Well, it looked like the Steelers were going to be able to settle down and focus on the season when they found out their 2-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had his suspension reduced from six to four games, but it appears coach Mike Tomlin is riding a different train of thought. Pittsburgh’s head coach Tomlin told Siruis NFL Radio that Roethlisberger would not be guaranteed the starting position when he comes back from suspension ESPN.com reports.
This news surfaced just days after Roethlisberger wasn’t voted as a team captain for the upcoming season. With Byron Leftwich, who was brought in to start with Roethelisberger supended, suffering from an MCL sprain, the Steelers are looking at Dennis Dixon to take the reigns for at least the first four games.
Coach Tomlin had this to say about Dixon:
“Dennis has had a very productive preseason and training camp… He went into the training camp as a young guy, second in the pecking order behind Byron Leftwich. He did a nice job and made it extremely competitive. He waged a battle and got some first-team reps in some preseason games. Largely, we’ve been very impressed with how he’s handled himself in game situations.”
I’m not sure if that’s Tomlin showing confidence in the young quarterback or if it’s wishful thinking on Tomlin’s part. Regardless, the Steelers will look to Dixon to lead them through week four.
These words from Tomlin appear to be a front. He wants to instill confidence in his young quarterback and show the world that Roethlisberger won’t be able to waltz right back into his starting job because other guys have been in camp working their butts off for the organization while avoiding off-the-field legal issues. Unless Dixon emerges as some unworldly football entity birthed from Archie Manning’s lace-and-leather-woven womb, look for Roethlisberger to work his way back into his starting job come week five.