JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Playing quarterback in the NFL isn’t even the most complex task in Joshua Dobbs’ life.
Dobbs graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in aerospace engineering, and this offseason, the Jaguars backup quarterback put that degree to good use when he spent some time working at the Kennedy Space Center.
The Jaguars probably have the most interesting quarterback room in the NFL. On one hand, there’s Gardner Minshew II, the second-year sensation who enters the season as the starter and has already captivated north Florida with his play and persona.
Minshew spent time this offseason riding across the country in an RV and flying in Navy fighter jets.
On the other hand, there’s Dobbs.
Dobbs didn’t go on a road trip, but he did put his degree in aerospace engineering from Tennessee to good use at the Kennedy Space Center.
“I think it is fun to have that personality in the room, to be so different and so unique in our love and passion for the game. … You know to be the most unique most interesting QB room in the world, that’s the goal, right? And, also win some football games,” Dobbs said.
For Dobbs, getting the chance to work at NASA has been over a year in the works. He was supposed to participate in a program with NASA last year, but a government shutdown happened, and it didn’t happen. Dobbs said it was worth the wait and it was a moment that he has been dreaming about since he was a kid.
“Any kid that is interested in space aviation says, ‘I want to work for NASA.’ So, to actually do it was really truly amazing” Dobbs said.
Dobbs has been interested in aviation since he was a kid. He used to beg his parents to take him to the Cracker Barrel restaurant just so he could get a wooden airplane from the gift shop. Dobbs said that toy taught him some of his first lessons about flight.
“I had a lot of those little Cracker Barrel airplanes running around and it was interesting as I started to figure out actually. The first time I got one I put it all together. Threw it. Crashed. Broke. And I said, ‘Oh, I’ll just get one in a week.’ And as I grew it was like, ‘Oh, this is actually how an airplane works,” he said.
“I was supposed to do this, I was actually supposed to use the flaps. I was supposed to make sure the wing is centered on the plane so it is not doing a spiral to the left. I actually figured out this is how a plane works.”
One day, Dobbs said he would love to work for NASA.
But right now, Dobbs is focused on being the best NFL quarterback he can be. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a quarterback but it sure doesn’t hurt.
“Both are unique positions because you are given a problem. You have to think critically to solve that problem, solve it in the most efficient way. Then, you are faced with another problem. Then, it is building blocks, building blocks, building blocks to get you to the final problem. And it is a culmination of all the problems you solved so far.”