Leftwich Steelers No. 1 quarterback, at least for today

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Quarterback Byron Leftwich took his turn with the first-team offense in the Steelers first minicamp practice today, and it could be a sign of coach Mike Tomlin's plans to open the season when he will be without Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers re-acquired Leftwich in a trade with Tampa Bay before the draft, and he said not to take anything seriously yet about how the quarterbacks were used in the first minicamp practice.

Dennis Dixon, however, said he believes the rotation will remain the way it was this morning with him second behind Leftwich. Charlie Batch ran third.

The Steelers have to prepare another quarterback to start at least the first four games of the season. Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Roethlisberger the first four to six games. Leftwich backed up Roethlisberger during the 2008 season after Batch went on injured reserve, and then signed with the Bucs as a free agent last year.

Tomlin also wasted little time in re-installing Bryant McFadden as his starting left cornerback. McFadden started there before he left as a free agent last year to sign with Arizona. The Steelers acquired him from the Cardinals in a trade Saturday.

Besides Roethlisberger, only Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison was missing. He was excused to attend his uncle's funeral in Akron, Ohio.

The Steelers also removed one rookie from their roster today without explanation: A.J. Trump, a center-guard from the University of Miami, bringing their roster to 90.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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