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Old 08-29-2008, 04:11 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny

Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny
Friday, August 29, 2008
By Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


The exhibition games are over, let the cuts begin.

The Steelers began today with 75 players on their roster, not counting one exemption. They must reduce their roster to 53 by 6 p.m tomorrow, but nearly all their cuts will take place today.

Gentlemen on the bubble, start your apprehensions.

The biggest decision the Steelers must make comes at quarterback. They want to keep Byron Leftwich as the backup and they will keep rookie Dennis Dixon as No. 3. But they have salary-cap problems and what do they do with Charlie Batch?

Coach Mike Tomlin said they wanted to give Leftwich an extended look last night, and he played late into the third quarter. Leftwich completed 6 of 14 passes for 82 yards. Dixon completed 5 of 9 for 42 yards.

Being close to the salary cap complicates the decision.

"It always does," Tomlin said. "It is something you acknowledge that exists because it does."

They could release Batch as injured with his broken collarbone and sign him later when he's healthy, if that's their wish. It's unlikely they will carry four quarterbacks until Batch is healthy and then release Leftwich. Or, they could just stay with Leftwich and release Batch.

It's not an easy decision. The organization loves Batch and would like to have him here for 2009. Even if they keep Leftwich this season, he is under a one-year contract and likely would sign somewhere else in March so he could compete for a starting job.

Not going whole Hog yet

The Steelers trotted out their "Hog" package again last night, a new offensive formation in which the quarterback splits out as a wide receiver and the ball is snapped directly to the running back.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians used the formation twice last week in Minnesota with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and running back Willie Parker, and he used it twice against the Panthers with Leftwich and running back Rashard Mendenhall, who gained 8 and 4 yards on the plays.

The package is so-named because it was borrowed from the University of Arkansas, which used the formation last year with running back Darren McFadden, the No. 1 pick of the Oakland Raiders.

Another wrinkle in the formation: The left tackle lines up on the right side, creating an unbalanced line.

Close, but not quite
Rookie wide receiver Limas Sweed nearly had a spectacular, 32-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter, a play that was challenged by Tomlin but not overturned by replay.

Sweed (6 feet 4, 210 pounds) caught a pass from Leftwich in the back corner of the end zone, reaching up over safety C.J. Wilson and appearing to get both feet in bounds. The officials, though, ruled he was out of bounds, and replay supported the call -- showing that Sweed's backside hit out of bounds before he could touch his second foot, his left foot, in the end zone.

Quick hits
Linebacker Larry Foote said he plans to run today and that he should be ready to play in the Sept. 7 opener against Houston. Foote injured his knee in the third preseason game but said there was no damaged, that it was merely "stretched." ... Linebacker Arnold Harrison left the game in the third quarter with a torn ACL, ending his season.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08242/907940-66.stm
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny

I guess time will tell what we do with Batch I like him but I believe he will be cut.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny

i like batch, but leftwich is far and away the better qb. getting leftwich was a bargain and i bet teams like carolina are now smacking themselves on the head for not taking a look at him before we got him.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny

Problem with Leftwich is he is really only here for 1 season if he makes the team. He most likely wants a chance to start and that isnt happening here anytime soon.

I could see just about anything happening, but I think they would like to have Batch around for this year and next....then the clipboard will goto Dixon in 2010 as the #2 guy.

Dixon has looked good vs the #2 and 3 opposition.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny

Seeing how this is Batch's last season under contract, he'll be cut.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny

I actually would keep Dixon get rid of leftwitch, chance it with Batch being ready by week 3-4.Dixon shows great potential Leftwitch looks like the same fool from Jaguars.
we took a chance with Ben as a BACKUP to Maddox and looked what happened
HIT THE ROAD BYRON!
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7/39/43 View Post
I actually would keep Dixon get rid of leftwitch, chance it with Batch being ready by week 3-4.Dixon shows great potential Leftwitch looks like the same fool from Jaguars.
we took a chance with Ben as a BACKUP to Maddox and looked what happened
HIT THE ROAD BYRON!
I don't understand your logic?

Leftwhich hasn't done anything to merit a quick cut. I expect Tomlin and crew will be crunching this one up to the last minute.

Dixon has great potential, yes. But did you know he's a rookie? He's got a total of a handful of PRE season games to his name? Yeah.

I would take Lefty over Batch. Lefty is younger, has more arm and mobility, and brings more to the table in everything except experience in the Steelers playbook. That's the only thing Batch has precedence over Byron in.
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny

it's been a nice run w/ batch but i would keep bryon if only 4 1 yr.. i could see dixon learning under ben and bryon this yr and if bryon dosn't want to stay dixon could be #2 by next yr
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: QB cut will be thorny

I think they will keep 4 QB until Charlie comes back.

Batch is the only backup QB who totally knows the playbook and he is very appreciated in the locker room i dont see him being cut.

but Leftwitch played well too and he doesnt deserve to be cut neither.

Dixon was a draft pick and has way too much potential to risk losing him through waivers.

conclusion : they might want to re-sign batch for 1 yr put him on the IR or keep 4 QB and cut one of the RB instead

we'll see what will happen but my guess is we keep em 4
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Old 08-30-2008, 03:29 AM   #10
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Default Leftwich No. 2; Batch likely to go on IR

Leftwich No. 2; Batch likely to go on IR
Saturday, August 30, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


.The Steelers have decided to go with Byron Leftwich as their backup quarterback and rookie Dennis Dixon as No. 3, and they will put Charlie Batch on injured reserve or use a procedural injury settlement in which he would be available to them if needed later.

Batch has about four more weeks before he will be healthy enough to play after his collarbone was broken Aug 8 in the first preseason game. If the Steelers place him on injured reserve, he would be done for the season. If they release him and reach an injury settlement with him, he could be available to them in the second half of the season.

Batch had one year left on his contract with the Steelers and would be paid his $1,355,000 salary if placed on injured reserve. If they reach an injury settlement with him, he would receive a portion of that salary and would become a free agent and could sign with any other team. But he also would be available to the Steelers after midseason if, for example, they lost one of their quarterbacks to an injury -- if he did not sign elsewhere.

Coach Mike Tomlin made many of the required cuts yesterday but decided not to announce any publicly until today. The deadline for making cuts is 6 p.m. All teams must reduce their rosters from 75 to 53 to start the season. Those rookies and first-year players who clear waivers will be eligible to join their eight-man practice squad.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08243/908233-66.stm
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