After another preseason ripe with QB Drama, the results are in, and things don’t look much different than last year. In 2010 it took injuries to both Dixon and Byron Leftwich before Batch was named the #2 quarterback. Today, Batch was named the starter for the fourth preseason game, effectively locking him in that #2 spot. It only took an injury by Leftwich, and questionable play by Dixon to make it happen.
When asked about it, Tomlin told the press that the position is not set in stone, and that they will make a decision regarding who will be #2 as soon as the final presseason game is played. My guess is that Tomlin and the gang feel about this just about the same way I do, and Batch is likely set at #2.
Batch is now thrown in to another tough spot as a backup. He now has to go in there and play with the first team offense (minus a few players) and this is the first time he’s really taken snaps with the first or second team offense at all since the season started. It’s a tough spot to be in, but I stand by my guns that Batch is the right guy. We’ll see what the Steelers say for certain after the final preseason game.
This makes one beg to wonder how Dennis Dixon, in his 4th year, isn’t ready to take the #2 spot? Dixon was drafted in the 5th round of the draft, so my calculations tell me that he should be ready to be a backup four years in. He has struggled some with injury, but his main issue remains his inability to make accurate throws consistently. He still has to learn when it is appropriate to use his feet versus when to throw, and that is a skill that can only develop with time.
Looking ahead to the Panthers:
It looks like Cam Newton will start against the Steelers. Using the same gorilla math that I used above, that means Jimmy Clausen is a lock to start for the Panthers week 1. There has been so much hype over Cam Newton, I can’t even see straight. My hope is that the Steelers give Cam a nice old fashioned beat down in order to welcome him to the NFL. I would expect nothing less from our boys.
Even though Big Ben will not start, that doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of the 1st team offense and defense will sit this one out. According to Mike Tomlin, guy like Troy, Hines, Big Snack, Pouncey, Sanders and Ben will sit because they are either seasoned vets, or just coming off some kind of injury. The injury to Pouncey is not serious, but his ankle is sore, and sitting out will give him a chance to heal up.
Doug Legursky will get the start at RG. Legursky is best known for his performance in the Super Bowl backing up Pouncey at Center. Tomlin says the starting spot at RG is not set in stone either, but that this is Legursky’s chance to show Tomlin that he can be a starter there. With all of the crazy injuries and swapping around at O Line, I can’t imagine a guy like Legursky, who has been solid and injury-free as a backup, wouldn’t be a nice change of pace at RG.
Fantasy Update: Manning was cleared to practice today after being out for several weeks with some kind of neck injury. Sources say that he was ready to rock in practice yesterday, so that might mean you’re clear to pick Manning higher in your draft for Fantasy. I chose Manning in the fourth round of my first of three Fantasy teams I will be drafting for. Not sure he’ll be around that long once the word gets out that he’s feeling god and practicing again.
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