Morning Links (and Daily Thread)…

A quick daily look at what’s happening around Steelers Nation. And consider this your open thread for discussing the days events and, well, anything else that comes to mind about the Black and Gold.’

– So much for having to wait. Dennis Dixon was officially named the starter for Sunday’s game against Atlanta. So, what are the expectations for Double-D?

– Along with announcing their practice squad, the Steelers also named their team captains on Sunday: Heath Miller, James Farrior, Hines Ward and Keyaron Fox. [Post-Gazette]

– Wanna win? Put Dixon in. [One For The Other Thumb]

– Dale Lolley mentions that Byron Leftwich was a surprise participant in practice on Monday. [NFL From The Sidelines]

– And for your random YouTube of the day: We’re going back to the college days of Dennis Dixon and a lot of highlights of him throwing the football. Unfortunately, he won’t be playing against Stanford or California on Sunday…

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  • Ktulu22

    The thing that stands out in this video is his accuracy. Almost EVERY SINGLE BALL is right on the money – particularly his deep balls. It doesn’t matter who the competition is – his accuracy looked outstanding.

  • Cols714

    I just hope he makes it through the first game before being yanked for Chaz, who will then proceed to be injured and lost for the year.

  • SteelerBill

    Good morning folks…..

    Happy Game week….wow it’s already here….oh and this is the site that DD put up to convince teams that he was ‘ready for prime time’ prior to the draft:

    One question though…..did Ryan post that youtube video? Note the spelling….

  • Cols714

    I think Tomlin screwed up here. I think he should start Batch, then if Batch screws up, or more likely, gets injured then just bring in Dixon. This would take the pressure off of Dixon.

    With Dixon starting, he has all sorts of added pressure. The moment he makes a bad throw, and it’s going to happen, the fans are probably not going to be all that forgiving.

    • Eric

      I think starting Dixon was the right call. Batch has major durability issues. If you start Batch and he gets hurt for any length of time… then we have nothing but Dixon and Randle El for 4 games. Better to start Dixon and hope he does well. If Dixon doesn’t, then you have a capable but brittle backup. Do it the other way and there may not be any qbs left.

  • Dean Keaton

    I just watched my team live and die in the same game by Dennis Dixon, Jr. (Tyrod Taylor). He played a pretty darn good game at times last night for Virginia Tech against BSU, but had some bang-your-head-against the wall ones too, especially early. In the end, his coach lost it for us, even though Taylor did enough for VT to win. All for the makings of a long drive back home to Richmond at 12:30am.

    This game made me realize we are in for a long 4 weeks. College football games are great because they have such extreme swings up and down, and I think that’s exactly what we are going to get from Dixon. I don’t expect Tomlin to lose the game for us in the end, but Arians might – I don’t know how he’s going to handle having a very different QB in the game. I think Dixon will have a lot of good with some really bad mixed in there, and it just might be best to try to mentally prepare for that. Theoretically it shouldn’t be too hard, especially since Dennis will be wearing #10…

    • Cols714

      Agreed. I like Arians but I see him as a pretty standard OC that can operate a good system with a conventional QB like Ben. I don’t see him being creative enough to get a gameplan together with an unconventional QB.

  • SteelerBill

    Dean….good point….I thought Tyrod reminded me of a another Hokie Alum….Michael Vick….it seems that you can place most ‘athletes playing QB’ in the same bucket. like a Roller Coaster ride…..

  • Cols714

    Here’s what I would have Dixon do when passing. Look at your first read, and then maybe your second, then take off. Even if you only get 4 yards, that will help move the sticks.

    Keep it uncomplicated, one or two reads and then use your speed.

  • SteelerBill

    Personally…and this is just me…..I think BA is a better fit for DD and vice versa…..BA is a not a smash-mouth OC and DD is not a smash-mouth player…..he’s unconventional….look no further than empty backfield on 3rd and short….

    I say unleash DD on the NFL. Be aggressive……

  • FW
  • Cols714

    The Atlanta Falcons have Mike Mularkey as their OC and Tim Lewis as their seconday coach.

    • Randy Steele

      Speaking of Mularkey, the Falcons seemed to have clamped down a bit on Matt Ryan last year. When Ryan came into the league as a rookie he made his bones as a big-time vertical threat.

      But last year he quieted down quite a bit. Instead of going long, he dinked and dunked a lot, perhaps because of Mularkey, perhaps because Tony Gonzalez was his new tight end, or both.

      Unfortunately, that is precisely the type of game plan that gives the Steelers’ defense fits, and with Michael Turner running the ball, I think we’ll see the Falcons moving easily between the 30-yard markers. They have a good slot receiver, too, in Harry Douglas, and Roddy White is a pretty good wide receiver.

      That said, the good news is that the Falcons’ red zone offense is worse than ours. The best news: their kicker has been nicely erratic during the preseason. If this game turns into a battle of field goals at Heinz Field, Skippy should win it.

  • Cols714

    The Atlanta Falcons have Mike Mularkey as their OC and Tim Lewis as their seconday coach.

  • drinkingclub

    I think it is a pretty good move to start Dixon over Batch, and I wanted Dixon to start over Leftwich. I think with the shaky pass protection of the o-line Steelers have to have a mobile guy at QB.