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Suspended Steelers’ QB Roethlisberger To Play In Preseason Action

By Ross Everett

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback rotation is in fairly good shape, but their preseason preparation has become a mess due to the suspension facing starter Ben Roethlisberger. ‘Big Ben’ will miss up to six games of the regular season, though he’s allowed to practice with the team and play in preseason action. Roethlisberger didn’t see any playing time in Pittsburgh’s 23-7 win over Detroit this past weekend but is expected to see action in the Steelers’ next game on Saturday against the New York Giants.

For now, Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich are battling for the backup quarterback job, which means they’ll be the starter for a good chunk of the season while Roethlisberger serves his suspension. Dixon has performed well, but Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator Bruce Arians isn’t pleased with his tendency to run when he has open receivers to pass to:

“If he’s your starter, you’re not going to expose him to running the football, because they’re going to break him up. That stuff, you can forget about that if he’s the starter. He wouldn’t last two ballgames.”

Despite this admonishment, Arians says that he’s designed an offensive package specifically for Dixon that leverages his superior speed and athleticism:

“And it’s not necessarily with the twos [second unit] or the threes [third unit], it’s a special package. When you play without Ben, you’re going to utilize all the players you have. He’ll have a package, and how he plays within that package will determine how much he plays.”

At this point, however, the more experienced though less mobile Leftwich is #2 on the depth chart. Wide receiver Hines Ward said that the competition is good for the team:

“We have a healthy competition at quarterback. And competition brings out the best in everyone. Dennis, he brings an added dimension to the game than Byron doesn’t. Byron’s a pure pocket guy. Dennis, the one knock on him is he doesn’t have the experience. The two are different but it’s hard to compare two guys when their games are so different.”

Although every indication is that Roethlisberger will see action in the Steelers’ game against the Giants this weekend, neither OC Arians or head coach Mike Tomlin were willing to give any specifics of when or how long they’d have their starter in the game.

Ross Everett is a widely published freelance writer and an authority on sports betting and thoroughbred horse racing. He contributes NFL football betting free picks for a number of media outlets. He lives in Southern Nevada with three dogs and a retired racing wombat.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Everett, Ross "Suspended Steelers’ QB Roethlisberger To Play In Preseason Action." Suspended Steelers’ QB Roethlisberger To Play In Preseason Action. 26 Aug. 2010. uberarticles.com. 4 Sep 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/recreation-and-sports/steelers-qb-roethlisberger-will-play-in-preseason-games/>.

APA Style Citation:
Everett, R (2010, August 26). Suspended Steelers’ QB Roethlisberger To Play In Preseason Action. Retrieved September 4, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/recreation-and-sports/steelers-qb-roethlisberger-will-play-in-preseason-games/

Chicago Style Citation:
Everett, Ross "Suspended Steelers’ QB Roethlisberger To Play In Preseason Action" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/recreation-and-sports/steelers-qb-roethlisberger-will-play-in-preseason-games/


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