Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says he'll decide on his starting quarterback by the time training camp opens in July.
Tomlin told the team's official Web site Wednesday that he doesn't envision having a typical competition between Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon to determine who'll be behind center while Ben Roethlisberger serves a six-game suspension to open the regular season. However, Tomlin said he'll "certainly" know the pecking order entering camp.
"Really, it's not a three-man quarterback competition at this point," Tomlin said. "We know what all three men are capable of doing. All three men, at different points in time, have benefited us and helped us win football games or played winning football. We know what we're working with. We're going to spend the rest of this offseason teaching, re-acclimating in some cases -– as with Byron Leftwich -– and then we're going to make decisions and move forward."
Tomlin added that "in all likelihood" he won't announce his decision at the start of camp, but he'll make it by then.
Although Roethlisberger's suspension for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy can be reduced to four games, the Steelers brought back Leftwich in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for depth. Leftwich, who was Roethlisberger's backup in 2008, has made 49 starts in seven NFL seasons.
Batch has the most starts out of the three quarterbacks with 50, but just four have come in the last eight seasons. Dixon, who's entering his third NFL season, made his first career start last year.