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Friday, September 03, 2010

Post-Carolina thoughts

Well, we wanted a decision on who the Steelers' QB would be against Atlanta and it's apparent that player will be Dennis Dixon.

I asked Mike Tomlin after the game if he pulled Dixon out because he didn't want to get him hurt. He said yes.

That tells me that Tomlin is planning on starting Dixon.

He could change his mind and go with Charlie Batch, though the coaching staff knows Charlie is injury prone at this point in his career - hence their decision to have him throw just four passes in more than two quarters.

But it's easier to go with Dixon and hope the defense can keep things close and overcome any mistakes he may make.

With the way this offensive line is run blocking, they should be able to take some pressure off Dixon and control the clock.

That's right, I'm raving about the run blocking of this offensive line - OK, I'm not raving. But I like the way they're getting off the ball.

We're seeing some nasty out of this offensive line, particularly when they line up and go straight ahead.

This is a big offensive line - probably the biggest in team history with the addition of Flozell Adams at right tackle. And they can use that to their advantage.

Perhaps it serves Tomlin right that his choice to replace Ben Roethlisberger during his suspension was injured when a second-team offensive lineman got rag-dolled and leg whipped the quarterback.

Jonathan Scott had played reasonably well to this point, but he's still a backup. You shouldn't have your QB in the game with backup linemen unless you absolutely have to.

It's a lesson you would have thought Tomlin would have learned last week in Denver when he nearly got Leftwich killed playing behind second and third stringers before yanking him after just two series.

He probably won't make the same mistake ever again.


adamg said...

Honestly can't understand why Tomlin insisted on starting BR and taking preseason game snaps away from the 3 qbs who were going to play. Tomlin demonstrated in the first practice that BR is still the starter. That should have been enough to quell any thoughts to the contrary.

It's disappointing BR, a team captain, did not see fit to step aside on his own for the good of the team rather than insisting on playing so he could practice with the first team. He put Tomlin in the position of having to play Leftwich behind at least several second team OL.

Anonymous said...

I think you're being entirely too critical of Tomlin. It's not like Flozell Adams has looked like an all-pro tackle. Leftwich could have just as easily gotten hurt with Adams starting, Moore started the process of Leftwich getting hurt.
I don't agree with Ben getting so much time with the first string. However, Tomlin was put in a situation that no other Coach has ever been put in. A situation that is the fault of one person. Maybe Ben should have shutup and quit lobbying to play every game. If Tomlin should get any blame it's that obviously he can't tell Ben no.

Anonymous said...

It was careless and stupid for Tomlin to have Leftwich out there behind the second team offensive line.

If we start out with a bad record because Dixon makes big mistakes and blows game the blame should rest with Tomlin.

Anonymous said...

I believe Coach Tomlin was going to start Dixon no matter what, because if Dixon faltered early on he could just bring Leftwich. I don't agree with that but it looks like that was what Tomlin was thinking all along.

Anonymous said...

Tomlin is an idiot

other teams didnt play any starters at all this game and idiot Tomlin puts Lefty out with the 2nd string line and doesnt play Lefty in game 3

F U tomlin, ur a goddam idiot

Anonymous said...

Goin' for two from the twelve.

marc said...

you can never predict injuries, but if this QB situation had been handled in a commense sense manner then Lefty and Dixon would have already gotten the reps they needed and wouldn't have been in there to get hurt in the first place.

poor planning, poor management, poor decision making...poor coaching.

adamg said...

Exactly. Tomlin rightly gets the brunt of blame, but BR deserves a share, too. He needed to show leadership and step aside. The team should have treated BR as if he were injured not suspended.

keevin said...

Dale - they are cutting Randel El right? Battle is a better receiver imo


marc said...

you think they will keep brown over randle el?

keevin said...

idk, i was asking

i'd rather have Brown

maybe they need Randel El as a backup QB now though LOL

Anonymous said...

"I believe Coach Tomlin was going to start Dixon no matter what, because if Dixon faltered early on he could just bring Leftwich. I don't agree with that but it looks like that was what Tomlin was thinking all along."

It was the complete opposite I believe. Start with the veteran, if he sucks then go with the young guy and see if he can win better

The injury sucks, but assigning blame isn't going to make it better. Like dixon said- the team has to move forward

and they will more than likely keep six receivers. Yes, El will probably be the emergency QB 3 now, lol.

Anonymous said...

OH NO! Leftwich is out?!? What will we ever do? Steeler Nation is in dire straits!!

You guys are idiots. I cannot believe how much confidence you have in a bum like Leftwich. I'm glad he's not too injured and only out for the next few weeks because, guess what? He is terrible. TERRIBLE. He's been terrible everywhere he's played at the pro level. He has one throwing speed, a horrible delivery and 0 mobility. In 8 seasons, he's never been above 60% passing. He brings absolutely nothing, nothing to the table. Great, he filled in a couple years ago for a few games. Wooo.

And I'm sick of hearing how injury prone Batch is, when Leftwich has been injured 3 of the last 4 seasons, going on IR for two of those. The guy is lousy and we are no worse off with Dixon or Batch than him. We are better off.

And to the guy up top there, who just can't understand why Ben was getting reps, um, please learn about football a little bit. Ben needs reps to get in sync with the rest of the team. GAME reps, not practice ones. He threw what, 20 passes or so all preseason?

Bunch of f**king whiny babies second guessing a guy who knows more about football than all of us combined.

Anonymous said...

^ cool story bro

Dale Lolley said...

Running the guy you want to be your starting quarterback out in each of the past two games behind second and third-team offensive linemen isn't smart, prudent or anything of the sort.

And I don't blame Roethlisberger. He's doing what the coach tells him to do. Can he or did he lobby to play? Sure. He's a player. But the coach decides when that playing time comes.

And I do not believe they're cutting Randle El.

Anonymous said...

"And I'm sick of hearing how injury prone Batch is, when Leftwich has been injured 3 of the last 4 seasons, going on IR for two of those. The guy is lousy and we are no worse off with Dixon or Batch than him. We are better off."

Leftwich's injuries have no relevance on whether Batch is injury prone or not. The thing is Batch *is* injury prone. Last year he broke his wrist in his only 3 plays of the year during OT against KC. Can anyone even point to exactly when he got hurt? I only remember a failed screen pass and then news that he was hurt. Before that he hurt his shoulder in preseason trying to fight for extra yards - something a veteran like him should know *not* to do especially in preseason. Before that I believe he broke his hand during a regular season game when he was fighting for extra yards.

Other than that I do agree with you. I will also admit if I didn't think Batch was such a fragile person I would want him to be the starter. He has the experience plus he has a softer touch to his throws than Leftwich.

I would say of the QB's: Dixon has the best chance to win games, but the biggest chance to lose them. I think Batch would have been the best game manager (neither win nor lose), and I would have put Leftwich between Batch and Dixon - he would be less likely to lose games compared to Dixon and more likely to win compared to Batch.

Anonymous said...

"Running the guy you want to be your starting quarterback out in each of the past two games behind second and third-team offensive linemen isn't smart, prudent or anything of the sort."

Okay, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought at the time of the injury the Steelers o-line was Starks, Kemo, Pouncey, Essex, and Scott.

That is primarily the line that Leftwich would have been playing behind any way - with the exception of Scott replacing Adams. Scott was the one who ended up colliding with Leftwich. I don't see the big deal. Would everyone be making the same complaints if the same exact scenario played out in game 1 vs Atlanta? Adams goes down and is replaced by his backup who ends up taking out our QB. I don't see how this specific injury has any relevance to the QB debate. If anything it looks like people who didn't like the way the QB rotation was handled from the beginning are just using this as a point of reference. To me it was a fluke injury no matter who it was or what string they were.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Russ Grimm/Ken Whisenhunt would take a straight-up Justin Hartwig/Matt Leinart swap?

marc said...

anyone that thinks #7 needs reps on september 2nd to be in sync with the offense for a game on october 17th is misguided to say the least.

Dave Las Vegas said...

What did M.Vick do to get his suspension droped from six games to two ? The Steelers sure could of used a break here in trying to get the commissioner to reduce Ben's suspension from six games down to two. Dave W. in Las Vegas

Patrick said...

This thread is amazing. Keep up the great comments guys. Really great insight.

adamg said...

Really, Ben needed first team game snaps yesterday to be ready for a game on Oct 17th? By my count that's 47 days between games or nearly 7 weeks.

I'm sure the Rooneys read Ben the riot act, but they should also haved made clear getting the team ready for the season was the top priority and getting him ready was a secondary concern. If that meant reps with the 2nd and 3rd team, so be it. Tomlin should have said the same.

Dale Lolley said...

I agree completely Adam.

kyle said...

so, if Ben had been behind the the 2nd string line (which really wasn't the 2nd string line) and gotten injured everybody would have been ok? There's no pleasing some people.

adamg said...

Or maybe he just doesn't play in any preseason games. BR brought this on himself. Football is an unsentimental game and if getting the team ready to start the season means BR takes a back seat, so be it.

And, yeah, the right side of the OL, which collapsed into Leftwich were 2nd teamers Scott and Legursky.

kyle said...

The Post-Gazette reported Scott was subbing in for Adams who had been playing LT before that. Which means Scott was subbing for a sub. Maybe they were wrong but that's not really the point.

So, you don't play Ben to teach him a lesson. You don't play Byron because he's your starter for four weeks. Do you play Dixon who is your backup/special packages QB? Or does fragile Charlie play the whole game?

Really I just have a problem with people saying the QB situation has been botched, as though there is a right way to get reps for four QBs in this situation. You don't want the first live game experience Ben has with several new receivers and a new center to be in the regular season. There are several weeks between but some game work is necessary.

adamg said...

Scott was at RT. Adams has not taken a snap at LT and there was no reason for him to be there since he won't be playing LT unless there is some drastic circumstance.

Apparently you believe BR is more important than the team; I don't.

kyle said...

Watch the tape, Scott came from the left side. I've seen it reported in two places that the line at the time from left was: Scott, Legursky, Pouncey, Essex, Adams.

and no, i don't. I think 12 games are more important than 4.

kyle said...

rewatching the game. that's the last time i trust the post gazette about line personnel. scott was at right tackle but starks was still in the game. so i apologize for that. still wasn't really the point though. you can't really make a case that ben should have taken no first team reps during the preseason, there isn't a coach in the league who would do that in the same situation.