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Dixon will get his shot

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07:47 AM ET 08.18 | Dennis Dixon, after all, may get a more high-profile shot at running the Steelers offense. Byron Leftwich appears to have a tight grip on the starting job, but Tomlin said after practice Monday that he is open to getting Dennis Dixon into games if he begins the season as the Steelers' No. 2 signal-caller. "That's why we've continually worked on a package (of plays) solely for him not only here in training camp but back in the spring at our place," Tomlin said. Two days after Dixon posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in a 23-7 win over the Lions, wide receiver Hines Ward lobbied for Dixon to get more snaps with the first team.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Dennis Dixon, AP Dennis Dixon, AP
August 18, 2010  07:52 AM ET

He did well in preseason. Against the Lions. Wow, he must be the real thing.

August 18, 2010  07:52 AM ET

OK... but if the Steelers can't run the ball they are screwed.

August 18, 2010  07:57 AM ET

No, he did well against the Lions second and third string players. Which is players that wouldn't even be on other teams practice squads.

August 18, 2010  08:12 AM ET

So, is it "We're solid with our starting lineup, so let's use pre-season to look further down in the depth chart to see who can play?"

Or is it, "Great Lombardi's Ghost. Are we this weak without Big Ben? Quick, get the 3rd string ready for prime time?"

August 18, 2010  08:14 AM ET

He started against the Baltimore Ravens last season on Sunday night and played well

August 18, 2010  08:15 AM ET

I have a feeling Tomlin might be on the outs after this season

August 18, 2010  08:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I have a feeling Tomlin might be on the outs after this season

He just got an extension so, no. I agree with Otis above - no run game = no good. And it looks the steelers won't have much of one this year.

August 18, 2010  08:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I have a feeling Tomlin might be on the outs after this season

Coaches who move their teams into the basement frequently are.

Sorry, Steeler fans. I would really love to see your guys stomp the Ravens and Bengals, but I'm seriously thinking they're going to have their hands full with the Browns this year.

August 18, 2010  08:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

OK... but if the Steelers can't run the ball they are screwed.

That does remain to be seen.

August 18, 2010  08:31 AM ET

2 words for Steelers Fans....Flozell Adams. 'Nuff said. enjoy your season going nowhere.

August 18, 2010  08:40 AM ET
QUOTE:

This kid is gaining hype fast...Where did he come from??

He went to Oregon...he was a heisman frontrunner, then got hurt...

August 18, 2010  08:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

OK... but if the Steelers can't run the ball they are screwed.

yup...three yards and a cloud of dust

August 18, 2010  09:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

2 words for Steelers Fans....Flozell Adams. 'Nuff said. enjoy your season going nowhere.

Adams was terrible last year....started all 16 games.....and the Cowboys finished with how many wins?

August 18, 2010  09:20 AM ET

The Steelers Offense will take a step backwards....but the Defense will take a big step forward this season.....

and don't forget...if not for the defense's poor play at the end of games last year, the Steelers would have easily won their division.

August 18, 2010  09:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Coaches who move their teams into the basement frequently are.Sorry, Steeler fans. I would really love to see your guys stomp the Ravens and Bengals, but I'm seriously thinking they're going to have their hands full with the Browns this year.

I'm sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong. Do you have any grounds to base that on, or are we just throwing around crazy statements?

August 18, 2010  10:25 AM ET
QUOTE:

This kid is gaining hype fast...Where did he come from??

The guy was in the Heisman talks until he had an injury to finish his career at Oregon. Great pick by the Steelers in the 4th round.

August 18, 2010  10:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

I'm sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong. Do you have any grounds to base that on, or are we just throwing around crazy statements?

They collapsed at the end of last season. It seems their entire defense is dependent on Polamalu, and if he's out they can't stop anything. The receiving corps is depleted, and the go-to guy, Hines Ward, is not getting any younger. Rothlisberger is out for a quarter of the season, and it's going to be hard to keep the team synched up with both him and his backup so they can bring him back in game 5. The were so desperate for an O-lineman that they picked up Flozell Adams.

These aren't the marks of a good team. On top of that, Baltimore looks rock solid as the division leader, so at best the Steelers will probably be fighting for a wild card, and they'll have to get by Cincy to do that.

I'll be rooting for them in the AFC North, believe me. But if I were a betting man I wouldn't put money on them.

August 18, 2010  10:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#21):

They collapsed at the end of last season. It seems their entire defense is dependent on Polamalu, and if he's out they can't stop anything. The receiving corps is depleted, and the go-to guy, Hines Ward, is not getting any younger. Rothlisberger is out for a quarter of the season, and it's going to be hard to keep the team synched up with both him and his backup so they can bring him back in game 5. The were so desperate for an O-lineman that they picked up Flozell Adams.These aren't the marks of a good team. On top of that, Baltimore looks rock solid as the division leader, so at best the Steelers will probably be fighting for a wild card, and they'll have to get by Cincy to do that.I'll be rooting for them in the AFC North, believe me. But if I were a betting man I wouldn't put money on them.

All valid statements, but I think some things are being over looked. True, Polamalu is a huge part of the defense, but another reason they did poorly in his absence was depth. There's really not a solid strong safety option after Troy. I know Will Allen is nothing special, but its a better backup than Tyrone Carter. I truly believe the receiving core is not going to be as bad as everyone says. Ward had one of his best seasons in a while last year. Mike Wallace is in the same mold as Santonio Holmes, but Wallace is faster and isn't a bone head. Holmes really benefited from the the pass happy Bruce Arians. Heath Miller is one of the most under rated players in the league and is capable of putting up big numbers. They've already said they've been working on ways to get him the ball more. From what I've heard and witnessed at camp, Emanuel Sanders could be a solid number 3. Randle El and Arnaz Battle will provide depth.

On Defense, they brought back Larry Foote and have a very good back up in Keyron Fox. That will provide depth and rest on certain plays to keep an aging Farrior going late into the season. They bolstered their OLB depth in the draft with Jason Worilds and Thadeous Gibson. Both of which, have been performing at a high level this camp. They brought back Bryant Mcfadden which will move Willie Gay back to nickel back (which is a good thing). On the DL, Ziggy Hood looks poised to have a break out year.

Baltimore is not solid from top to bottom. They need to find a way to seriously improve their secondary. I don't think Cincy is going to be the team everyone thinks they will be. 17 weeks is a long time for something not to happen with T.O. and Ocho, Pacman getting arrested again, or Palmer collapsing like he always does.

Just some food for thought before everyone starts writing them off.

August 18, 2010  11:08 AM ET

I guess we'll have to wait and see, won't we?

One thing I think we can agree on - the AFC North will be entertaining this year.

 
August 18, 2010  11:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Adams was terrible last year....started all 16 games.....and the Cowboys finished with how many wins?

You want to equate the Cowboys win total with Flozell Adams? Roy Williams played all 16 games last year...so what? I don't get your point.

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