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NFL Preseason Week 1 Preview: Play-Caller Byron Leftwich, Steelers Stars Sit, Messenger Myles Garrett
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9 Aug 2017 05:27 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich. (Image Source: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Around the NFL going into Week 1 of the preseason:

Leftwich to Call Plays

When the Arizona Cardinals take on the Oakland Raiders on Saturday it will be first-year quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich who will be calling the plays according to a tweet by Darren Urban from the team’s official website.

Head coach Bruce Arians sees a big future for Leftwich, who played ten seasons in the NFL.

"He'll be a head coach early and fast," Arians said when the team made him a full-time coach back in January.

The Marshal product spent four season as a backup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including three in which Arians was the offensive coordinator. Leftwich, the seventh overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, will be working with Carson Palmer, who was the first pick that same year.

Tomlin Announces No Big Ben or Antonio

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who are already without running back Le’Veon Bell and wide out Martavis Bryant, who still hasn’t been cleared to practice, will also be without their two biggest stars in their preseason opener against the New York Giants.

On Wednesday, head coach Mike Tomlin announced that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide out Antonio Brown will both be held out of Friday’s contest. According to the head man they are the only two healthy scratches.

Projected backup Landry Jones has been dealing with an abdominal injury so that means a heavy dose of fourth-round pick Josh Dobbs with undrafted rookie Bart Houston picking up the remainder of the snaps under center. This is a great opportunity for Dobbs to make a run at the No. 2 role and for Houston to make people notice, if not in Pittsburgh then around the league.

Garrett to Send ‘Message’

The Cleveland Browns open their preseason on Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints and No. 1 overall pick defensive end Myles Garrett plans to send a message.

"They don't have much film to go off of, at least not of me now, and they don't know what I have to offer,'' said Garrett (per "So, I'm looking forward to sending a message through this first game.''

Presumably, Garrett intends to introduce himself to the opposing quarterback as he plans to dominate.

"It doesn't matter if it's preseason or a scrimmage,'' said Garrett. "I'm trying to have a dominant performance, whether it's preseason first series or whenever I get out there.''

According to reports, Garrett has looked good and flashed the ability to get into the offensive backfield with his penetration skills in both practice, as well as the team’s scrimmage. What he hasn’t been able to do is hit the quarterback something he is looking forward to.

"(I get to) follow through,'' said Garrett. "It's kind of a relief. It's really harder to avoid hitting him than it is to actually wrap him up and take him down. Now that I can follow through, I can actually show that I'm getting there and I'm making big plays.''

The Browns released their unofficial depth chart on Monday and Garrett was listed as a starter.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. 

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