You’ve gotta love it.
Mike Tomlin is managing a quarterback derby unlike any the NFL has ever seen, as no NFL team has ever begun the season knowing it will be without its starter for a pre-determined number of games.
Byron Leftwich took the pole position early, which surprised a few, but the word was that Dixon was good, but still not ready.
Then Dixon began to tear it up in preseason, prompting calls for him to get a fair shot at starting. When Tomlin threw a little cold water on that idea, he got more criticism. Thankfully, as mentioned here earlier, Gene Collier observed that only Pittsburgh would have a backup quarterback controversy.
Going into the third preseason game against Denver tonight, the word is the Ben Roethlisberger will start, but that Dixon will see time with the first unit.
This is what the pundits have been calling for, so of course they must be happy, right?
- Not so fast.
- It is time for everyone to take a step back on this one.
There is no operating manual for dealing with the situation in which the Steelers are in. And at this point, we know that Mike Tomlin is doing a good job. Here’s how we know:
All of the Steelers quarterbacks look sharp and have played well.
Perhaps this might change when the regular season arrives. Perhaps the disjointed nature of the quarterback rotation will negatively impact the offense’s ability to function as a unit once the games begin to count.
- But if that happens, they’ll be ample opportunity for second guessing the head coach.
Until then, let’s watch and see how Dennis Dixon does against some first string competition, let’s see if Flozell Adams finally starts stepping it up, let’s see if Leftwich immobility will be his undoing.
It would be a mistake to come down too hard on the press for these inconsistencies. As explained in a previous Watch Tower post analyzing coverage of the Steelers running game, some of this is simply inherent to the need for “content” in a 24/7 news cycle with multiple outlets.
And so are posts, like this one, that urge everyone to keep things in perspective.