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fordfixer
09-03-2010, 11:12 PM
Starting season with Batch is only answer
Leftwich injured, inexperienced Dixon leaves only one quarterback
Friday, September 03, 2010
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10246/1084743-87.stm

You are about to read a sentence that I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be writing this morning.

The starting quarterback for your Steelers in their opening game against the Atlanta Falcons a week from Sunday will be Charlie Batch.

Not Dennis Dixon.

Really.

No, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin didn't confide any state secrets in me Thursday night after the 19-3 exhibition win against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field. He was typically evasive about the team's messy quarterback situation, confirming only that presumptive replacement starter Byron Leftwich had a sprained left knee. That means Leftwich, who was injured in the second quarter, almost certainly won't play against the Falcons, maybe not in any of the four games that real starter Ben Roethlisberger is expected to miss because of his NFL-mandated suspension.

Going with Batch instead of Dixon merely makes the most sense.

With their defense, the Steelers don't figure to need their quarterback to win the games in Roethlisberger's absence. He just can't lose them. Dixon is much more likely than Batch to make the crucial mistakes. In his most expansive playing time in the preseason with and against first-team players -- in Denver Sunday night -- he threw two interceptions, one in the Broncos' end zone, the other that was returned 77 yards for a touchdown.

Batch's experience gives him a huge edge.

That doesn't mean the Steelers can't use Dixon in special packages, just as they were planning to do with Leftwich if Leftwich hadn't gotten hurt.

It just means Batch has to be the guy who starts and gets most of the plays.

"Whichever way it goes, I'll be ready," Batch said.

What a day it was for Batch. He showed up at Heinz Field thinking he might be putting on his Steelers uniform for the final time. He seemed certain to be released in the final cuts Saturday.

"Now, you're talking that I might be the starter. Amazing," Batch said.

It's not the best of situations by any stretch.

"I didn't get the reps in training camp," Batch said, the odd man out as Tomlin worked to get Roethlisberger ready for his post-suspension and Leftwich and Dixon ready for those first four games.

But ...

"I've got to make it work if they call on me," Batch said.

The reason Batch was No. 4 in the four-man quarterback derby was because of his reputation for being injury prone. Tomlin couldn't afford to give him a lot of practice time and then have him break down the first time he was hit.

"That's fair because my injuries happened," Batch said. But he thought he showed Tomlin something the way he stood up to a beating in mop-up duty against the Broncos. "I took three solid shots and got up and continued to play ... I have no doubt I can play four games or how many ever it is without getting hurt again."

It would be funny that Leftwich is the quarterback who got hurt if it weren't so sad. It happened right after he zipped a pass to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for an 18-yard gain when he appeared to get tangled with running back Mewelde Moore, who was blocking for him.

"I've been good friends with Byron for a long time," Batch said. "I feel for him because he's worked so hard to get to this point."

Dixon took over the offense after Leftwich's injury and quickly threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Sanders with 9:09 left in the second quarter. It turned out to be his only pass because Tomlin shut him down for the night. Batch played the final 2 1/2 quarters.

Initially, I thought that was to save Dixon for the Falcons and not risk him being hurt. But the more I look at it, I'm convinced it was to get Batch some much-needed work even if he threw only four passes.

"Either way, I'll take it," Batch said.

So the Steelers' strange and unprecedented quarterback situation -- set up by Roethlisberger's deplorable decisions in a Milledgeville, Ga., college bar March 4 when he was accused but not charged with rape -- took another crazy turn.

Who knows what's going to happen today?

Roethlisberger and Steelers president Art Rooney II are expected to meet today with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York to ask that Roethlisberger's conditional suspension be reduced from six games based on good behavior. Goodell has indicated if he reduces it, it will be to four games.

The Steelers can hope, right?

Not everybody is, though.

"Going to bars -- treating women like that; oh my God, I pray they don't cut it to four games," former Steelers great Terry Bradshaw told the Shreveport Times. "I hope they leave it at six. There is no excuse for that. The egos got out of hand."

It's never good when one Steelers quarterback legend criticizes another. But in this bizarre summer, it only seems appropriate.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10246/10 ... z0yWkAu8nl (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10246/1084743-87.stm#ixzz0yWkAu8nl)

Doogie36
09-04-2010, 09:05 AM
AHHHHH only answer yet we bring in Lefty and have batch take like 2 1/2 snaps all of training camp and now he's the only answer???? Seriously!!!

This board and some of this stuff frustrates the crap out of me at times. We have the answer in Dixon! No he's not BEN.....yes he will throw an INT once inwhile but we still do need to score 17 points probably to win a few games. I dont think Charlie Batch is capable of doing that for us and it's clear the Steelers staff didnt feel that way either as he was about to be CUT!!!!!!

Dixon can get us those points!!!! Yes he might mess up but So did BEN!!!!!

Alan Faneca didnt want to play with BEN!!!!!! I'm sure the boards were all crying over Maddox getting hurt as well!!!!!!!!! What happened next???? TOMMY WHO??? This league is all about NOW!!!! Not 10 years ago!!!!!! Lets move ahead steelers fan and lets give the ball to the player that provides an UPSIDE!!!!

Gameplanning for a running QB is a lot harder then a guy who takes a 3 step drop! I hate to bust anyone's bubble here!!!! Even Troy got punked out by VICK!!!! It can and will happen!!!! Dixon will extend the play and make defenses account for him on every play!!!! EVERY PLAY!!!!!!!!!!

With Batch you can blitz the house on everydown!!!!!!! Has anyone played football before??? I mean really??? I only played flag football and even then a RUNNING QB was the hardest thing to defend!!! I know this is PRO FOOTBALL but there's a reason why the WILDCAT works and there's a reason why A VICK or KORDELL was able to get a team to the playoffs!!! It' wasn't their ARM!!!!!!! BIig Ben sucked in his first AFC Championship Game. Big Ben sucked in his first Super Bowl!!!!!! What happened??? The boy just got better and better!!!!!!! Imagine that!!!

I for one am willing to suffer the growing pains then to turn the clock back to the 1980's and bring back TOMMY GUN!!! I still have Tommy Gun FLakes unopened if anyone wants to bring him back as well!!!!!!!! LOL

This stuff kills me!!!!!!

proudpittsburgher
09-04-2010, 09:12 AM
I don't necessarily agree with everything you say. It is likely that Batch was going to get cut, true enough, but that's only because he was the second best option as a vet QB. DD clearly has the most upside, but he is not quite ready yet, and in the situation the Steelers find themselves in (need a QB to win as many out of 4 as they can) DD wasn't ready for that. I think the Steelers have always intended to keep a vet QB, and now Batch is that guy because of the injury. All he really is is insurance paid in case DD fails miserably in a backup role. And he will be a lot better teacher than Lefty would have been, IMO. And, FWIW, by the end of training camp, I thought Batch outplayed Lefty, but Lefty had the benefit of a few more years left in the tank. This isn't a clear-cut decision for the Steelers, and they have a lot ot take into consideration. When you add all of that up, it makes more sense, to me, to let Batch start, and let DD take 10-15 snaps per game in a Michael Vick role.

Steelerphile
09-04-2010, 09:25 AM
I certainly don't think Batch is the only answer and agree with Doogie that an athletic QB is not as simple to stop as some of the board posters imply. The opposition can put on a spy and think he can't execute a hot read, but Dixon can still cross them up with good execution or just outrun and beat them with ability.

I actually think the time is right to give the start to Dixon. He has been getting the most work and reps. Batch has experience but in football years he is old and creaky and probably a little rusty because he hasn't played much for a few years.

For most of the preseason Dixon performed well. Some may take the attitude that he was exposed by the Denver debacle. I would take the opposite approach that it was one of those hard lessons that every player needs in the growth and development phase. That is why the preseaon is valuable, for those voices wanting to extinguish it. Dixon hopefully learned something but it didn't really cost the team anything.

He also will be playing in front of the home crowd which should create an atmosphere more conducive to success. So, I am hoping Dixon gets the start. If they are looking bad at halftime, then hope Batch can bring them back.

aggiebones
09-04-2010, 10:40 AM
I think we all agree that Lefty WOULD have started and Dixon would have gotten like 10 plays to do what he does.

Now I think it will be Batch, but Dixon will get more plays.

Why?

Well clearly Batch hasn't had the time, but he's a veteran that understand the nuances of the game. This will also give defensive coordinators more to think about during the week. Remember after this first game, teams only really have 3 days max to really put things together. Any prework done was for Lefty, so that's trash now.

In conclusion, I think its about a 60% chance that Dixon plays the game, but I see a real chance that we go with the veteran Batch and work Dixon in more each game. By game 4, maybe it will be all Dixon who knows.
Its certainly a fluid situation.

Anyone that blindly thinks this is for Dixon and the NFL is a now league, doesn't really understand what now means. For St. Louis, Bradford is the now because they suck. For Pittsburgh, it is about who can win games and right now, we don't need as much from our QB to go .500. I could see Dixon going 0-4 QUITE easily and mostly on his mistakes. He's clueless in the art of the NFL QB.

Shoe
09-04-2010, 10:43 AM
You guys, forgive me for the hijack (though, it was in the article): why does Bradshaw/Ben have heat with one another?

Shawn
09-04-2010, 10:52 AM
Cook is very wrong. Batch has gotten very few snaps with the first team. That coupled with the noodle arm means we start Dixon. And we will take our lumps. We will have a very simple O and we will be running ALOT.

Relentless7
09-04-2010, 11:53 AM
Actually it doesn't matter a LICK what you, I or anyone else says about our QB situation. All you have to do is listen to what Tomlin and the front office have NOT been saying. They just do NOT feel confident in handing the reigns over to Dixon. If they did they would have NEVER brought back Lefty this spring, and Dixon would have split time with Ben in TC, and Tomlin would have anointed DD the starter while Ben was out. But for any of a number of reasons they have not.

Whether it's the fact they're concerned with the amount of turnovers, or the fact they do NOT want to have to go into games with a drastically "scaled down" play book, or the fact they view Dixon as Kordell... without the arm. They just have never been comfortable with Dixon as "the Man". Which I guess begs the question if you don't even trust him to start 4 games for you, why is he on the roster in the first place, but I digress.

My "gut" feeling is Batch will start week 1... but by the time we get around to week 4 DD is the starter. I hope I'm wrong because in that scenerio Batch (and therefore the Steelers) will have struggled.

Doogie36
09-05-2010, 11:58 PM
By saying this is a NOW league all you have to do is look at the Steelers!!!

Neil Odonnel to Kordell Stewart!!! Was Kordell REALLY ready??? Went from Slash to starter while Neil still had a productive few seasons after going elsewhere!!!! Kordell gave us the NOW!!!!!!!!!!

Maddox to Big Ben......nobody was excited about this NOW!!! What happened when Maddox was able to play again??? Oh i know...he sat himself on the bench and we didnt go crying for a MADDOX return. It was a NOW situation!!! What happened next??? the unthinkable!!! Ben was NOWHERE ready to take over nor did he know how to read a defense!!! He made plays with his legs.

We are asking either QB to manage a game here!!! Dixon nor batch will throw for 300 yards!!!!!!!!!!! I sure like the extra options Dixon brings to both the running game and passing game!!!!

the NFL has always been a NOW league!!! How many times did JEROME BETTIS sit on the bench???? He had to keep showing he had something left!!!!!!!!!!!! Tomlinson....its not about what he did before....what will he DO NOW with the JETS.....T.O...same thing...............ITS A NOW LEAGUE!!!!!!!! Stop living in the past steeler fans!!!

The time is NOW!!!! I for one am way more excited to watch week 1 with Dixon under center than i am watching Charlie!!!! If Batch Stars I say he's hurt by halftime!!!! THEN WHAT DO WE DO???? Randle El???? LOL......I sure hope he's getting REPS in practice too!!! LOL

RuthlessBurgher
09-06-2010, 03:26 AM
Neil Odonnel to Kordell Stewart!!! Was Kordell REALLY ready??? Went from Slash to starter while Neil still had a productive few seasons after going elsewhere!!!! Kordell gave us the NOW!!!!!!!!!!

Was Kordell really ready when O'Donnell went elsewhere? No, he was not. O'Donnell's last year in Pittsburgh was 1995. In 1996, Jim Miller started the first game and Mike Tomczak started the other 15 games. We went 10-6 that year with a game manager at QB, won the AFC Central, and beat the Colts in the first round of the playoffs before losing to New England that year. Your logic is flawed. When O'Donnell left, it was Mike Tomczak that gave us the NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kordell Stewart did not start at QB until 1997. Nice try, though.

eniparadoxgma
09-06-2010, 03:32 AM
Come on, now. Let's not let facts get in the way of a nice rant. :tt2

Doogie36
09-06-2010, 06:10 AM
WOW i stand corrected!! Totally forgot that year!!! Just like we will all forget this year if Batch starts!!!

Doesnt change the fact that this league is a NOW LEAGUE!!!! Doesnt change the fact of anything else I said!!!!!

If you think Charlie oh i hurt myself again Batch can hold up for 4 games you are sadly mistaken!!!

This is a SMOKE SCREEN!!! It's all it is!!! You dont take a QB who's almost been cut 2 years in a row now and make him a starter again!!! Let's keep this REAL!!!

Again I'm glad I'm in IRAQ if Batch is week 1's starter!!!! If he is this will the unhappiest I've been watching the steelers since JIM MILLER started the year I dont even remember!!!!! I'd rather have MARK MALONE or BUBBY BRISTER play again then Charlie I can play 1/2 before getting hurt Batch!!!!

Bring on BUBBY BRISTER THREAD!!!!!

Steelerphile
09-06-2010, 07:00 AM
It is being portrayed that Dixon played poorly in the preseason. When that is not true. Dixon overall had a QB rating of 99.3 and threw for 327 yards in limited action. 2 TDs and 2 picks.

Batch threw 10 passes and also had a pick. 80.3 passer rating. Batch did not outperform Dixon in the preseason. Batch is 4 years removed from extensive playing time and overall in his career he is not a winner. 22-28 record as a starter.

Dixon's movement is 5 times better than Batch's and I still think it is unfair to say Dixon cannot read defenses and pass accurately. I do somewhat question his arm strength but I question Batch's arm strength also.

The fact is you don't really get to know a QB well until he has a number of starts. Those who say Dixon can't do this and that can be proven wrong. Denver was one of those games. It happens to the best. It was a learning experience. It was preseason. If Dixon were to start doesn't anyone think the coaches will emphasize to him to throw the ball away in similar situations and have evidence on film as a teaching tool?

They will emphasize the run and pass sparingly with either and Dixon has the ability to escape the pass rush or make something happen with his legs when something breaks down. The time is right to start Dixon.

Relentless7
09-06-2010, 07:29 AM
I think that's part of the point. This will be Dixon's 3rd year in the league. You CAN'T take your practice time in the constraints on a weekly NFL film/ meetings/ practice schedule and say "Now Dennis, in this situation you have to throw the ball away." or "When the MLB does this... and the safety creeps this way... it's going to mean they're blitzing and you need to check down to this" At some point you either "get it" as an NFL quarterback or you don't.

Dixon is an AMAZING athlete. To write him off as saying he will never be able to contribute to this team is DEAD wrong. He can be VERY successful in a "package" of a handful of plays... practiced and run to precision. In THAT role he can (and will) be a NIGHTMARE for opposing D Coordinators. But Dixon will NOT EVER (imo anyhow) be a "regular" starting QB in the NFL.

He has a ton of skills as a football player. But being an every down QB just isn't one of them.

Steelerphile
09-06-2010, 07:46 AM
I think that's part of the point. This will be Dixon's 3rd year in the league. You CAN'T take your practice time in the constraints on a weekly NFL film/ meetings/ practice schedule and say "Now Dennis, in this situation you have to throw the ball away." or "When the MLB does this... and the safety creeps this way... it's going to mean they're blitzing and you need to check down to this" At some point you either "get it" as an NFL quarterback or you don't.

Dixon is an AMAZING athlete. To write him off as saying he will never be able to contribute to this team is DEAD wrong. He can be VERY successful in a "package" of a handful of plays... practiced and run to precision. In THAT role he can (and will) be a NIGHTMARE for opposing D Coordinators. But Dixon will NOT EVER (imo anyhow) be a "regular" starting QB in the NFL.

He has a ton of skills as a football player. But being an every down QB just isn't one of them.

Dixon has one start in the regular season so it is nothing strange about him still being in position to learn. If he were a two-year starter I think your observation about about either you "get it" or don't would have more validity. Three years in the league but nothing replaces actual game experience. He has hardly any and he can obviously still learn. Read again what I said about you don't really know a QB until he has a number of starts. I think that is true.

Maybe he won't be a starter in the league. I'm saying he is a better option than Batch right now. I think he should get the oppotunity.

Ozey74
09-06-2010, 08:14 AM
I think it would be great if the Steelers trott Batch out there for the 1st play of the game and go with Dixon the rest of the way.

Batch being the starter makes no sense. Dixon has been groomed at TC to be ready to play with the big boys. Batch played against the 2nd & 3rd stringers on the JV team.

I've always like Tomlin for the most part, but if he goes with Batch for 4 games and we go 0-4 & 1-3, I will rethinking my opinion on Tomlin.

BradshawsHairdresser
09-06-2010, 10:35 PM
Batch being the starter makes no sense. Dixon has been groomed at TC to be ready to play with the big boys. Batch played against the 2nd & 3rd stringers on the JV team.



Evidently, Tomlin agreed with you. Seems he didn't believe that "starting the season with Batch is the only answer."

fordfixer
09-06-2010, 11:11 PM
Batch being the starter makes no sense. Dixon has been groomed at TC to be ready to play with the big boys. Batch played against the 2nd & 3rd stringers on the JV team.



Evidently, Tomlin agreed with you. Seems he didn't believe that "starting the season with Batch is the only answer."


Tomlin must not of seen the article :lol:

spyboots
09-06-2010, 11:24 PM
I read somewhere he will be using both of them in different packages.