For the first season in a long time, the thought of a serious injury to Ben Roethlisberger has me sweating bullets.
Roethlisberger has always been prone to injuries, but thankfully the Steelers have had somebody ready behind Ben who could step up and do the job. In 2006, it was Batch who came in and posting a sparkling 121.0 QB rating in 8 appearances. Last season it was Byron Leftwich, a guy who should have been starting somewhere else, who came in and won a key game on the road in Washington.
It’s been nice to look at other teams like the Colts or Chargers and know that they were one QB injury away from seeing their season blow up. Now I’m pretty sure other teams are saying the same thing about Pittsburgh.
Batch is a great guy and I love having him around the organization. But he wasn’t very effective in 2007 and missed all of last year with an injury. He’s also 34.
Behind Batch is Dixon who is an great athlete, but it’s unknown how good of an NFL QB he can be. He could potentially play great but I’d say the chance of him looking clueless is a lot greater at this point in his career at least.
Not having a guy like Leftwich could end up being the Steelers biggest flaw this season should Roethlisberger go down. It’s always interesting to see how the backup QBs play in preseason but this year it’s even more important for the Steelers.
I think Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin also see QB depth as a weakness and that is why they are at least seemingly tossing around the idea of signing Micheal Vick. I’m not sure if Vick and the circus that will arrive with him are worth the QB insurance he would provide, and I’m glad I don’t have to make that choice.
But as long as the roster remains as is at the QB position, the only way the Steelers can attempt to repeat and probably even make the playoffs is with Roethlisberger starting the lion’s share of the games.
I just have no confidence that Charlie Batch is the QB he was in 2006 or that Dennis Dixon has developed into an NFL QB.