Ben Roethlisberger’s crazy night in Georgia could create an opening at quarterback for the Steelers. If he is charged with sexual assault, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has no choice but to suspend him.
Mike Vick was suspended for being CHARGED with animal abuse.
So, who plays quarterback if Ben can’t?
The heir apparent is Dennis Dixon, who has started one game at quarterback since November of 2007.
He’s an intriguing guy who had a lot of success in college and was, at one time, considered a strong candidate for the Heisman Trophy, but, as of right now, with Charlie Batch a free agent, he’s the third best QB on the roster.
Antwaan Randle El is number two.
That’s right. All five foot nine of him. He was a much better college quarterback than Dixon and he’s only started one less game in the NFL.
During his first go around with the Steelers, I had a lot of conversations with Randle El about his desire to prove that he could be a successful NFL quarterback. He wasn’t shy about telling me that he could do everything that Michael Vick could do only better.
Vick was just beginning to emerge as a star.
Right up until the time he left, Randle El belived that he would eventually get a chance at quarterback.
Obviously, Randle El’s height works against him. Not necessarily on the field but definitely in the minds of the coaches.
Doug Flutie almost singlehandedly beat a lot of NFL coaches who said he was too short to play in the NFL.
The level of confidence in Dixon expressed by talk show callers and blog posters is pretty amazing when you consider that he played one game and that game ended with an overtime field goal by the Ravens that was set up by an interception.
Dixon may end up being a good NFL quarterback and Randle El may be too short, but it says here that right now, Randle El, if given the chance, would give the Steelers a better chance to win.
Maybe it’s because I’m 5’6″‘, but I’ll never understand the height issue. Flutie had to go to Canada because every time he threw an incomplete pass it was blamed on his height..
When he finally came back to the NFL, all he did was lead NFL quarterbacks in winning percentage for a couple of years.
Randle El played at Indiana. That’s the Big Ten. There are a lot of really tall linemen in the Big Ten and lots of them go to the NFL.
He left Indiana, according to the 2002 Steelers media guide, as the “most statistically productive dual threat quarterback in NCAA history.”
He passed for more than 6,000 yards.
How did he get the ball over all of those big lineman?
Tom Bradley, Penn State’s widely acclaimed defensive coordinator said he gave up trying to figure out ways to stop him.
But, for some reason, there’s not an NFL offensive coordinator who can figure out how to make that translate to NFL success.
It may be crazy to suggest that the Steelers even consider trying to make Randle El a quarterback, but it’s no crazier than suggesting that Dixon would do any better.
If Ben is gone from the roster tomorrow, Randle El instantly becomes the best quarterback on the team.
What all of this means, of course, is that, if the Steelers aren’t looking around for an experienced quarterback right now, they sure should be.