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Josh Dobbs: I majored in aerospace engineering, I can learn a playbook

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Former Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs may be the smartest player in this year’s draft class, and he’s not afraid to let NFL teams know just how smart he is.

According to Emily Kaplan of, Dobbs, an aerospace engineering major in college, found it a little ridiculous when some coaches asked him at the Scouting Combine if he thought he could handle an NFL playbook.

“My senior year I was taking astronautics, propulsion and an aerodynamics class . . . all on the same day,” Dobbs said. “At the same time as football season when I was leading an SEC team. I think I can handle it.”

Dobbs also has a good relationship with one of the smartest quarterbacks ever to play the game, fellow Tennessee alum Peyton Manning, who gave Dobbs some tips that Manning would only pass along to someone at his alma mater.

“I would text Peyton throughout his career, and he would respond on a constant basis,” Dobbs said. “I know it’s rare, and I learned how to take advantage of the connection. But you can’t give away too many of his secrets, or you might not have that relationship.”

Keeping Manning’s secrets close to the vest is one sign of Dobbs’ intelligence, but far from the only one.

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47 Responses to “Josh Dobbs: I majored in aerospace engineering, I can learn a playbook”
  1. edelmanfanclub says: Apr 4, 2017 12:17 PM

    At least he has a backup plan.

  2. ajgreenhof says: Apr 4, 2017 12:24 PM

    If I was running a team that needed a QB I’d be gunning for this guy. I’ll take a smart man who works hard and has room to grow over a dummy.

    Especially in a weak class.

  3. bleedingfacemask says: Apr 4, 2017 12:27 PM

    Learning an NFL playbook isn’t rocket science, says the rocket scientist.

    I guess one would know…

  4. patsxsaintsfan says: Apr 4, 2017 12:28 PM

    My friend is majoring in aerospace engineering and he isn’t crazy smart he just works hard which is more important than being smart.

  5. hawksfansince77 says: Apr 4, 2017 12:28 PM

    Aerospace engineering, big deal….not like its rocket science!

  6. winningisabrees says: Apr 4, 2017 12:28 PM

    zero correlation.

    Ive worked with some really talented and book smart people, with more degrees and certs than their wall can manage, but yet common sense and basic social skills were dormant.

  7. jimmysee says: Apr 4, 2017 12:28 PM

    So ….. can we say that playbook is not rocket science?

  8. joe.attaboy says: Apr 4, 2017 12:31 PM

    The Ravens should draft the guy. Then he and John Urschel and get together and build a rocket ship during halftime. Or cure cancer.

  9. trickbunny says: Apr 4, 2017 12:31 PM

    You gotta love people with big mouths and egos. Watch this guy be a complete bust in the NFL.

  10. fatsolio says: Apr 4, 2017 12:33 PM

    The guy sounds too intelligent for the NFL. Nice to know that if he can’t cut it in the league that he should have a solid career/life outside of it, unlike most players who are dumb.

  11. jonathankrobinson424 says: Apr 4, 2017 12:34 PM

    i hv noprlem lrning the plybok eiter-RGIII

  12. factschecker says: Apr 4, 2017 12:36 PM

    You keep “screwin”’ around and you gonna get that scholarship to Yale taken away. End up at Stanford with a “mamajama” sling blade.

    Me, Myself and Irene

  13. theblackrook says: Apr 4, 2017 12:47 PM

    How the hell is this having a big mouth or an ego? They asked him a question, he answered it. If literally was a rocket scientist who also lead an SEC team I’d also be confident in my abilities to learn an NFL offense, seeing as how being a good football player and knowing the offense is mutually exclusive. Backup QBs who never play a game can learn the offense.

    Knowing the playbook ain’t got nothing to do with your ability to perform on the field. God, it’s like being a hater is just a way of life for some people. Some people ain’t right unless they throwing shade at someone.

  14. marooncat79 says: Apr 4, 2017 12:48 PM

    Afternoon music on PFT Rocketman!

  15. jamarcuslives says: Apr 4, 2017 12:50 PM

    Apr 4, 2017 12:24 PM
    If I was running a team that needed a QB I’d be gunning for this guy. I’ll take a smart man who works hard and has room to grow over a dummy.

    Especially in a weak class.


    EVERY team in the NFL should be a running team! SMH!

  16. charger383 says: Apr 4, 2017 12:56 PM

    Patriots will get him so Coach Patricia will have somebody to talk to

  17. genericcommenter says: Apr 4, 2017 12:58 PM

    Too bad teams will probably hold it against him. I think teams prefer to have guys with IQs and work ethics that are just high enough to be able to learn but not high enough to think critically.

  18. pittsburghdamned says: Apr 4, 2017 1:03 PM


  19. kcflake says: Apr 4, 2017 1:03 PM

    I think Josh Dobbs is going to be the better NFL qb than some of the top ones listed. He absolutely destroyed my college team more than once. I hope my team drafts him.

  20. 1bbfan says: Apr 4, 2017 1:04 PM

    Fitzpatrick was from Harvard . How did that help him win anything in the NFL .

  21. tbone4444 says: Apr 4, 2017 1:07 PM

    Hard work is important but nothing is more important than being smart….And while smart and learned people can lack common sense (not necessarily any correlation there), an aerospace engineering major would likely predict success learning an NFL playbook. Go Hawks…12’s are the smartest fans in football…

  22. gotitan says: Apr 4, 2017 1:09 PM

    Great guy. To be drafted, would be surprising, IMO.
    Undrafted and make a team? Possibly. Not a certainty that he can play at the next level. Especially if he runs like he did at UT.

  23. oscarxray says: Apr 4, 2017 1:12 PM

    I expect the Browns to draft him because he worked with Hue at the Senior Bowl. I also expect the Browns to draft him way too early because that’s what they do. How about #33 you Harvard jerks?

  24. thelastwordyaheard says: Apr 4, 2017 1:16 PM you can get a job at Boeing when you’re inevitably out of the league in 2yrs

  25. fatguystrangler says: Apr 4, 2017 1:17 PM

    Now, that’s a student-athlete.

  26. savethebs says: Apr 4, 2017 1:21 PM

    Fitzpatrick was from Harvard . How did that help him win anything in the NFL .

    11 years in the NFL & career earnings of $51M. He’s doing better than you.

    Besides, Dobbs played in the SEC.

  27. najacoo22 says: Apr 4, 2017 1:22 PM

    “I have a fancy college degree, I am smarter than everyone” -countless pretentious dummies

  28. wartface says: Apr 4, 2017 1:24 PM

    Being really intelligent normally won’t hurt you. Lacking street smarts can get you killed.

    A balance of both will give a Peyton Manning type quarterback.

  29. allmyexsliveintexas says: Apr 4, 2017 1:25 PM

    But can Dobbs jump into the ring at Wrestlemania and shoulder block a Battle Royal participant?

    I think not.

  30. margoadams says: Apr 4, 2017 1:29 PM

    Other than Manning going to the Guyer Institute to get his HGH what other secrets would he have? You can tell a lot about this kid how he answered. He won’t get drafted.

  31. The Phantom Stranger says: Apr 4, 2017 1:31 PM

    Christian Ponder is really smart.

  32. elyasm says: Apr 4, 2017 1:48 PM

    It would be cool to see the Pats draft him as a backup. Matt Patricia and him could build experimental aircraft in their spare time.

  33. tncheese says: Apr 4, 2017 2:06 PM

    Dobbs is the real deal. I would take him over at least half of the current league starters.

  34. toldlikeitis says: Apr 4, 2017 2:44 PM

    His accuracy is terrible – Tennessee was hyped last year as the favorite to win their sec division. Bad accuracy, average arm = no thanks

  35. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 4, 2017 3:25 PM

    Josh sneered at the challenge. “It’s not exactly aerospace engineering, Einstein.”

  36. whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says: Apr 4, 2017 3:32 PM

    “one of the smartest quarterbacks ever to play the game, fellow Tennessee alum Peyton Manning”

    Manning was a hard-worker, and great football player, but that does not equate to being extremely intelligent. He scored a very pedestrian 28/50 on the Wonderlic. There are a lot of QBs with higher scores, even at the holiday table: Eli had a 39/50.

    For the record, Brady had a 33.

  37. teal379 says: Apr 4, 2017 3:41 PM

    winningisabrees says:
    Apr 4, 2017 12:28 PM
    zero correlation.

    Ive worked with some really talented and book smart people, with more degrees and certs than their wall can manage, but yet common sense and basic social skills were dormant.

    No common sense and social skills in a playbook.

    It’s literally if X then Y and this is where everyone goes.

    Essentially being able to learn and use a playbook is the ability to mentally go through a logic table/tree and determine the best outlook – it’s not about being able to go into a club and use social skills to pick up chicks.

    Being a leader requires both – learning a playbook, not so much…

  38. coolzog says: Apr 4, 2017 4:00 PM

    Guy acts like taking 3 engineering classes in a day is somehow grounds to nominate him for the Nobel Prize. It’s called university, and most student take 3-5 classes/day, it doesn’t set you apart.

  39. pancaketaco says: Apr 4, 2017 4:24 PM

    Learning the playbook is one thing…processing it is a different story…

  40. bobthebillsfan says: Apr 4, 2017 6:51 PM

    Well, just don’t forget that Ryan Fitzpatrick is a Harvard grad. He understood the playbooks well, he just never really had talent around him. And of course there’s that accuracy thing.

  41. ak185 says: Apr 4, 2017 7:43 PM

    I remember him well in college, as my team in the SEC East. Never was a huge of his play in the pocket. His accuracy leaves something to be desired. However, he is definitely a smart player football wise, in addition to his obvious non-football intelligence. He does have some athleticism too, which helps, as long as he doesn’t rely on it too much.

    But I also think that without the load of his college classes, which was significantly higher than most players, he might be able to develop his throwing motion and as a passer with the right coaches. I’d definitely give him serious thought as a later round pick to develop if I were in a drafting position.

  42. tonebones says: Apr 4, 2017 9:45 PM

    There aren’t too many NFL QBs from Princeton and Cornell. I don’t think it’s because they struggled with the playbook. However, Dobbs wasn’t the worst QB I’ve seen all year. He could make a roster if he’s given a fair shake. It might not be QB strong roster, but many are not.

  43. denverdave3 says: Apr 5, 2017 9:09 AM

    He may be smart, but he has overlooked something, Aerospace engineers are out of work a lot.

    Most of their employment comes from government contracts that blow wildly in the political winds.

    When the party in power doesn’t want to spend money on spaceships, he’d better have a back-up, back-up plan.

  44. azkurgan says: Apr 5, 2017 12:14 PM

    Wow! Lot’s of inferiority complexes on this board!! All the guy said was that he can handle a pretty tough academic load and that learning a playbook (given study time) is not impossible. He didn’t say he was going to BE a star QB in the league!

    Despite your hating, almost every employer would take this guy over the non-degreed, whining trolls on this thread. Now, raise the gate so that guy can get our of the parking lot…

  45. mostepicgnar says: Apr 5, 2017 5:59 PM

    Speaking of college academics and athletics my buddy had a class with a D1 basketball player. They were put into a group for a project. When he asked the player when they were going to meet to work on the assignment the response was, “I play basketball for ______, we aren’t doing anything”. They got an “A” on the project and never even turned in anything! So I respect Dobbs for the fact he took hard classes because the reality is these schools will bend over backwards to keep the players eligible.

  46. ttwads says: Apr 5, 2017 7:04 PM

    I have a BSASE from UTAustin and an MSASE from Georgia Tech. But, I’m not an athlete, so I don’t think I can figure out an NFL playbook.

  47. breadmeatcheese says: Apr 8, 2017 4:01 PM

    yes but what did he score on the wonderlic.

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