Tomlin recently announced he will know who his number 1 QB will be going into training camp. He's seen all three prospects play. He's developed one of them, signed another, and was introduced to a long time vet when he arrived in 07'. I believe he will make the best decision based on all the tangibles and intangibles, but here's SoCal's take on the first Steelers' QB controversy in a while.
If you could teach a Flamingo to break tackles, tear off outside runs, and throw a pigskin you'd have a pink Dennis Dixon. The 3 year red shirt has stepped in admirably in a hostile Baltimore stadium. He gave it his all and left everything on the field. No questioning his effort. The kid can scramble, make terrific plays with his feet, and has very good vision. Dixon has the look of hunger like I haven't seen in a QB in a while. After throwing the game losing pick, to very good NFL defensive scheming, he looked heart broken. Many guys in his shoes would hang their head low, head to the locker room, laugh it off and try next time. Not Dixon. It looked like he had just let down the entire city of Pittsburgh. He couldn't live with himself. "Dennis you're only in your second year and you made some great plays out there!" Try telling him that. This kid doesn't want anything less than victory and I love that about him. He needs to bulk up in the legs to ensure that we don't need to add medical insurance for him. A more solid o-line and a dedicated run game might just be that policy.
I was at Boomer's the other day and was having my hand at the fast pitch in the batting cages. While watching the ball slide down the machine and thrown furiously at me around 65MPH I couldn't help but think of Lefty. The big awkward QB with the ridiculously slow release and even slower feet. Not to knock on Lefty, but that is one funky throw! Lord Byron has the experience to step in and manage a game better than most backups. His arm is what could throw off our receivers. His motion is so different from most that our TE's and WR's need a lot of reps to get acclimated to his style. He can fire a rocket down field or hit a receiver coming across the middle like a duck target.... but have you ever seen a NASA rocket take off? It's suspended for an unheard amount of time before it really starts to accelerate; Lefty's arm. Tried and tried again. One that can succeed or fail miserably. His number was called at Fed-EX Field one late night in 08' and he looked like a natural. He has proclaimed that he loves our offense and I'm sure the Steelers Organization. I want Lefty only if we absolutely need him to step in. Great backup.
Get your cane and your easy chair because we need to talk about Mr. Batch. If he doesn't end up as a future Steelers QB coach I'll be very surprised. Batch has a great mind for football. It's helped him overcome a small frame and average arm to be successful in the NFL. He does not, however, have the durability to last in this violent league. 4-6 weeks with Batch under the helm? I'll get the hospital papers ready. Don't get me wrong, he can manage, make very smart choices with the football in his hands. But as soon as one 300lb NT falls on his arm we bandage him up and give him back his clipboard. I'd say Batch has to be number 3 in this decision. His loyalty to the Steelers organization is unparalleled. Not too many fan bases have a guy on their team that rarely plays that is so loved. For what he does for this city, his charities, his team. Charlie Batch is a class act till the end. A great guy. But we're talking who's going under center this fall and Batch needs to understand his playing days are just about over. Coach up or walk.
Obviously you can tell that I'm leaning towards Dixon. I believe he has all the tools to succeed and a drive to win. I watched him make magic happen in Oregon and I'm excited to see that magic again. We drafted him for a reason and now's his time to step up and make a name for himself. I believe he will do just that. I will believe in Tomlin's decision 100%. What say you BTSC?