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Old 12-31-2008, 05:03 AM   #1
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Default Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

Leftwich fine with being on call at QB
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 12:14 AM EST


PITTSBURGH — Mike Tomlin claims the Steelers have two franchise quarterbacks.

One is Ben Roethlisberger. The other is Byron Leftwich, who’s resurrecting his pro career as Roethlisberger’s backup.

Leftwich, signed in August after Charlie Batch suffered a season-ending broken shoulder, might play a significant role when the Steelers resume their Super Bowl chase on Jan. 11.

Roethlisberger is expected to start despite suffering a concussion this past Sunday in a 31-0 win over the Browns. But in the remote chance he isn’t cleared to play, or if he struggles in the divisional round playoff game, Leftwich will be summoned.

“I really don’t have a clue,” Leftwich said when asked if Roethlisberger will start Jan. 11. “I’m just trying to do what I do every day, and that’s to be ready in case my number is called.”

The seventh pick of the 2003 draft, Leftwich was the Jaguars’ starting quarterback for three-plus years before suffering a season-ending ankle injury six games into the 2006 season.

Three of his starts were hard-fought games against the Steelers. In two of those games, Leftwich and the Jaguars won.

Leftwich is well-respected by his Steeler teammates for the way he’s played in four appearances this year. He also believes his past experience against the Steelers adds to the respect he’s getting in Pittsburgh.

“It started with the battles I had playing against this team,” Leftwich said. “I don’t think these guys look at me as a backup quarterback. They look at me as another quarterback on this football team who, if called upon, can help them win.”

Leftwich lost his starting job in Jacksonville just before the start of the 2007 season when coach Jack Del Rio switched to David Garrard. Leftwich was then signed by Atlanta but appeared in only three games before being released.

But when Batch got hurt, the Steelers brought Leftwich in for a tryout and signed him.

“I’ve been placed high on the pedestal before and then for two years being so low, you understand how to deal with football,” he said. “You just understand that whenever you get your opportunity, go out there and make plays and let everyone know you can still play.

“Things happen for a reason. I wouldn’t change anything in the world just to be part of this kind of team. It’s the best team I’ve been on.”

http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...c512068973.txt
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

I really like Leftwich alot and I will be curious to see what happens at the end of the year if we sign him to a new contract I could also see the end of the line for Batch he is good but is getting some age on him it will be interesting.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

Quote:
“Things happen for a reason. I wouldn’t change anything in the world just to be part of this kind of team. It’s the best team I’ve been on.”
Smart man.

I appreciate everything Charlie has been to this team. I also appreciate what Byron has brought here. I still hope there's a way for him to stay. He would be a very wise investment.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

While I would love to resign Lefty in the off season, no doubt he is going to move onto a team where he has a chance to be a starting QB again.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

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While I would love to resign Lefty in the off season, no doubt he is going to move onto a team where he has a chance to be a starting QB again.
I'm with you there, marky. I'd love to keep Lefty as a backup, but as well as he has played in relief of Ben, there surely will be opportunities out there for him to pursue next season.

I believe Charlie will retire at the end of the season.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

I can see the RedSkins bailing on Campbell and going after Leftwich.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

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I can see the RedSkins bailing on Campbell and going after Leftwich.
I don't see Snyder pulling that trigger with the money they paid Campbell. But if you look at other teams needing a QB - Detroit, SF, Miami (sorry but Chad isn't the final answer), Tampa (it wouldn't surprise me if Garcia is gone), Kansas City, Arizona (depending on what Warner does).
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

I expect Detroit is the place Byron will be in camp next year. Im just thankful he's on this roster on-deck should his number be called.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

I think it depends ona couple thimgs. If he plays, and plays well in the playoffs, he's definitely gone.

BUT I can see the Steelers offering him pretty phat back-up cash if he's happy in that role. It's not a bad gig to carry the clipboard for a couple mil a year.
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Leftwich fine with being on call at QB

Gruden may go after Lefty, he needs a QB obviously after the way Garcia gacked away this season.

Jets as well, don't kid yourself, Favre ain't the answer there and with a new coaching staff coming in, a QB is needed.

Buffalo could go after him, the two losers they have on their roster need sent away. Both suck and aren't the answer in Bills land.

Detroit of coarse, but Chicago has possibilities as well. Minnesota even if Jackson chokes away round one in the playoffs.

There are a lot of options for Lefty, he'll be very tough to hold on to.
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