View Full Version : Trade puts Dixon in awkward position

04-21-2010, 07:14 AM
Trade puts Dixon in awkward position
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Wednesday April 21, 2010 12:04 AM

PITTSBURGH — When the Steelers report to training camp in late July, there’s going to be a competition for the starting quarterback job: Dennis Dixon vs. Byron Leftwich.

That scenario is made possible due to the uncertainty surrounding Ben Roethlisberger.

With Roethlisberger facing a multi-game suspension for his behavior on a bar-hopping spree in Georgia last month, the Steelers are preparing themselves for what figures to be an interesting start to the 2010 season.

That’s why they swung a deal Tuesday with the Buccaneers and acquired Leftwich for a seventh-round draft pick.

An eighth-year pro, Leftwich knows the Steelers’ system well. He was Roethlisberger’s backup in 2008 before moving on to Tampa Bay last year where he went 0-3 before losing his starting job.

As early as today, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the punishment he’ll impose on Roethlisberger for breaking the NFL’s personal conduct policy last month.

After the Steelers practiced Tuesday in their second of 14 allowed organized team activities this spring, Dixon said he looks forward to playing in any games Roethlisberger would miss — whether it be two, four or more.

“There’s going to be big shoes to fill … Ben Roethlisberger’s … if that (suspension) were to happen,” said Dixon, a former Oregon star who’s in his third year with the Steelers.

“But I’m always a competitor. I always say yes (when asked) if I’m ready to start.”

Dixon only played in one game last year, that coming on Nov. 29 in Baltimore. Forced to start because Roethlisberger was recovering from a concussion, Dixon held his own in a 20-17 overtime loss to the Ravens.

He completed 12 of 26 passes for 145 yards. He threw a touchdown pass and ran for a TD.

But he also served up an interception in OT that led to the Ravens’ game-winning field goal.

“I think people forget that in Dennis Dixon, we’re talking about a guy who had the possibility of winning the Heisman Trophy (in 2007) and playing for national championship,” Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said. “You know, (Florida’s) Tim Tebow may have never won the Heisman if Dennis Dixon doesn’t go down against Arizona.”

The Ducks were 8-1 and ranked No. 2 according to the BCS poll when Dixon suffered a season-ending knee injury at Arizona.

Dixon is fully recovered from that injury.

“Right now, I’m just trying to gain the trust of my teammates, just like I did that one time in Baltimore,” said Dixon, a fifth-round pick in 2008. “There are a lot of practices to be had, and I’m looking forward to those practices.”

After all, Dixon will be competing against Leftwich for the right to start the Sept. 12 season opener against the Falcons at Heinz Field.

04-21-2010, 08:34 AM
Lefty was brought in to be the backup. They're assuming Batch will be on IR :chuckle:

Dino 6 Rings
04-21-2010, 09:01 AM
Batch will be a QB coach before too long. No worries for Dixon.

04-21-2010, 09:07 AM
I like having Dixon on our roster, Byron is great insurance. I prefer him over Batch on the field.

04-21-2010, 10:46 AM
The thing is what "trade" are they referring to? The one of Big Ben (potentially) or the one for Lefty? While the article speaks of Lefty, I'm a little more concerned about the position of this team should they trade away Ben. He made a mistake and the Rooney's have allowed a few other players to prove themselves redeemed of their bad decisions, do they no longer have the patience for anyone? He was not charged, and it's all accusations at this point. To punish him in such a way sends the wrong message.

As for Dixon, this could also be his time to shine!

Men of Steel
04-21-2010, 11:00 AM
Leftwich is a SOLID BACKUP. no more than that.

DIXON has aaall the potential and talent. just needs the Reps.

hes a smart kid. hes accurate. and hes faster than just about any player on the other teams defense.

ill take DD over leftwich as our starter for the first few games this year.