By Alex Norman
Alex Norman: What are you trying to improve on?
Joshua Dobbs: It is constant improvement at the QB position. Timing, rhythm and spacing with the receivers… that just comes with more reps on the practice field, throwing routes during and after practice and also making sure I am on the same page with the other position groups, with the offensive line, the running backs, the wide receivers. If we are all on the same page we will be able to operate faster and more efficiently.
AN: Was there any difference in how you approach things now that you are the starter right from the get go?
JD: When you are the starter you get more reps and more is expected out of you. But I felt like my approach has been consistent across my camps. I always tried to approach them as if I was the starter. The way I watch film, the way I am on the practice field… treating every repetition like it is a game rep. I feel like that has helped me over my past two years and has helped me prepare for this situation now.
AN: What do you think when you hear people say things like, “This Tennessee team goes as far as Joshua Dobbs takes them?”
JD: I guess I don’t buy into that because football is a team game. I can do my part but all 11 guys on the field have to be on the same page for us to be successful, and we understand that. As a team we don’t buy into that. We know if each of us maximizes our potential and plays efficiently, then we will be a successful team.
AN: Is it interesting that the team’s expectations have risen at the same time that people’s expectations of you have risen?
JD: Our team we always hold ourselves to a high standard. The way we practice, the way we take the field, the way we watch film, and our overall intensity. We want to be successful. There are a lot of competitors on this team that want to win and that is what we are trying to do.
AN: You bring back 10 starters on offense and have lots of other returning and new talent. Do you see it as your job to make them better?
JD: As the quarterback you have to push people to get better every day. You are the leader of the offense and you are the leader of the team. You push guys to compete and to grow on and off the field. That is obviously my job. But I don’t just do it myself. We have a player staff with 8 guys that help me out in pushing guys to make this team as successful as it can be.
AN: There aren’t many football players that major in aerospace engineering. How does that help you on the football side?
JD: Overall time management… knowing how to utilize my time effectively, and assuring that I am successful on and off the field is huge. Just the way I study, it is the same way I study in the classroom to be successful on various tests and quizzes, and my course load is the same way I study for football, and getting ready for games on Saturday.
AN: How do you guys handle the increased expectations for this team?
JD: We try not to look at outside expectations. We know what our expectations are for ourselves and for our own goals. Anytime we step on the field we expect to win. As a competitor that is the type of mindset that you have to have. So we have our own expectations for ourselves and we just live up to our expectations.
AN: The perception of Tennessee football has certainly changed from the first time you stepped on campus a couple of years ago to the way it is today…
JD: I mean yeah, but if you look at it throughout history Tennessee football has always been a prestigious program. There have always been a lot of high expectations. You come to Tennessee, you come for SEC championships, a national championship and all the guys that are here… that is why we came to Tennessee so we know the stature of this program and we are trying to uphold that every day.