TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Joshua Dobbs is confident that he'll have a good grasp of the Arizona Cardinals playbook by Sunday's opener.
As for the names of his teammates? That would be a bonus.
“That's a great goal," Dobbs said laughing. "Luckily, it's on everyone's (jersey) so I'll have a cheat sheet.”
The Cardinals still haven't announced a starting quarterback for Week 1, but Dobbs is the front-runner to take the first offensive snap on Sunday against the Washington Commanders. The 28-year-old was acquired on Aug. 24 in a trade with the Browns after the Cardinals released veteran Colt McCoy.
“If I am the guy, I’ll be excited to go out and perform the way I know I can perform,” Dobbs said. “Represent the Cardinals and lead this team.”
First-year Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said Wednesday that he wouldn't announce a starting quarterback for Sunday, hoping for some level of a competitive advantage over the Commanders, who are 7-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Gannon did say that “players know the plan.”
For his part, Dobbs didn't want to spoil the surprise.
“I’m not sure yet,” Dobbs said. “That’s a (Gannon) question.”
The two main options are Dobbs and rookie Clayton Tune, a fifth-round pick out of Houston who has had some good preseason moments.
But from the moment the Cardinals acquired Dobbs, he was the favorite to man the position while franchise quarterback Kyler Murray continues to recover from an ACL injury.
Murray will miss at least four games after being put on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list last week.
Dobbs started two games for the Tennessee Titans last season and is also familiar with Arizona's new offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, who was the quarterbacks coach in Cleveland and worked with Dobbs.
Petzing brought many of the same offensive concepts from Cleveland to Arizona.
“I figured I was going to get it down pretty quick,” Dobbs said of the playbook. “Just being able to keep a good relationship with Drew, diving into the playbook, having last week out on the field with the guys, and in the film room with the coaches.”
Dobbs is widely known as a smart guy and a quick study. The six-year veteran has a degree in aerospace engineering from Tennessee and has done internships with NASA through the NFL Players Association.
He won't be the only newcomer for the Cardinals on Sunday — the roster has 27 new players, including 11 rookies.
“I’m very pleased with all of them truthfully, and especially Dobbs with that position because it’s so mental,” Gannon said. "We had a good feel that he was going to be able to handle that.”
The 24-year-old Tune said he'll be ready on Sunday if needed. He completed 34 of 59 passes (58%) in the preseason for 353 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 44 yards on 10 carries.
“I feel confident in my ability and the progression I've made through camp,” Tune said. “I'm confident in the guys around me to make plays. I feel good about it. If I were to go in, I'd feel comfortable and ready to go.”
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
David Brandt, The Associated Press