Friday, May 21, 2010

Santonio Holmes continues his "Douche of the Year" campaign; Why the Steelers must start Dennis Dixon

Santonio Holmes is trying to distract Steeler Nation from the Ben Roethlisberger situation. It’s the only logical reason I can think of for how his off-season has progressed. By this point, we’re all aware of the “Ipod incident” on a plane here in Pittsburgh, in which Santonio refused to turn his Ipod off when asked by a flight attendant. He could have apologized and recognized his childish behavior, but that just wouldn’t be Santonio. Instead, he turns around and blames the flight attendant, saying she was just “trying to make a name for herself”. Yes, because I forgot about all of her Playboy shoots and Good Morning America appearances after the incident.

I’ll go ahead and give you a minute to digest the stupidity of that comment. In the mean time, look at this puppy.

Adorable, I know. On to other things.

One of the big questions for the Steelers going into the summer is who will be starting the first several games with Ben Roethlisberger suspended. The consensus is that it will be between Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich. In five short and unassailable statements, I will tell you why the opening day starter should be Dennis Dixon rather than Byron Leftwich.

1. Dixon’s pure playmaking ability.

All Dennis Dixon knows how to do is make plays, whether it is with his arm or his legs. Dixon offers mobility superior even to Roethlisberger, let alone Leftwich. Dixon can put a defense on their heels, as he proved last year against Baltimore. If Arians can design a package to suit Dixon’s strengths, he will have far more upside than Byron Leftwich.

2. Dixon’s mobility will open things up for Rashard Mendenhall

This is simply a product of reason. The more the defense is worried about Dennis Dixon, the less they are worried about Rashard Mendenhall. If Dixon can earn the respect of the defense, it will open holes for Mendenhall, who will have to shoulder the most offensive responsibility without Roethlisberger around.

3. Byron Leftwich looks like Gary Coleman.

I know this has nothing to do with football, but it had to be said.


4. He can actually throw, too.

Dixon is known mostly for what he can do as a running quarterback, but lost in the shuffle is his ability to be a dropback passer. Dixon is no slouch, he completed nearly 70% of his passes during his senior season at Oregon. He also had a TD to Interception ratio of 20/4. He’s a good decision maker who can make all of the necessary throws.

5. If not now, when?

This is truly a prime opportunity for Dixon. If the Steelers want Dixon to be the backup of the future (if you can call someone such a thing), he NEEDS experience. One game against Baltimore just isn’t enough. The one thing that you want a backup quarterback in this league to be is comfortable. Develop a game plan around Dixon, so that if Roethlisberger is injured at some point (and given his history, he will be), everyone already knows what we have in Dixon. He played well enough in his lone start last year that it should be his job to lose.

We all know that there are very few people who expect that the Steelers will have a successful season. Given the circumstances, there is no better time to test the guts of your young quarterback. Especially considering the Steelers don’t have the toughest first four games (Falcons, Titans, Buccaneers, Ravens). Just give him a shot.

And don’t forget to tell him to turn his Ipod off before going on the field.

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