Lord have mercy. On Monday, I wrote about Mike Florio’s absurd suggestion that the Steelers were keeping Dennis Dixon behind Byron Leftwich to avoid a possible quarterback controversy when Ben returned from his suspension. Even on the surface, it’s a theory you might expect to find written in shit on the walls of a mental institution. Most sane people would quietly move on and hope that this would all soon be forgotten.
Not Florio, who took the circus to the Stan and Guy radio show Thursday. He basically rehashed the same tired, misguided argument from his PFT post except this time Stan, speaking for pretty much all of us, didn’t just sit back and take it. Thanks to Steelers Depot, we have quite possibly the best 12 minutes of radio you’ll hear today.
And if you’re too lazy to click a link and listen passively, I’ve hit the highlights below:
Florio: We don’t know how [Ben's] going to play after the suspension.
Stan: You don’t know how Dixon’s going to play either.
Florio: Well let’s find out. Let’s find out. … If Dixon becomes great too soon, you may find yourself in a position where, let’s say after this season, if Dixon plays great, the agent’s rattling the cage — he’s already rattling the cage about Dixon not getting a fair shake to start during the four games — and you have some guys in the locker room … who want Dixon, some who want Roethlisberger, and you may decide, “You know what, we just got to get what we can for Dixon and and commit to Ben.” And then Ben goes back down to Georgia does something to get himself suspended for the entire 2011 season, then you’re stuck. And I think that’s floating around there (in Pittsburgh)…. It’s almost impossible to have a Joe Montana-Steve Young type situation if you want to maintain harmony.
Really? That’s what you’re hanging all this on? A bunch of “what-ifs”? (By the way, in this little make-believe skit who’s Montana and who’s Young?) Thankfully, Stan made what should have been an obvious point about both hypotheticals — Dixon morphing into a legit franchise quarterback and Ben having an off-field relapse — calling them equal leaps of faith. Undeterred by common sense and reasoning, Florio trudged onward.
Florio: I’m also troubled by the fact that Leftwich comes back and is automatically installed as the starter for those first four games with no opportunity for Dixon to win that position. And I think Dixon acquitted himself extremely well in that Sunday night game last year when he was pressed into service.
ARRRGGGHH. Who told Florio that Lefwich “comes back and is automatically installed as the starter”? Because I missed that. In fact, Tuesday Wex wrote about exactly why Leftwich is ahead of Dixon on the depth chart. And you might have a hard time buying this, but IT’S NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY. To paraphrase Wex: Dixon looked like crap during OTAs, Leftwich did not. And more than that, Dixon seems to play below expectations. When he’s the go-to guy, he’s less effective than when the pressure’s off and he’s just a backup or Kordell-lite. And perhaps more troubling: he’s not the type of guy to get in other players’ faces, particularly veterans.
Or we can just pretend that the Steelers don’t want to deal with a disgruntled locker room and fanbase once Dixon plays lights out during the first four games of the season and then Ben’s immediately reinstalled as the starter once he serves his suspension. Because, really, there’s a QB controversy brewing between a two-time Super Bowl winner and top-5 NFL quarterback, and a guy who has one career NFL start and has trouble handling the responsibilities that come with being a leader.
God, why do I do this to myself?