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Steelman16
08-11-2008, 10:08 PM
Leftwich gets through 1st practice with Steelers
3 hours, 44 minutes ago

LATROBE, Pa. (AP)—Byron Leftwich waited nine months to get back on the practice field. Now that he’s done that, his first NFL action is likely only days away.

Signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the quarterback brought in to replace injured backup Charlie Batch impressed during his first two practices with the team on Monday, so much that coach Mike Tomlin said “it looks like he’ll be able to play” Thursday when the team plays the Buffalo Bills in Toronto.

“I was impressed simply by the fact he was a quick study,” Tomlin said after a rain-soaked afternoon practice at Saint Vincent College. “He was able to step out there and step in the huddle, spew the verbiage out, get people lined up and actually get the ball around.”

Leftwich, a former No. 7 overall pick and starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars, worked out Sunday for the team along with former Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper. The team was need of a veteran backup after Batch broke his collarbone in a 16-10 preseason win Friday against Philadelphia.

“Any time you put on shoulder pads and helmets for the first day, it’s always tough,” said Leftwich, who was released by the Jaguars after training camp last year and appeared in three games with the Atlanta Falcons. “I haven’t had a chance to put this stuff on since November when I got hurt, so it’s good to be out here and good to be part of an organization like this.”

Leftwich has no illusions about being a starter with Pittsburgh, which has Pro Bowler Ben Roethlisberger at the position. But after Batch, the team had only rookies Dennis Dixon and Mike Potts on the roster and wanted some insurance. Batch had surgery Monday and is expected to miss about six weeks.

Leftwich is reunited with Steelers quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson, who held the same position with Jacksonville.

“He’s a very smart quarterback, and he’s got a strong arm,” Anderson said. “He understands we have an established starter here, and he’s just happy to do what we ask him to do.”

Others besides Batch not practicing for Pittsburgh on Monday were punter Daniel Sepulveda, safety Ryan Mundy, who will miss at least two weeks with a high ankle sprain, cornerback Deshea Townsend (groin) and rookies defensive lineman Kyle Clement (knee) and linebacker Mike Humpel (neck).

Linebacker James Harrison missed the afternoon session after getting kicked in the shin during the morning workout, and safety Troy Polamalu remains on the physically unable to perform list due to a hamstring injury.

Among those who did practice was nose guard Casey Hampton, who came off the physically unable to perform list Sunday after reporting to camp overweight.

“It’s going to be a little work, but when it’s time, I’ll be ready to go,” Hampton said.

Looks like Leftwhich is a good fit here. And I'm also thinking Ken Anderson had a lot to do with the choice as well.

I'm not liking all this Troy-can't-stay-healty-for-his-life stuff. I'm beginning to wonder if his best days are already behind him.

Great to have Snack back though! :tt02:

tony hipchest
08-11-2008, 10:44 PM
troy can practice. tomlin just isnt gonna let him do it. unfortunately troy only knows 1 speed and that is "balls out".

that does nobody any good in practice and needs to be saved for real games. i think troy dont even need to know the playbook (i bet he knows every players duties though). he is one of the few players in the league who has been given the green light to freelance. as long as he is paying attention while he sits on the sidelines, he isnt missing nothing.

what im saying is his physical attributes are far more important than the "headiness" he brings to the game. troy is a "live by the sword, die by the sword" type of player, and im more than willing to let him rest and take my chances with it.

as far as leftwich goes, i think he is going to be the perfect fit, in the perfect situation to try and resurrect his career. willie colon summed it up best about batch's importance when he basically said he was the rock of the offense. dixon cant say enough about how important he has been in his development. i dont think lefty will do anything to disrupt that.

other than that, when was the last time we had a 7th overall draftpick (or higher) into camp? i think farrior was #6 (we all know how that cast-off panned out). other than that, do we go all the way back to bradshaw at #1?

im just excited about the potential to get slightly better w/o using a draftpick or shelling out the big buck.

low risk - high reward.

Edman
08-11-2008, 10:54 PM
If Charlie comes back, how do we know if he'll be back in playing shape?

Even if Byron plays well, I think he'll be the odd man out. Either him or Dixon.

redst3
08-12-2008, 03:06 AM
Logic dictates that if Leftwich comes in and plays well after 2 or 3 days of practice and Dixon doesn't then you have to think about making Dixon a PS player. Then you keep Leftwich and Charlie when the season starts.

Galax Steeler
08-12-2008, 03:32 AM
Yea you can just about say that dixon will hit the practice squad if Leftwich plays well and Charlie returns at 100%.

SteelMember
08-12-2008, 07:17 AM
I don't know if they gamble with Dixon to clear waivers to get to the practice squad.
To speed his return, Charlie elected to have surgery instead of waiting the estimated 3 months for it to heal naturally. Although in the long run he will be better for it, depending on how Byron plays, Batch could be the odd man out by being placed on IR. At that point we wouldn't see him until next spring.

Lord Stiller
08-12-2008, 07:21 AM
Yea you can just about say that dixon will hit the practice squad if Leftwich plays well and Charlie returns at 100%.

No you can't. Where do you guys come up with this stuff? :doh:

Dixon will make the team. Steelers will have to pick between Batch or Leftwich

HometownGal
08-12-2008, 07:50 AM
If Charlie comes back, how do we know if he'll be back in playing shape?

Even if Byron plays well, I think he'll be the odd man out. Either him or Dixon.

I disagree, Ed. If Leftwich proves to be the capable backup most believe he can and will be, I think this will be Charlie's last season as the #2 QB and quite possibly, his last season in the black 'n' gold. I think age may play a huge role in that decision, as well, as Byron is 28 and Charlie is 33.

redst3
08-12-2008, 08:29 AM
No you can't. Where do you guys come up with this stuff? :doh:

Dixon will make the team. Steelers will have to pick between Batch or Leftwich

I don't understand.

Let's say Leftwich is killer in the preseason and Charlie, even at his age, heals OK and then Dixon doesn't catch on. Why would you keep him (Dixon)? At that point, wouldn't you want to keep CB since he has been capable in the past?

Not meant as a flame, i am just trying to get your perspective. :drink:

SteelMember
08-12-2008, 08:47 AM
I don't understand.

Let's say Leftwich is killer in the preseason and Charlie, even at his age, heals OK and then Dixon doesn't catch on. Why would you keep him (Dixon)? At that point, wouldn't you want to keep CB since he has been capable in the past?

Not meant as a flame, i am just trying to get your perspective. :drink:

I believe the staff, at this point, likes Dixon a lot and sees the pick as a value based on his pre-injury ranking coming out of college. To risk him to the practice squad is just that. After the final roster cuts are made, everyone who gets cut is put on waivers. This means any team can pick him up before practice team rosters are formed.

As an example, 2005 5th round pick, Fred Gibson was lost to Miami after cuts with the hopes of putting him on the practice squad. Not a big loss. Just illustrating the consequences.

Counselor
08-12-2008, 08:56 AM
I disagree, Ed. If Leftwich proves to be the capable backup most believe he can and will be, I think this will be Charlie's last season as the #2 QB and quite possibly, his last season in the black 'n' gold. I think age may play a huge role in that decision, as well, as Byron is 28 and Charlie is 33.

Unfortunately, I think you are correct HTG. From what I understand with the surgery its a mimimum six weeks for Charlie. so he's not going to be ready for week one. They will go into the season with BR, Leftwich and Dixon. They may put Batch on IR, or they may just keep him, but eitherway, I think unless he signs for the league minimum, he may not be back as a Steeler next year.

In support of the potential 4 QB's on the roster decision---Mike Prisuta insists he doesn't see 53 guys at St. Vincent who should make the team. 51 maybe, but not 53so that leaves a spot or two to play with potentially.

Lord Stiller
08-12-2008, 09:11 AM
Not meant as a flame, i am just trying to get your perspective. :drink:

Dixon is a guy they can groom for years to be a quality backup. They have been waiting to get a guy like this after going through several other young qb's including drafting that bum last year.

You could see in the preseason game last Friday that Dixon has the poise to run our offense which is a rare thing for a rookie to step in and do. Dixon would not last on the practice squad, i think they will definitely keep him as the 3rd stringer.

It's between Leftwich or Batch for the bachup spot. Leftwich has a better arm, is 5 years younger, is healthy and makes a lot less money than Batch.

RoethlisBURGHer
08-12-2008, 09:44 AM
If they had to choose between Leftwich and Batch, I too think they would choose Byron.

Younger, bigger arm, less money.

Not to mention this is Batch's last season under contract with the Steelers. I have a feeling after this season he'll retire anyhow.

revefsreleets
08-12-2008, 09:44 AM
Wow, I just got to thinking about this...with Lefty on the roster, 3 of our 4 QB's are from the MAC.

(raising hands)
Go MAC, Go MAC, Go MAC! w00t! w00t!

LVSteelersfan
08-12-2008, 10:01 AM
I don't understand.

Let's say Leftwich is killer in the preseason and Charlie, even at his age, heals OK and then Dixon doesn't catch on. Why would you keep him (Dixon)? At that point, wouldn't you want to keep CB since he has been capable in the past?

Not meant as a flame, i am just trying to get your perspective. :drink:

It is time for Charlie Batch to retire. Plain and simple. I don't think he is going to continue being affective for any length of time. Leftwitch is now in journeyman status and Dixon is the backup QB of the future so he can't be risked by putting him on waivers. CB is the logical choice as the odd man out. Pay him an injury settlement and get him out of there. Perhaps he can be used to coach Dixon and Leftwitch.

CanadianSteel
08-12-2008, 10:44 AM
AS much as CB was a solid backup and good guy I think thre writting may be on the wall with this injury. Leftwhich may be a good fit at this point in his career as Ben;s backup for one year, and Dixon will be given time to grow into the backup role.
If Dixon hits waivers I think he would get scooped up.
I don't see how you can hold a spot for a 33 year old backup but we will see how it plays out.

rdsovchen
08-12-2008, 10:58 AM
Can Charlie Punt? :rofl:

xfl2001fan
08-12-2008, 11:16 AM
Wow, I just got to thinking about this...with Lefty on the roster, 3 of our 4 QB's are from the MAC.

(raising hands)
Go MAC, Go MAC, Go MAC! w00t! w00t!


Who did Batch play for? I don't ever remember hearing about it...but that's very interesting.

Dino 6 Rings
08-12-2008, 12:18 PM
Byron is getting a chance as the backup in Pittsburgh to showcase his "talent" to other teams that may be in need of a #1 QB in the future. He signed with us because he knew he'd get alot of playing time in the pre-season and my understanding of the deal is that he realizes once Charlie comes back healthy, he's out as the #2 guy. That was something Dante wouldn't stand for. Byron just wants back in the league so bad he's willing to take a back seat to get the chance to show other teams what he still has left in the tank.

millwalldavey
08-12-2008, 12:21 PM
Who did Batch play for? I don't ever remember hearing about it...but that's very interesting.

Eastern Michigan

millwalldavey
08-12-2008, 12:23 PM
Dixon is a guy they can groom for years to be a quality backup. They have been waiting to get a guy like this after going through several other young qb's including drafting that bum last year.


I think Leftwich is more in the style of Dixon, so he would be a good mentor... not say Charlie would not be....

Omar Jacobs! Another MAC QB...

rdsovchen
08-12-2008, 12:32 PM
Byron is getting a chance as the backup in Pittsburgh to showcase his "talent" to other teams that may be in need of a #1 QB in the future. He signed with us because he knew he'd get alot of playing time in the pre-season and my understanding of the deal is that he realizes once Charlie comes back healthy, he's out as the #2 guy. That was something Dante wouldn't stand for. Byron just wants back in the league so bad he's willing to take a back seat to get the chance to show other teams what he still has left in the tank.

So the Steeler's FO is forking out $700,000 to showcase him as trade bait?:doh:

I think there is a little more to it than that! :popcorn:

Elvis
08-12-2008, 02:10 PM
According to Ed Bouchette, the Steelers seem like they will keep him and put Batch on Injured Reserve, which means that he will be our back up the rest of this season.
:noidea:

43Hitman
08-12-2008, 02:24 PM
Byron is getting a chance as the backup in Pittsburgh to showcase his "talent" to other teams that may be in need of a #1 QB in the future. He signed with us because he knew he'd get alot of playing time in the pre-season and my understanding of the deal is that he realizes once Charlie comes back healthy, he's out as the #2 guy. That was something Dante wouldn't stand for. Byron just wants back in the league so bad he's willing to take a back seat to get the chance to show other teams what he still has left in the tank.

I wish more players had the same attitude that Byron has.

SuckItUp
08-12-2008, 05:33 PM
Dixon SUCKS! Who "trains" to be a back up q.b. anyways? LOL If Brette Farve has taught us anything, it's that we will still have a very capable back up Q.B. for at least 7 more years! No one in the league is a better backup for us than Batch. He knows our offense inside and out, and besides the deep ball, we don't even skip a beat when Big Ben goes down.

Preacher
08-12-2008, 07:19 PM
Dixon is a guy they can groom for years to be a quality backup. They have been waiting to get a guy like this after going through several other young qb's including drafting that bum last year.

You could see in the preseason game last Friday that Dixon has the poise to run our offense which is a rare thing for a rookie to step in and do. Dixon would not last on the practice squad, i think they will definitely keep him as the 3rd stringer.

It's between Leftwich or Batch for the bachup spot. Leftwich has a better arm, is 5 years younger, is healthy and makes a lot less money than Batch.


Kinda funny how we can disagree vehemently on one thread...

and then be in absolute agreement on another thread.

scsteeler
08-12-2008, 08:34 PM
Dixon SUCKS! Who "trains" to be a back up q.b. anyways? LOL If Brette Farve has taught us anything, it's that we will still have a very capable back up Q.B. for at least 7 more years! No one in the league is a better backup for us than Batch. He knows our offense inside and out, and besides the deep ball, we don't even skip a beat when Big Ben goes down.




I think your assessment of Dixon is wrong. He will make a fine QB if given the opportunity to learn the system. Who said he was training to be a backup other than posters on this site. I am sure every QB has plans of being the starter but you have to understand your Role on the Team. In today's league everyone needs a backup QB that could be starter if placed in that role. Right now Dixon will be learning just like all of the other rookie QB's and those rookie QB's will most likely not have stellar starting year. Only Big Ben has done that and it was do to have a lights out running game and defense.

Stlrs4Life
08-12-2008, 09:19 PM
I don't know if they gamble with Dixon to clear waivers to get to the practice squad.
To speed his return, Charlie elected to have surgery instead of waiting the estimated 3 months for it to heal naturally. Although in the long run he will be better for it, depending on how Byron plays, Batch could be the odd man out by being placed on IR. At that point we wouldn't see him until next spring.


I agree, they do not put Dixon on the PS. Batch could possibly be the odd man out. Leftwich is younger.

millwalldavey
08-13-2008, 09:09 AM
Leftwich is wearing #4.

COOL! I'm ahead of the curve, I have a #4 jersey (even though my name is on it).

Everyone thought it was a Jacobs jersey last year!

Dino 6 Rings
08-13-2008, 12:03 PM
So the Steeler's FO is forking out $700,000 to showcase him as trade bait?:doh:

I think there is a little more to it than that! :popcorn:

No.

I was saying that Byron agreed to take the Backup role, unlike Dante because he saw it as an opportunity to get himself back into the league. Even if he plays the 3 pre-season games and doesn't see the field often all year except in mop-up time, he'll at least get a chance to show other teams that he still has NFL Talent to warrant a shot at becoming a Number 1 in the 2009 season.

Its better for Byron than sitting out an entire year or playing for Atlanta. With the Steelers there is a chance of him getting on the field to "showcase" his talent to the rest of the league. If Dante doesn't sign anywhere this offseason, he's doomed for the 2009 season. Teams like the 49ers, Lions, Bucs, Dolphins, Bills, Texans, Bears, Vikings, could all have QB issues after this season. Leftwich is playing now for the opportunity to show those type of teams he still has what it takes to be a #1.

Collecting the 700g is great for this year, but not his long term goal. Unless he thinks being the Backup to Ben for the next 7 years is where he really feels comfortable.

SteelMember
08-13-2008, 02:18 PM
No.

I was saying that Byron agreed to take the Backup role, unlike Dante because he saw it as an opportunity to get himself back into the league. Even if he plays the 3 pre-season games and doesn't see the field often all year except in mop-up time, he'll at least get a chance to show other teams that he still has NFL Talent to warrant a shot at becoming a Number 1 in the 2009 season.

Its better for Byron than sitting out an entire year or playing for Atlanta. With the Steelers there is a chance of him getting on the field to "showcase" his talent to the rest of the league. If Dante doesn't sign anywhere this offseason, he's doomed for the 2009 season. Teams like the 49ers, Lions, Bucs, Dolphins, Bills, Texans, Bears, Vikings, could all have QB issues after this season. Leftwich is playing now for the opportunity to show those type of teams he still has what it takes to be a #1.

Collecting the 700g is great for this year, but not his long term goal. Unless he thinks being the Backup to Ben for the next 7 years is where he really feels comfortable.

I have to agree with pretty much everything you said. Just wanted to point out the 700g is more than he was making last week. And the market will only be flooded by more QB's in the weeks to come once teams start cutting players.

Preacher
08-13-2008, 02:37 PM
No.


Collecting the 700g is great for this year, but not his long term goal. Unless he thinks being the Backup to Ben for the next 7 years is where he really feels comfortable.

You know,

almost a mill a year for seven years to be on a perennial playoff team, being able to stay healthy and around the game if not in it for much longer than would otherwise be, and becoming beloved by the fans for nothing more than being smart about your place and position....

yeah, that does have some appeal to it....

revefsreleets
08-13-2008, 02:51 PM
I would sell my soul to the Devil for 700 large a year to carry around a clipboard and maybe play as the opposing QB on the scout team. Especially on a perrenailly winning team.

Dino 6 Rings
08-13-2008, 04:15 PM
You know,

almost a mill a year for seven years to be on a perennial playoff team, being able to stay healthy and around the game if not in it for much longer than would otherwise be, and becoming beloved by the fans for nothing more than being smart about your place and position....

yeah, that does have some appeal to it....

Hence the Reason Charlie Batch has been more than happy to sit around and show up in practice and Back up Ben. It was a much easier gig than being the QB for the Lions or any other loser franchise out there.

43Hitman
08-13-2008, 04:20 PM
I would sell my soul to the Devil for 700 large a year to carry around a clipboard and maybe play as the opposing QB on the scout team. Especially on a perrenailly winning team.

I wouldn't.

I think I know where your coming from..just strong words.

HometownGal
08-13-2008, 04:23 PM
Hence the Reason Charlie Batch has been more than happy to sit around and show up in practice and Back up Ben. It was a much easier gig than being the QB for the Lions or any other loser franchise out there.

And make $2 mil per season doing so. I've never been a huge Batch fan, but the guy isn't stupid that's for sure.

redst3
08-14-2008, 04:46 AM
Maybe tonight we will see Leftwich in action.

Aussie_steeler
08-14-2008, 05:15 AM
What are the possible outcomes?

1. Leftwich plays well in preseason, Batch heals and returns, Leftwich is traded for a draft pick and Dixon remains #3

2. Leftwich plays well in preseason, Batch heals slowly and placed on IR, Leftwich is kept and Dixon remains #3. At end of season you chose between 2 UFA's as your backup for 2010

3. Leftwich plays well in preseason, Batch heals and returns, Batch is traded for a draft pick and Dixon remains #3

4. Leftwich plays poorly in preseason, Batch heals and returns, Leftwich is cut and Dixon remains #3

I cant see how any of these options cost the steelers anything and only give the team a strong QB core for the upcoming season.

Aussie_steeler
08-14-2008, 05:17 AM
After my last post I found this article online. Sums it up a little better than mine.

http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/pittsburgh_mike/2008/08/12/Pittsburgh_Steelers_A_very_good_problem_to_have

Pittsburgh Steelers: A very good problem to have
Aug 12, 2008 | 8:33AM | report this As unfortunate as a rather serious injury is during a pre-season game, sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise. Of course, you kind of have to be looking for silver linings, which is precisely what I'm doing here!

With Charlie Batch going down to a broken collarbone, and rookie QB Dennis Dixon being far from ready to walk into the #2 QB role, the Steelers went shopping. Turns out there are two rather high-profile QBs looking for work, and the Steelers gave both a look. Ex-Jag, ex-Falcon Byron Leftwich got the call over ex-Viking, ex-Dolphin Duante Culpepper.

The Steelers chose Leftwich, and according to published reports, he was their primary choice from the get-go, but contract concerns prompted them to bring in Culpepper for a look at the same time. So now the Steelers have 4 QBs on their roster, and this is what brings me to the point of this entry.

Having 2 really top-quality back up QBs is a luxury that virtually no team can afford these days, given salary cap constraints, and QB egos. But the loss of Batch and the import of Leftwich leaves the Steelers in a rather interesting position. What should they do? Keeping Leftwich on the roster will save them a significant chunk of change because I think Batch's contract pays him close to $1 million a year, whereas Leftwich (if he makes the roster) will get $450K. There are a lot of reasons to give Byron a hard, hard look to make this team. First, he was a number 7 overall #1 draft pick of the Jags. There were always questions about his throwing motion, but never about his leadership nor his drive to win. When healthy, he was accurate and so strong-armed that receivers literally got pummeled by the fastballs he threw. I would guess that adapting to a #2 role is not something that Leftwich really wants to do, but at the same time he would get paid for simply being on the team.

The question is, what to do with Charlie Batch? I don't think the Steelers would keep both Batch and Leftwich at the expense of Dennis Dixon. They drafted Dixon from Oregon for his blend of athletic ability, and his football smarts. I think that Steeler coaches are looking at Dixon as a project - how to utilize his athletic skills while honing his QB skills. He's far from being ready to actually play a #2 role for Pittsburgh, but having that kind of talent on the team is never a bad idea. Hell, maybe one day he could evolve into Slash #2...although I wouldn't exactly count on that. Anyway, back to Batch. Charlie has been the perfect backup QB for the Steelers. He works hard, knows the playbook, and honestly is perfectly suited for coming into the game on short notice or for a stop-gap game or two and performing quite well. He's smart with the ball, and confident enough to lead a good team to a win when called upon. He has a track record with the Steelers of doing a good to great job in the backup role. His injury is in a critical place - the kind of place that unless the doctors are very careful it could adversely impact his throwing motion.

It is highly unlikely that Ben Roethlisberger will be supplanted by either Leftwich or Batch under ordinary circumstances - about as likely as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning losing their #1 starting role for their respective teams. So it's all about injury. Roethlisberger - due to his manner of play and willingness to stand tall in the face of a pass rush - has had some injuries. None major, none career threatening, but the kind that will keep him out o####ame or two here and there. So having a solid #2 in Pittsburgh is a critical thing. Leftwich shares some attributes with Ben - size, strength, arm strength. Leftwich is far less mobile than Ben, and even less mobile than Batch (who by all accounts is not a very mobile QB). But the leadership and pedigree are there - more so with Leftwich than Batch.

This is a very difficult decision for the Steelers - but a good one to have. If it comes down to a strictly financial decision, Leftwich will stay and Batch will go on the IR. If Leftwich doesn't pan out, the Steelers will keep him long enough to get Charlie healthy, then cut him. If Leftwich sets the world on fire in his backup role, then the Steelers have an even more difficult decision. But, as I said, it's a luxury. Many teams don't get the opportunity to choose between two such QBs for the #2 role.

And on a final note...given the starting QBs that some teams are planning to start opening day...one wonders why Leftwich and Culpepper weren't already taken. But I suppose those teams have their plans in place and what not. I personally think the Steelers were rather fortunate to be able to sign Leftwich. The first time that Rex Grossman pukes up a game, don't you think Chicago faithful will wonder why the Bears didn't take a longer look at someone like Leftwich?

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the situation.

TailgateMel
08-14-2008, 05:31 AM
Sorry, I didn't see it if it was noted, but what was Leftwiches injury last year?

stlrtruck
08-14-2008, 07:48 AM
Sorry, I didn't see it if it was noted, but what was Leftwiches injury last year?

He had an ankle problem and then last year he got a high ankle sprain on the opposite ankle.