PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Dobbs’s impressive preseason ended up costing Landry Jones his job.
The Pittsburgh Steelers chose to keep Dobbs and rookie Mason Rudolph as the primary backup quarterbacks behind Ben Roethlisberger when they pared the roster to 53 on Saturday. The decision left Jones, a six-year veteran, as the surprising odd man out.
Dobbs made significant strides in his second training camp and ended the preseason by throwing for a touchdown and running for another in a victory over Carolina. He completed 67 percent of his passes while playing in three of Pittsburgh’s four exhibition games and led the team in yards passing (434), touchdowns (four) and quarterback rating (111.9).
Dobbs said afterward he wanted to continue his career with the Steelers but understood the business side of the game. The Steelers spent a third-round pick on Rudolph last spring and Jones played capably if not spectacularly while filling in for Roethlisberger over the last three seasons. The former Oklahoma star went 3-2 as a starter, with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Jones said before for the preseason finale he felt he was in a good position but added, “If they can cut Peyton Manning, they can cut anybody.”
Now Jones finds himself looking for work. As a vested veteran, Jones does not have to clear waivers and can sign with another team immediately. Meanwhile the Steelers enter the season with two backups behind the 36-year-old Roethlisberger who have yet to throw a pass in the regular season, a bit of a risk for a team with Super Bowl expectations.
Other notable cuts included running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, cornerback Brian Allen and linebackers Keion Adams and Farrington Hugenin.
Pittsburgh did keep a pair of undrafted rookie free agent linebackers in Matthew Thomas and Ola Adeniyi. Thomas ended camp with a spectacular sequence against the Panthers in which he strip-sacked Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen, recovered the fumble and raced 75 yards before being taken down just shy of the goal line.
The Steelers open the season in Cleveland on Sept. 9.