Thursday, August 26, 2010

Breaking down the QB situation

Mike Tomlin said this week that Dennis Dixon will play with the starters on Sunday night in Denver and many people ran off half-cocked thinking that means Dixon has a shot to be the team's starting QB.

That's not the case.

Barring something unforeseen, Byron Leftwich will be the team's starting quarterback when they open the season at Atlanta.

But the coaching staff wants Dixon to get some work with the first team so - as I've been saying all along - when they put some special packages in each game while Ben Roethlisberger is out, he'll be comfortable in that role.

Using both Leftwich and Dixon while Roethlisberger serves his suspension makes sense. It gives opponents another dimension to prepare for, especially since the two QBs have such different styles of play. And the Steelers have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to win some games while Roethlisberger is out.

20 comments:

adamg said...

I like Tomlin, but he plays too much cat and mouse with the media.

I have no problem with Dixon getting first team reps as he'll be the backup QB.

Leftwich needs as much game work as possible with the first team to get his timing down with the WRs and OL. Tomlin insisting on playing BR with the first team and taking away snaps from Leftwich and Dixon serves no real purpose. OK, we get it, you want to show BR he's still loved despite his indiscretions, but enough already.

Anonymous said...

What good does it do him to be straightforward with the media? Why tip his hand?

adamg said...

The "I've got a secret" mentality just bugs me. It's stringing the players along allowing them to think they have a chance when they don't.

Further, what "secrets" are there about Dixon? No opponent will guess he might run with the ball or Arians might call a lot of bootlegs or rollouts, right?
Every team has tape of him playing a regular season game vs Balt last year.

marc said...

just because he doesn't say something to the media doesn't mean the coaches haven't discussed things with the players.

and, in reality, it doesn't really matter what the media and fans know anyway. forcing other teams to spend time on separate styles of offense can only be beneficial for the steelers.

adamg said...

That's true, but players move around (cut, waived, traded, train/socialize together, etc) a lot. I'm sure word gets around what team A is trying to do or hide from team B. That's why withholding info from the general public has never made sense to me. The people who want to know, do.

That said, I think the issue with Dixon is that team has to make a decision to re-sign him after this season when he's an RFA. Like it or not, there's still a good bit of uncertainty about BR. So far, so good, but what if he slips up?
I see this situation as similar to the one with O'Donnell and Stewart. Do you keep a guy who took you to a Super Bowl or go with a rather unknown quantity?

I suspect that's why the Steelers want a longer look at Dixon, not because there's a competition with Leftwich.

Dale Lolley said...

Tomlin has never stated in the media that they will use Dixon in that way.

Anonymous said...

Wait, now Mendenhall has a broken arm?

Anonymous said...

Apparently it's a bad rumor. He got his arm checked out and it morphed into a bad story that his arm was broken. Here's a link to a story:

http://kdka.com/steelers/Rashard.Mendenhall.arm.2.1883337.html

Anonymous said...

You don't get tests done on your arm unless there's something wrong with it, so the rumor has to be at least partially true.

SteelRose said...

Here's a thought, its non-QB, but a thought... Ive been reading the Pats former starting running back Lawrence Mulroney is bound for the cutting room floor. He ran a 4.4 in college and the combine. Yes, a bit injury prone, but faster than any backs we have. We need a back to help stretch the field, and a veteran one would be nice. I say Summers to the P. Squad, DJ Johnson at FB split with Redman in the Pony formation to allow for the addition. Thoughts? Oh, and I dont wanna hear "Willie Parker" cause his tread is gone, and he recently made his move to 3rd string. Let it go.

Brawny Tom said...

@SteelRose: You realize Mendenhall ran a 4.45 at his combine and that was more recent. Also, it's Laurence Maroney, not Lawrence Mulroney.

SteelRose said...

BT- Aww typo, who cares. Anyhow, a fast veteran back would be valuable. And he may be available.

Anonymous said...

A fast veteran back may be valuable....but it's very unlikely that 'fast veteran who is valuable' is ol' Florence Maroney.

The guy is the definition of overrated. Fringe player at best. He's repeatedly been beat out for playing time by dinosaurs like Fred Taylor and such 'luminaries' as Sammie Morris, Kevin Faulk, Heath Evans, et al. No thankee.

Dale Lolley said...

Maroney has never been able to win the starting job in NE. He's had some fumbling and injury problems. But from what I've heard about him, he's not all that swift, that's why the Pats don't like him.

Anonymous said...

Dale, what is wrong with Mendenhall's arm?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dale Lolley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Dale, what is wrong with Mendenhall's arm?"

Seborrhoea.

adamg said...

Nothing is wrong with Mendy's arm. He practiced and will play tonight. The rumor was started by a local radio sports talk show host and was never true.

adamg said...

I think the qb "controversy" is pretty much over. So far Dixon has looked like a 3rd year qb who has 1 game of real NFL experience.

I might add the kick off and CB competition are over, too. Reed will kick off and McFadden will start at CB.