Late For Work 8/19: Steelers ‘Would Like’ To Trade QB Dixon. Any Interest?

Plus Ray Rice has long had a Ricky Williams jersey and Lee Evans’ comfort level.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Friday, August 19th, 2011 at 9:18 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Steelers ‘Would Like’ To Trade QB Dixon. Any Interest?

The Ravens have expressed interest in signing a veteran quarterback who could backup Joe Flacco.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers have four veteran quarterbacks currently on their roster, but only three can make the team.

The final QB spot will come down to either 14-year veteran Charlie Batch or four-year veteran Dennis Dixon.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ed Bouchette wrote the franchise “would like” to solve the problem by trading Dixon, but “but that’s not likely to happen.”

“There are two opinions within the organization, those who want to keep Dixon as No. 3 and those who want Charlie Batch as No. 3.”

The Pittsburgh scribe didn’t elaborate on why a trade is unlikely, but with training camps coming to a close, the Steelers may have missed a trade window. And intra-division trades are rare anyway.

Thus, either Dixon or Batch would likely be released and free to sign with any team he chooses.

“They find themselves at opposite ends of their careers,” wrote the Associated Press. “The 26-year-old Dixon is eager to show he’s ready to become a starting quarterback. The 36-year-old Batch is hoping to get through another season.

“[Dixon] knows time is running out for him to make an impact in Pittsburgh, while Batch says he’s not ready to think about retirement yet.”

Ravens fans are already discussing whether trading for Dixon would be a good move, but we don’t know if Baltimore would be interested in him or Batch.

You can be sure Ravens brass is aware of the situation, as they are of potential cuts around the league. Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti said Tuesday he believes a lot of veterans will be released before the season begins and believes many of them would like to play in Baltimore.

Remember, the Ravens have also said they would be comfortable moving forward with rookie Tyrod Taylor at No. 2. So keep an eye on him tonight vs. the Chiefs to see how he is progressing.

What are your thoughts? Would you welcome either Batch or Dixon if the opportunity presented itself?

Rice Spent $200 On Ricky Williams Jersey

Is Ray Rice happy to have running back Ricky Williams as a teammate?

Uh, does that fact that the first NFL jersey Rice ever purchased had the name “Williams” and the No. 34 across the back help answer the question?

“When he played for the Dolphins, I actually purchased it,” Rice told WBAL’s Brett Hollander Wednesday. “I went and paid 200 and something bucks for it. And I got the guy playing as a teammate right now.

“We are constantly learning from each other.”

Rice said he remembers watching both Williams and new fullback Vonta Leach in their college and pro careers. The four-year back now feels “blessed and fortunate” with the two veterans in the same backfield

“Vonta Leach is special,” Rice explained. “He is special for many reasons and one sole reason: that he loves to block. When you’re a fullback, not everybody can say they want to be a fullback in the NFL. But he loves his job.”

Evans Still Learning New Terminology

I know there is plenty to evaluate tonight – the offensive line, the competition at safety, inside linebacker, cornerback and tight end. We’ll also get our first look at Williams.

Above all of that, however, a peek at new receiver Lee Evans is the most exciting to me.

Still, since it’s his first game with the Ravens, expectations need to be kept in check.

“It’s taking a little time for Evans to pick up the Ravens’ offensive terminology,” wrote MASN’s Dan Kolko. “Often times, the biggest hurdle a player has to overcome when he joins a new team is not necessarily learning the playbook, but learning the terminology.

“The way teams call their plays, make pre-snap adjustments and run their silent audibles can vary dramatically, and it sometimes can take players weeks to get used to how their new squad operates in that area.”

Evans told reporters this week the Ravens’ language is “completely” different from the Bills’, but he is comfortable enough to step onto the field tonight. 

That might be enough to keep Ravens fans satisfied for now. At the very least, they won’t be disappointed with the speed Evans has shown off in camp thus far.

Foxworth Feeling More Optimistic About Knee

Cornerback Domonique Foxworth didn’t inspire confidence at the start of the month when he expressed frustration with the recovery of his surgically-repaired right knee.

But now things seem to be looking up.

I feel a lot better,” Foxworth told The Baltimore Sun’s Edward Lee. “I had a couple of really good days of practice. I’m excited and not as down as I once was. There’s optimism.”

“I think the stability and strength are feeling much better,” he continued. “I think the quickness is coming more slowly. That’s a little frustrating, but I was able to make some good breaks today. I think the tough part is mentally, I’m back and probably better than I was before. I’m seeing routes and recognizing routes and route combinations better than I was before, and then I try to stick my leg in the ground and explode to get it. Sometimes it’s there, and sometimes it’s not. So it’s a little frustrating, but it’s better than it was, so I’m moving forward.”

With Foxworth getting limited time in practice the last two weeks, combined with Chris Carr’s hamstring injury, Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams have been practicing with the first-string defense. Lardarius Webb started last week against the Eagles.

Foxworth said he isn’t worried about the competition for the starting job. He is “comfortable” with whatever is best for the team.

Thank you! Thank you!

Please allow me to make a personal note before I move into “Quick Hits.”

I sincerely thank Duff and Mink for writing LFW while I was on maternity leave. It’s not easy getting up at the crack of dawn to put this sucker together, and that’s on top of their usual duties.

Also, a big shout-out to the other members of the Ravens’ Digital Media team for picking up my other behind-the-scene responsibilities. The birth of the little one came during one of the busiest times  in NFL history, and was a woman down, yet still managed to pump out the news. Thanks guys!

And a mother can’t resist showing off her small, but growing family. Me and my three boyz at an Orioles game …

Quick Hits

  • “Man I hope it duznt rain during the game…. But I’m sure it will,” tweeted receiver Tandon Doss last night. He’s right. There’s a 50 percent chance of precipitation at kickoff. [Twitter/]
  • With his knee on the mend, former Ravens receiver Mark Clayton is set to work out for the Patriots: []
  • “On paper, you could argue [Cam] Cameron deserves some patience, at least at the start of the year,” wrote Kevin Van Valkenburg. “Losing Derrick Mason and Todd Heap will be good for the Ravens — especially Flacco — in the long run. But initially, it’s going to complicate things.”  [The Baltimore Sun]
  • You thought the Ravens tackle situation was concerning …. The Steelers lost two left tackles to injuries during the first quarter of last night’s preseason game against the Eagles. After Jonathan Scott left the game with a knee injury, his backup, Marcus Gilbert, also left with a knee injury. Head Coach Mike Tomlin says they should be OK. [Twitter]
  • Former Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery, who the Ravens passed on signing, caught a touchdown for the Steelers in the first half. It’d be nice to see the same thing happen with Evans tonight. [Twitter]
  • brendon310 [Brendon Ayanbadejo]: “@raylewis52com Prayers go out to my man ray and his entire family while we ask for a miracle to restore his aunties health.” [Twitter]
  • Who has something prove against the Chiefs? In the video below, John Eisenberg says Oniel Cousins and Torrey Smith both need to make a statement.

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