Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC North [Print without images]

Monday, April 26, 2010
Take your pick recap

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Last week -- before the NFL draft took over the AFC North blog -- we asked Steeler Nation who should be their Week 1 starter: Dennis Dixon, Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich?

Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be out for a maximum of six games after violating the league's personal conduct policy. So which backup gives the Steelers the best chance to win this upcoming season?

Here was the response from Steelers fans:

Tom B from Perry Hall, Md., writes: I believe it should be Dixon. If not for some bad play calling in the Baltimore game, Dixon would have won his first start in prime time in a hostile environment against a very good defense. This kid has talent and it's time to see it! Let him play and if the Steelers go 4-0, he stays in as the starter.

Christian from Cleveland writes: Dennis Dixon will be given every opportunity to be Ben's primary backup. This is why he was drafted, and this gives them an excellent opportunity to see if he can handle it. Leftwich has been secured as the secondary answer because they know he can handle it. Charlie Batch is on the roster for moral support, and a veteran presence.

Steve from Milltown, N.J., writes: I think Leftwich is the likely starter, based on his past performance with us and the way the team has pursued him. However, I HOPE Dixon is the starter, because that will mean that he has showed more than Leftwich, who is a known quantity.

Frank the Tank from San Antonio, Texas, writes: I think Batch will get the nod over Leftwich and Dixon. He’s proved to be a better decision maker, and out of the three he’s the one least likely to lose a game due to QB mistakes.

Deb from Creola, Ohio, writes: I vote for Byron Leftwich. Ben can stay home all year too.

EJ from Harrisonburg, Va., writes: Dennis Dixon. The Steelers make a plan and stick with it. They have planned to use Dixon as the back up since they drafted him. Leftwich is insurance. He was No. 2 but leaving meant that Dixon could then be promoted. Unless Dixon stinks, which he didn't in his last start, he will play.

Matt from Indiana, Pa., writes: Can we score a cameo appearance from Tommy Maddox or Kordell Stewart?

Anne from Midland, Texas, writes: Can't seem to get off the fence on this one. I like Batch's experience and knowledge. I want to see what Dixon can do. And I will always have a little soft spot in my heart for Leftwich and his horrendously ugly rushing (make that tripping, stumbling) touchdown against the Browns in '08. My gut says go with Dixon and see what happens.

Chris from Orlando, Fla., writes: Batch is the safest choice. He has proven to be a reliable QB to bring in off the bench. With him you know that you can count on him having good clock management. Leftwich is a gamble because of his inconsistency and his throwing. Sometimes he holds the ball way to long and he telegraphs where he is going to throw it. Yes, he can throw the long ball but that only works half the time. Dixon is definitely the wildcard among the three.

Tony DeLuca from Columbus writes: That's three QBs from the MAC on the Steelers roster now!

Eric from Phoenix, Ariz., writes: The week one starter will certainly come down to the performances of the three QBs in question during the preseason. But based on his performance against Baltimore last season and his ability to run as well as pass, the week one starter should be Dixon.