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KeiselPower99
01-29-2009, 08:27 PM
As the Steelers prepare to take on the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, several players shared their ďSuper Bowl JourneyĒ with Teresa Varley.

The journey as to how they came to Pittsburgh, how they made it on the roster varies from player to player, but the ultimate dream remains the same Ė winning a Super Bowl Championship.

Quarterback Byron Leftwich signed with the Steelers during training camp after Charlie Batch suffered a shoulder injury that would sideline him for the season.

Leftwich, a former number one draft pick and starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars, lost a battle to start there against David Garrard and signed with the Atlanta Falcons. He was released by the Falcons after the 2007 season and went unsigned during the offseason.

Leftwich was brought to camp where he competed against Daunte Culpepper for the spot and showed the Steelers that he would be the man for the job.

Leftwich battled injuries during his career, including knee and ankle problems, but since he has been in Pittsburgh has been more than a solid back-up to Ben Roethlisberger, but rather a starting quarterback waiting in the wings to be called upon and responding big when he was.


Below Leftwich shares in his own words what brought him to Pittsburgh and what the journey to Super Bowl XLIII has been like for him.

* * *


When I first came here I had to compete for Charlieís spot, but that was cool. I never had a problem with that. Coming in I knew I wasnít competing with Ben. I knew I just had to come in and prove I was healthy. I needed to prove I could help this football team if called upon and I think I did that.

When I signed with the team I knew what they were capable of doing. To say I knew this was the team or this was the year, no. This was a crazy year for me with the injuries and all.

I was more frustrated, but I was never down on myself. I never lost confidence in myself. I knew once I got healthy and back on the football field I could prove to people I could play. I just wanted to get on the right team. Coming here and working for Coach Mike Tomlin is the best decision I made.

Things happen for a reason. But the man upstairs is blessing us right now. We have to take it all in and understand this is a precious moment, letís try to take advantage of it and try to find a way to win this game.

As a child I dreamed of this. That was some 20 years ago I dreamt about this and now I am finally going to get the opportunity.

I have watched so many Super Bowls. The toughest Super Bowl I have ever watched was Super Bowl XL, when the Steelers beat Seattle. We (Jacksonville) played both teams during the season and beat both teams. To see them both play in the Super Bowl that was the toughest Super Bowl for me to watch.

You know itís a dream you always had and you want to have your opportunity to get there and we now have that opportunity.

The AFC Championship game was amazing. I had to start warming up on the sidelines because Ben was shaken up. I knew he was down in the tunnel, but I didnít know what was going on. I was throwing the football on the sideline and I felt real good. I joked with Ben after the game. I told him I didnít think I would have missed a pass and that showed how good I felt and thatís how excited I was to get that opportunity.

My last year and a half of football hasnít been good because of the injuries. To get that opportunity I would have done anything possible to help the team. I felt real good about everything. I didnít have a problem with him staying in there. Our goal that day was to get to the Super Bowl and he came out there and did that for us.

It was so exciting. I donít even remember them putting the stage up. It was just there. It was so surreal. I was so happy. Itís one of those special moments in life.

You just dream about it. There is not one specific thing. We are going to do our best to win the football game. Just the whole atmosphere you have to take it in. Every body that I have talked to has said itís a special time.

I told Ben I never thought in a million years I would have the opportunity to play for the Steelers. But I am glad I got the opportunity. This is a special place here. This is a special organization. Itís different than a whole lot of places. To be a part of that I will always be able to take that with me.

Ten to 15 years from now I can say I had the opportunity to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and this is what the NFL is all about.

HometownGal
01-29-2009, 08:33 PM
My Gawd - what a total class act Lefty is! :drink::hatsoff: He never gave up on himself, has worked his azz off showing not only the Steelers but the entire NFL that Byron Leftwich is back! It's a crying shame that he most likely won't be with the team next year and will probably be starting for another team (probably da Bears), but I will always have a soft spot in my black 'n gold heart for him. :heart:

If Byron is to leave us, let's send him off with our best wishes and a nice, shiny new Super Bowl XLIII ring! :thumbsup::tt02::applaudit:

stillers4me
01-29-2009, 08:37 PM
I wish he would stay, but I know he wants a starting job and I can't blame him.

NEPAsteeler
01-29-2009, 08:39 PM
Best of luck to you, Byron, whatever fate has in store for you! :hatsoff:

drizze99
01-29-2009, 08:43 PM
I always liked Lefty.... even when he played for Jacksonville. Lefty is not a QB... he is a FOOTBALL PLAYER. He has heart and I know some team will take him away from us. He does deserve a starting job though... it just sucks.

"Ten to 15 years from now I can say I had the opportunity to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and this is what the NFL is all about."

I hear you Lefty..... I hear ya

TeeJay
01-29-2009, 08:54 PM
Can't we just keep him? - We'll love him and hug him and call him George.


All the best BL - Classy guy. If you have to leave, let's hope it's with that Ring. Then you're forever tied to the Black and Gold....Bwahahahahahahaha

KeiselPower99
01-29-2009, 08:55 PM
I know I might look like a jackass to some but Im gonna get a Leftwich Steelers jersey. Byron is nothing but a class act and a great person. I just hope wherever he goes he finally shows that he was worthy of that top 10 selection.

drizze99
01-29-2009, 11:28 PM
I don't think you're a jackass... hell I thought about getting one too. Wherever he goes, let's hope he is appreciated.

jdsdaguy
01-30-2009, 03:58 AM
i wonder if he feels like he erned the right to be there. probably not. as far as i'm concerned, hes just as much part of are team as the next guy. i'm glad to see that he finally gets what he deserves after all those years carrieing the jags and the herd only to go nowhere. wether he plays or not, i'll always see him as a champion.
GOOD LUCK LEFTY! :hatsoff::tt:

Silverback92
01-30-2009, 11:39 AM
I know I might look like a jackass to some but Im gonna get a Leftwich Steelers jersey. Byron is nothing but a class act and a great person. I just hope wherever he goes he finally shows that he was worthy of that top 10 selection.

If that makes you a jackass then consider me a jackass.

I went to Marshall while Leftwich was there. Was awesome watching Byron and Ben go at it in those Marshall vs Miami games. Course, back then I hated Ben for leading the Redhawks back on us twice. Never imagined I'd be wearing a Roethlisberger jersey, but glad that is the case! I also never imagined I'd be able to wear a Leftwich jersey that wasn't green and white.

You couldn't ask for a better backup (tore it up for us in his hometown return to DC), but I think Byron would definitely be a strong starter for a number of teams out there.

I'd love for him to be able to stay, but I also want to see him thrive in an organization. Whatever the future may be, I'm hoping it involves a ring for Byron (preferably one that has XLIII engraved on it). No shame in sporting that Black and Gold #4!