Tomlin: It is way too early for a QB decision
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday he will take his time in sorting out the competition at quarterback.
Byron Leftwich again ran the first-team offense during an abbreviated practice. But after the Steelers concluded mini camp, Tomlin said Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch will also get work with the starters during the 12 voluntary practices the team will hold May 18 through June 10.
The three are vying to start while Ben Roethlisberger serves a six-game suspension that could be reduced to four games for good behavior.
Tomlin indicated that he won't settle on a starter until some time during training camp, which starts at the end of July.
"Some of the evaluation-oriented things can't take place in shorts," Tomlin said of when he will name the No. 1 quarterback. "So it's on my radar, but not very high on the to-do list at this point. It will be addressed at some point."
Tomlin said one reason Leftwich ran the first-time offense during the five practices the Steelers just held was so he could work with the starters after not being with the team in 2009.
"The other guys will get opportunities," Tomlin said.
When asked if any of the quarterbacks had separated themselves during mini camp, Tomlin said: "What is it, May 2• You guys are killing me."
The competition at quarterback, however, will continue to be scrutinized. Leftwich, Dixon and Batch all have had success in the past while filling in for Roethlisberger.
Leftwich, whom the Steelers re-acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay on April 20, said the competition among the three is friendly.
He echoed Tomlin's sentiments when asked if anything should be read into his working with the first-team offense during mini camp.
"It's too early to say," Leftwich said. "I'm just going to keep working my butt off."
The players will get a couple of weeks off before the Steelers resume offseason practices. Here is the schedule for the 12 practices, which are voluntary: