t see any time in Jacksonville, where as Delvin Hodges, won his first 3 starts and added another victory in relief of Rudolph.
- Sean Davis’ return is less surprising.
While the Steelers are set with Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds as their starters, they only have Jordan Dangerfield and Marcus Allen behind them. Dangerfield is a special teamer who can play defense in a pinch, Marcus Allen drew raves in training camp but remains an unknown.
While many fans will take issue with this statement, but Sean Davis’ time in Pittsburgh was book ended by a strong rookie year in 2016 and a solid year at free safety in 2018. The fact that Washington would cut Sean Davis after paying him a 2 million dollar signing bonus is a bit disturbing, but these types of erratic personnel decision are hardly abnormal under Daniel Snyder.
Even if Sean Davis isn’t quite the starter capable level player Steel Curtain Rising projected him to be, he delivers and immediate injection of depth at safety.
Colquitt to Replace Berry?
There could be more moves to come in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are bringing in punter Dustin Colquitt to for a try out which puts Jordan Berry’s job in jeopardy. Jordan Berry had a respectable start to 2019 but his performance tapered off.
Dustin Colquitt has punted for the Kansas City Chiefs since 2005 and has a 44.8 punting average, which is .6 yards better than Berry’s. He’s also the son of Craig Colquitt who punted for the Steelers from 1978 through 1984 and earned rings while putting for Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV.