Steelers-Panthers preseason wrap...
September 3, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode
BLEEDING BLACK AND GOLD
> We’ve said since the very beginning of this preseason that Dennis Dixon gives you a better chance of going 4-0. BUT he also gives you a better chance of going 0-4. Byron Leftwich gave the Steelers the best chance of going 2-2 and that’s why he was going to be the starter. So where does that leave us now? Well, if Dixon is going to be your starter, it’s better that it’s in a situation where Leftwich won’t be available as the backup. Dixon can relax and, hopefully, play his game. On the flip side, if you had you’re game planning done and it included starting Leftwich and using special Dixon packages throughout, you could plus CBatch in for Leftwich pretty easily.
> We’re sure the Pittsburgh media, who always wants things both ways, will be all over Mike Tomlin. Again, we have no problem with how the quarterbacks were used Thursday. Injuries happen.
> Even though the Steelers extended Leftwich through 2011 before the season started, you have to wonder if he’ll ever be back in black and gold uniform? If Dixon plays well, he’ll likely remain the backup when Ben Roethlisberger comes back, and you’re not going to pay Leftwich $1.5 million to play third string.
> The versatility of Doug Legursky, who can play center and guard, and Ramon Foster, who can play guard and tackle, would seem to indicate Kraig Urbik is in trouble. If Urbik is cut, he’ll go down as one of the bigger busts in recent memory.
> We caught a little of the radio broadcast Thursday evening and both Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley raved about the camp play of another little-used lineman, tackle Tony Hills, who they said is improving dramatically (and daily) this season after being inactive in every game last season but one.
> Wow, did you see Lawrence Timmons at OLB in the first quarter? He was flying to the ball AND making plays. You can bet he’ll be moving there once James Harrison gets on with his life’s work.
> After having a near flawless preseason, Maurkice Pouncey struggled mightily in the hurry up offense in the first quarter. Of course, that’s the last chance he’ll have to work with #7 on that for a month.
> With Emmanuel Sanders showing some kick returning chops and Antonio Brown breaking off the longest return of the preseason, if Stefan Logan makes the team we’ll have to assume he has photos of someone in a compromising position.
> Both Stevenson Sylvester and Patrick Bailey played well enough to make the team while Jason Worilds didn’t. Of course, Worilds will be on the roster as a second-round pick, which means the Sylvester-Bailey decision will be one of the toughest Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert face today.
> It sure looked like Crezdon Butler has the team made, which would push Joe Burnett onto the bubble.
> For as good as Jonathan Dwyer has looked the past two weeks, he hasn’t gained a yard against a defender who’ll be starting next Sunday.