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Thread: Dixon or Leftwich?

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    Dixon or Leftwich?

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...eseason-snaps/

    Florio makes a good case for the Steelers giving Dennis Dixon a chance to be the starting QB. Leftwich has a strong arm, but also a much-criticized slow delivery, and not as much mobility as Dixon. Leftwich was underwhelming while playing a significant chunk of time in the preseason game against Detroit, while Dixon completed a TD pass and another long pass against the 3rd/4th stringers.

    Dixon has a lot more upside, and given the uncertainty still surrounding Ben, I want my best young QB to be as prepared as possible, in case Ben ends up getting a longer suspension for some reason. I would allow a fair competition between Leftwich and Dixon for the starting QB job. Dixon has apparently been relegated to playing with the backups, which signals that the starting job is already given to Leftwich. I don't have a problem with Leftwich being a backup (he is probably one of the better backup QBs available right now), but I disagree with just handing him the starting job when the younger Dixon has clearly shown he has the tools to become a decent NFL QB. Give each guy equal snaps with the 1st team and see who performs better. Do you think there is some other issue with Dixon that the fans are not aware of?

    I would give Ben some snaps with the 2nd team, and maybe let him play one series with the 1st team in the last preseason game. Other than that, give him a clipboard. I agree with Dungy-treat Ben as a QB who is coming off an injury, that you are working back into the game slowly (meaning that he does not get many snaps). Give him extra throwing practice with the young WRs after the regular training camp schedule ends.

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    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...egular-season/

    This post from PFT gives some indication of the Steelers' intentions. I am sure that Tomlin has been fielding a lot of questions about it. Tomlin says there is a package of plays for Dixon that have been practiced, and that he is open to using Dixon during the regular season (with Leftwich starting). Comment was made by Hines Ward that Dixon is not finding open receivers, looking the wrong way at times, etc. They point to a need for more reps to help Dixon develop. Apparently, there were some issues with his QB play in practice that led to the decision to get Leftwich, and ultimately make the starting job for 4-6 weeks Leftwich's to lose. I am glad the Steelers finally explained what was going on-I guess the competition was already decided.

    This QB situation is Pittsburgh is very unique-I cannot think of another recent time when a high-profile QB has been suspended for 25% or more of the season. Either the Steelers will come out of the first 4 weeks at .500 or better, and have a chance to compete for the playoffs, or they will dig a hole that may be hard to climb out of, even with Ben back in the saddle. I also wonder how rusty Ben will be when he does return.

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    If Dixon can't beat out Leftwich, why would you not cut him? Leftwich had plenty of starts and showed when he's healthy enough to start, he's not good enough to start. If Dixon has talent, but he's making bad decisions in practice, he won't improve by giving Leftwich the reps. There is a good point to be made in all this. The Steelers live by their defense, which is very old. The window is closing in a hurry, and they don't need to invest time in Dixon when Ben is young as he is. They need, like you said, to go .500 and stay in the hunt. The rebuilding blues is right 'round the corner.

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    I really think Dixon should get a fair shake. He looked solid last year in his limited action and played well this past weekend. Leftwich has been in this system for awhile now, so there's a comfort and confidence level there between himself and the coaches, and maybe they don't feel like handing the reins of their very good team over to an unproven kid. On the other hand, Dixon has earned a long look and I think it's a shame if he continues to ride the pine. I don't expect a lot out of Leftwich, personally, so I'd be willing to bet we see Dixon get at least one or two starts during Ben's suspension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordsworth View Post
    I really think Dixon should get a fair shake. He looked solid last year in his limited action and played well this past weekend. Leftwich has been in this system for awhile now, so there's a comfort and confidence level there between himself and the coaches, and maybe they don't feel like handing the reins of their very good team over to an unproven kid. On the other hand, Dixon has earned a long look and I think it's a shame if he continues to ride the pine. I don't expect a lot out of Leftwich, personally, so I'd be willing to bet we see Dixon get at least one or two starts during Ben's suspension.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...ch-to-shut-up/

    A longtime Jaguar guy (original player and current radio host) states that Leftwich is average and that he has a high opinion of himself. That being said, Leftwich is one of the better backup QBs that is available. Dixon needs a fair chance to compete for the starting job, though he will end up playing a lot in the first few weeks anyway. Given the below-average state of the Steelers' O-line, I don't think the cement-footed Leftwich will be able to avoid the pass rush as well as Dixon.

    It is also interesting to note the Dixon signed a 3 year contract as a rookie, and he is going into his 3rd year. The Steelers are one of the few teams that has rookies sign 3 year deals. So maybe the Steelers want Dixon to be 'good but not too good, too fast'.

    The Steelers want to have their cake and eat it too-but they don't want Dixon to develop so much that teammates may start clamoring for Dixon to start instead of Ben (not likely but possible), and also so they can tender Dixon at a lower level after this season (as a restricted free agent), and keep him around as a capable backup for a cheaper price. It sounds like they prefer him to be a part-time change-of-pace QB at this point. I do not think the Steelers would trade Dixon during this season, given the uncertainty about Ben-but if Ben does well on the field and stays out of trouble this year, the Steelers will have to decide to either continue developing Dixon, or trade him away for draft picks to rebuild the 2nd oldest roster in the NFL.

  6. #6
    You have give the nod to Leftwich, he's a smart football player who will provide some stability and u kno what he can do for u....where as Dixon may have a btter upside t this point this is not time to be experimental so the safe thing to do would be letting Leftwich fill the gap until Rothlesberge gets back
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

  7. It will come down to the coaches trust. Pittsburgh doesn't want to start the season 0-4. Maybe Dixon has missed some reads in practice, but the Steelers defense can be confusing to any QB. I know one thing, Dixon has outplayed Leftwich in the preseason so far. Also, Pittsburgh's passing game relies heavily on the QB (Ben) scrambling and making plays. Dixon fits this style much better. I've seen Ben miss hot reads and miss progressions, but with his uncanny ability to get away from the rush and make throws down field accurately, the pass game rolls on.

  8. Great point. He does play more like Ben. I like Dixon better. His feet are so quick. Leftwich will get the start, but it would not surprise me at all to see Dixon starting before the end of Ben's suspension.

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    How ironic is it that Steelers have three QB's who are average or better, and there are a handful of teams wishing they had one? I put TB and Buffalo here, along with SF, because I still don't trust Alex Smith. And that's not even counting the new class of Bradford, Claussen, etc.

    Both Dixon and Leftwich had their bright spots the other night, but long term, due to age and past performance, I'd go with Dixon. I think.

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    I gotta say that Dennis Dixon does it for me. Leftwich is gonna be motivated from doubters and play decent but I like Dennis Dixon to have a better chance and get the job done. I like his style and I feel he can handle and still has the opportunity to do work at the starting QB position in the NFL.
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