Who will be quarterback next week' Tomlin isn't sure
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Starting quarterback Dennis Dixon left with a knee injury in the second quarter Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. For a while, backup Charlie Batch, under defensive duress, appeared to be headed toward a similar fate.
Amazingly, so did the Steelers' moribund offense in a 19-11 win that was the result of a stout defense and opportunistic special teams play.
"I was trying to do anything I can to help this team win,'' said Batch, who completed 5 of 11 passes for 25 yards. "That was going in there and executing the game plan.''
With Dixon sidelined, Batch was the only Steelers quarterback dressed and eligible to play, although coach Mike Tomlin said Dixon could have returned and "handed the ball off to finish the game.''
"If I had to go in the game, I would have done it,'' Dixon said.
Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who played quarterback at Indiana well enough to receive Heisman Trophy consideration his senior year, could have played quarterback in an emergency. He wasn't needed.
Byron Leftwich was released Saturday in a roster move, so the Steelers could sign nose tackle Steve McLendon because Casey Hampton was out with a hamstring injury.
Leftwich is expected to re-sign today, which could create a logjam to see which quarterback will start next week at Tampa Bay -- Dixon, Leftwich or Batch. Ben Roethlisberger, serving a four-game suspension, won't be eligible until after the Steelers' bye week.
"I don't know who is going to play quarterback. I know it won't be me. I'm not good enough,'' Tomlin said.
If he receives good news regarding his MRI, Dixon wants to start against the Buccaneers.
"Will I be ready next week• Yeah, I think I can. I planted wrong, it didn't feel right after that,'' said Dixon, who rushed for 28 yards on three carries and suffered the injury while running with the ball on his final series of the game. "If it's something serious, I want to be able to rehab. But I don't think it is.''
Dixon, who was 4 of 6 for 18 yards, described his afternoon this way: "It started off rocky as far as communication. But things started to slow down after that.''
The Steelers generated 127 total yards and seven first downs. Neither quarterback guided the offense to a touchdown.
"We are leaving a lot of offense on the field,'' said Batch, who also wants consideration in the quarterback derby.
"I always want to throw my hat in the ring,'' Batch said. "It's just a matter of if the opportunity presents itself. You never know when your number is going to be called.''
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
- Steelers formalize practice squad
- Steelers receiver Heyward-Bey looks to make most of chance
- Steelers know fast start could be key to upcoming season
- Steelers QB dismisses preseason woes, looks to opener vs. Browns
- Steelers opt for youth, speed while revamping roster
- Steelers finalize 53-man roster
- Former Steelers linebacker Harrison retires
- Why Steelers will — or won’t — snap out of their funk
- Rossi: Steelers will make small strides this season
- Steelers wrap lackluster preseason with loss to Panthers