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GBMelBlount
08-12-2008, 06:18 AM
Leftwich could play Thursday, might be backup all season

Quarterback Byron Leftwich, who should be starting somewhere else in the NFL, took his first snaps on the practice field as the new No. 2 quarterback with the Steelers yesterday, and it's possible he could stay there the whole season.

While the playoff opportunities for teams such as the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens go begging for a decent starting quarterback, Leftwich scalded the hands of new receivers with his well-known fastball in two practices at Saint Vincent College.

"Byron was a No. 1 pick, the seventh overall in the draft," said Steelers quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson, who coached Leftwich for three seasons in Jacksonville. "He's started in the league, won games in the league. We're happy to have him here to kind of bail us out."

Leftwich, 28, could not understand why he remained unsigned since Atlanta released him in February, then he stopped trying to understand. He started four seasons for the Jaguars, where he was 24-20 in games spread among his injuries.
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He has had two noticeable flaws, one he says has been corrected. He had persistent ankle injuries that date to his days at Marshall University when his teammates would pick him up and carry him to the huddle after he completed a pass. He said surgery last year finally fixed that.

"It's been the same injury time and time again, but I never got it fixed because, I wasn't a doctor and nobody told me, hey, you need to get that fixed," Leftwich said. "Once I got it fixed, it's better now. Last year I got something different, a high ankle sprain on the other ankle."

The other is a noticeable windup in his throwing motion that prevents him from getting the ball away more quickly. Coaches have tried to change that, with little luck.

"Your quarterback's throwing motion is his throwing motion and that's not going to change a whole lot," Anderson said. "Everyone knows Byron's got a little of an elongated motion and he's going to have to make it up with smarts and anticipation."

Leftwich noted another way in which he makes up for lost time because of his windup. "I feel as though I'm a little slower with my windup, so I just throw the ball faster and it gets there at the same time."

Leftwich should be able to pick up enough of the offense and its numerology to play Thursday against the Buffalo Bills in Toronto.

"I was impressed simply by the fact he's a quick study," coach Mike Tomlin said. "He was able to step out there, step in the huddle, spew the verbiage out, get people lined up actually and deliver the ball around. He's a very sharp guy, that's obvious ... I would guess he'll be able to play on Thursday."

Factors seem to point to him remaining No. 2 to Ben Roethlisberger during the regular season. If he's on the roster to start the season Sept. 7, the Steelers are obligated to pay him his full salary of $645,000. Batch will miss at least six weeks.

The Steelers have gone with just two quarterbacks at times, but they had two veterans in Roethlisberger and Batch and had a younger quarterback, often Brian St. Pierre, on the practice squad.

If rookie Dennis Dixon makes great progress the next month, they could gamble and make him No. 2 until Batch heals. Or, they could stick with Leftwich and place Batch on injured reserve. They likely don't want to try to put Dixon on the practice squad because he would have to clear waivers and they could lose him.

"I just want to play football and help the team as much as I can," Leftwich said. "That's my mind-set, just go out there, become a better player, help this football team, see what happens."

It will be an adjustment for a player drafted seventh overall, a four-year starter, to play second-fiddle. But then, Leftwich had no position at all for nearly six months.

"It's different because you're not the guy and you used to be the guy," Leftwich said.

"We all know who the guy is. My job is to prepare myself every day in case I'm needed. And if I'm needed I have to go out there and we can't miss a beat, and that's what I'm going to work myself toward."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08225/903618-66.stm

Steelers Training Camp -- Day 16
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
New Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich drops back to pass yesterday at Saint Vincent College.

Ed Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.
First published on August 12, 2008 at 12:00 am

HometownGal
08-12-2008, 07:53 AM
XT and I are going up to TC today so I'll be keeping my eyes on Leftwich and will be back this evening with a full report! :thumbsup:

I'm delighted that we were able to obtain Leftwich's services - I believe this young man to be a good fit for the Steelers all the way around.

Lord Stiller
08-12-2008, 07:58 AM
XT and I are going up to TC today so I'll be keeping my eyes on Leftwich and will be back this evening with a full report! :thumbsup:

I'm delighted that we were able to obtain Leftwich's services - I believe this young man to be a good fit for the Steelers all the way around.

cool, let us know how he looks

i too think he can be a good fit on our team as a backup. he has a very strong arm.

I'm also excited to have Dixon as our 3rd string. He looks really good for a rookie.

Charlie - we all love ya but 2 million for a 33 year old backup ain't gonna cut it

klick81
08-12-2008, 11:16 AM
XT and I are going up to TC today so I'll be keeping my eyes on Leftwich and will be back this evening with a full report! :thumbsup:

I'm delighted that we were able to obtain Leftwich's services - I believe this young man to be a good fit for the Steelers all the way around.

Pics please! It's just so weird to imagine him in a B&G uniform.

millwalldavey
08-12-2008, 12:11 PM
What number is he wearing?

Lord Stiller
08-12-2008, 12:12 PM
What number is he wearing?

Leftwich is #4

and there are pics from yesterday's practice here: http://www.post-gazette.com/steelers/

revefsreleets
08-12-2008, 12:47 PM
I was at the game he was carried around in (it was at Akron). I still think that was for dramatic effect and Heisman voters. It was a bit over the top...

steelreserve
08-12-2008, 01:01 PM
I don't mind having him as the backup. He's no worse than Batch.

Weird that the April Fool's thread I made about Batch being off the team is coming true, sort of.

STEELAMANIA
08-12-2008, 03:10 PM
Goodbye Batch. Leftwich is a huge upgrade for backup.

Steelman16
08-12-2008, 03:15 PM
"We all know who the guy is."

Yeah, and don't you forget it Byron! :chuckle:


Can't wait to hear your reports HTG and XT! :thumbsup:

SteelerFanInCA
08-14-2008, 03:03 PM
I think we were pretty fortunate to get a backup QB of his Caliber. What get's me is why aren't teams who have no solid play at QB (like the 49ers & Bears) not even interestred in Leftwich?

I would choose Leftwich over Alex Smtih or Rex Grossman any day of the week.

Alva Lord
08-14-2008, 03:59 PM
IMO, Leftwich hasn't been signed by a team because of his injury history since joining the league. The guy hasn't had an injury free season since he was drafted in 2003. He was injured in college.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v458/MBlaster1/Silverbacksig540.jpg

redst3
08-14-2008, 06:47 PM
Looking forward to seeing him in the morning (when i watch the tape i making tonight).

Shoes
08-14-2008, 09:46 PM
Leftwich May Be Backup All Season


I hope its not true...unless its 3rd or 4th team.

redst3
08-15-2008, 07:41 AM
He struggled for sure, the fumble was horrible. Let's see what happens next week.

Alva Lord
08-15-2008, 07:55 AM
He's still a slow footed sloth.

HometownGal
08-15-2008, 08:07 AM
With the way the OL played last night, Peytoon and A$$ Chin wouldn't have done squat diddly doo either.

I have the utmost confidence in Leftwich as a backup to Ben. Last night was his first game with a new team who he hasn't practiced all that much with yet. From what I saw of him at TC, I feel Byron was an excellent selection and most definitely will be #2 for the entire season. :thumbsup:

redst3
08-15-2008, 09:45 AM
With the way the OL played last night, Peytoon and A$$ Chin wouldn't have done squat diddly doo either.

I have the utmost confidence in Leftwich as a backup to Ben. Last night was his first game with a new team who he hasn't practiced all that much with yet. From what I saw of him at TC, I feel Byron was an excellent selection and most definitely will be #2 for the entire season. :thumbsup:

I have high hopes you are right. Like I said, less than 5 days before last night's game, the dude wasn't even on the team. let's see what happens. As I noted in another thread, I thought Dixon was much improved. Also, note that Potts didn't even get a snap. Charlie may really be a goner.

BlastFurnace
08-15-2008, 10:09 AM
It all boils down to this...block effectively, keep bodies off of Ben and keep him healthy...and we don't have to worry about Leftwich, Batch, or Dixon.

Haiku_Dirtt
08-15-2008, 10:31 AM
UGLY UGLU UGLY UGLY UGLY UGLY

UGLY UGLU UGLY UGLY UGLY UGLY

UGLY UGLU UGLY UGLY UGLY UGLY

UGLY UGLU UGLY UGLY UGLY UGLY

UGLY UGLU UGLY UGLY UGLY UGLY

UGLY UGLU UGLY UGLY UGLY UGLY

KeiselPower99
08-19-2008, 03:54 PM
He looked good for a guy with2 games in the last year. Im excited abhout him being here and hope he sticks around for many more as Bens backup.

HometownGal
08-19-2008, 04:14 PM
He looked good for a guy with2 games in the last year. Im excited abhout him being here and hope he sticks around for many more as Bens backup.

Other than the fumble, I didn't think he looked all that bad for a guy who just signed with the Steelers 10 days or so ago and as you so correctly stated, has only 2 appearances under center in the last year. Ben had a turnover in that game too.

Lefty is not Ben and never will be, but as I've said before - if Lefty (God forbid) has to replace Ben due to injury for a few games or more, I'd feel pretty confident that he could step in and get the job done (if the OL does its part). I don't have that same faith in Charlie.

BlastFurnace
08-19-2008, 05:17 PM
Other than the fumble, I didn't think he looked all that bad for a guy who just signed with the Steelers 10 days or so ago and as you so correctly stated, has only 2 appearances under center in the last year. Ben had a turnover in that game too.

Lefty is not Ben and never will be, but as I've said before - if Lefty (God forbid) has to replace Ben due to injury for a few games or more, I'd feel pretty confident that he could step in and get the job done (if the OL does its part). I don't have that same faith in Charlie.

Unfortunately, I feel the same about Charlie. I feel, right now, he is at slightly above same stage of his career that "Pick 6" (Maddox) was at the end of his career.

Batch has served the Steelers well though.

wvsportsman
08-19-2008, 05:53 PM
I want to disagree on this subject but I can't whole heartedly either way. Before charlie's injury I would have said I had more confidence him than Byron. At 36 I don't know if he can come back from this injury. When heathy I like his mechanics and presence on the field more so than Leftwich and I hate to see him lose his job because of injury , as he has served the steelers well. On the other hand Leftwich is younger and has a rocket arm although he needs to lean to put some touch on some of his passes especially when the receiver is only 15 or 20 yrds down field. He has shown flashes of being a good QB but I don't think he's been consistent enough, Why he was cut from the jags and falcons along with the ankle injury and I don't think we know if his ankle will hold up yet.

Welcome To Smashmouth
08-19-2008, 06:35 PM
Might have been a smart move picking him up after the Batch injury, but if you ask me Dixon has looked more impressive. I say its a solid rotation of three, but if Ben did go down I'm calling on Dixon to be my backup

stlrtruck
08-19-2008, 06:54 PM
Might have been a smart move picking him up after the Batch injury, but if you ask me Dixon has looked more impressive. I say its a solid rotation of three, but if Ben did go down I'm calling on Dixon to be my backup

I agree that Dixon has been impressive and I think that given a fair shake, he might even supplant Leftwich as the #2.

missedgehead
08-19-2008, 07:01 PM
Well, Byron's injuy history worries me some. I think I rather have Dixon if Charlie can not come back. I like CHarlie alot though. I know there is going to be the time where we have to replace Charlie but I am not a huge Leftwich fan. Sorry

lilyoder6
08-19-2008, 08:04 PM
well the steelers did draft dixon to take over the number 2 spot.. maybe he'll take it over quicker than most ppl thought.. but dixon is playing very well after his knee injury.. and 4 batch,, it's been fun but it has to end sometime

Haiku_Dirtt
08-20-2008, 10:39 AM
Leftwich a backup ahead of Dixon :puke:

Leftwich a Steeler? :puke:

wtf

We are not going to the AFCCG let alone the second round. Preparing for the future does not include Byron :puke:

jjpro11
08-20-2008, 03:39 PM
he has a lot stronger of an arm than i thought. i have always liked batch, but i dont think we had any deep ball threat when batch was in. defenses knew to look short and intermediate only.

LVSteelersfan
08-20-2008, 04:44 PM
Leftwitch is a bum but he is OUR BUM. Gotta stick with him if he is the backup regardless of whether we like him or not. I seriously doubt they will throw Dixon to the wolves ahead of him if something happens this year.

BlastFurnace
08-20-2008, 05:09 PM
Leftwitch is a bum but he is OUR BUM. Gotta stick with him if he is the backup regardless of whether we like him or not. I seriously doubt they will throw Dixon to the wolves ahead of him if something happens this year.

While I don't think that Byron is a top flight QB, I don't think he is a bum at all. He won at Jacksonville and was stuck on a horribly disfunctional Atlanta team last year.

We are fortunate to have signed a QB of Byron's caliber at the time we did.

tony hipchest
08-20-2008, 05:12 PM
i'll say it again....

lefty has always had receivers that completely suck. hes got good ones now. if he ever has to play down the road, im expecting the best.

43Hitman
08-20-2008, 05:33 PM
i'll say it again....

lefty has always had receivers that completely suck. hes got good ones now. if he ever has to play down the road, im expecting the best.

I agree. The only things about him that worry me are his wind up (the tin man is faster) and his ankles.

cubanstogie
08-20-2008, 07:58 PM
Leftwitch is a bum but he is OUR BUM. Gotta stick with him if he is the backup regardless of whether we like him or not. I seriously doubt they will throw Dixon to the wolves ahead of him if something happens this year.

I don't agree at all. The guy has a huge heart, and has played with huge injuries. He is not mobile that is for sure but has a good arm and will be a good back up. Hardly a bum, but could start for a dozen teams and could be the best back up in league if he accepts his role.

Mosca
08-20-2008, 08:10 PM
^ +1. Regardless of his talent, he is 100% competitor. I'm glad to have him on the Steelers.

revefsreleets
08-20-2008, 08:26 PM
Hopefully this all water under the bridge or over the damn (or whatever the expression is) and Leftwich plays the same role that Brady and Manning's back-ups do...

The Duke
08-20-2008, 09:02 PM
Hopefully this all water under the bridge or over the damn (or whatever the expression is) and Leftwich plays the same role that Brady and Manning's back-ups do...

hopefully , yeah.

everything's ok unless ben gets hurt. then there sould be worry

stlrtruck
08-20-2008, 09:09 PM
I'm going to skip the "IF BEN GETS HURT" comments. From a fan's perspective it's something I try not to think about (although I've probably posted somewhere on this forum about it). However, looking at our backup QBs right now I'm not too worried if IT were to happen.