Steelers name Dixon starting QB

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 5:42 PM ET

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers named Dennis Dixon as the team’s starting quarterback in the wake of Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension and Byron Leftwich’s knee injury.

The choice was between either Dixon or longtime backup Charlie Batch, and head coach Mike Tomlin decided Dixon would be the better choice.

“Dennis has had a very productive preseason and training camp,” Tomlin said. “He wedged himself into a battle and got some first-team reps in some preseason games. Largely, we’ve been very impressed with how he’s handling himself and the situation.”

Dixon made his first career start last season against the Ravens — when Roethlisberger was out with a concussion and Batch with a broken wrist — and Dixon completed 12-of-26 passes for 145 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The former Oregon quarterback and dual-threat lost the game in overtime, 20-17.

“It’s an honor. It’s every quarterback’s dream to get an opportunity to start in the National Football League,” Dixon said. “My number’s called now, so I’m going to have fun with it. I’m happy, but then again there’s a lot of work to be done. I just want to be even-keeled and put my team in the best situation.”

Roethlisberger is suspended for the team’s first four games, so Dixon could get an extended look at the position. Leftwich was set to be the starter, but sprained a knee ligament in the team’s last preseason game.


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