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Old 05-25-2010, 10:14 PM   #1
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Default Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement
http://www.google.com/hostednews/can...kqHLT1p_fublKQ
By Alan Robinson (CP) 3 hours ago

PITTSBURGH, Pa. The competition to temporarily replace Ben Roethlisberger as the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback is becoming a one-man race.

Byron Leftwich is handling nearly all of the first-team snaps in practice, a strong indicator he will be the starter while Roethlisberger serves his six-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wants to go into training camp with what he calls a "pecking order" defined at quarterback. So far, that's Leftwich, followed by third-year QB Dennis Dixon and longtime backup Charlie Batch.

With the Steelers practising only three days a week though June 10, Tomlin seemingly would give far more work to Dixon or Batch if either figured to go into camp as the designated replacement.

Still, Dixon the least-experienced of the three isn't complaining.

"I have no idea," Dixon said Tuesday when asked if he can win the temporary starting job. "I've just got to continue to do what I do best and hopefully that's enough. Just go out there and get the trust of my teammates day in and day out."

While Leftwich is running mostly with the starters, Dixon said he's getting enough time with the top receivers to be comfortable.

"I feel like I'm getting better each and every day, which is a good thing for me," said Dixon, who has started only one NFL game. "Focus on the little things and big things will follow as far as the playbook goes. As of right now, I feel real good."

Tomlin doesn't want players arriving at training camp questioning who will be filling various roles, if only because it will be even more difficult then to get meaningful work for all four quarterbacks.

Leftwich will need considerable work with the regulars during camp because he'll likely be starting until October. However, Roethlisberger also needs time with the regulars because, once the season starts, he won't practise with them again until his suspension ends.

"But I can't be thinking about September in May," Leftwich said. "I've got to take this month to month, day by day, and make sure I'm continually getting better. I'm quite sure they'll do the right thing."

The Steelers apparently signalled their plans by trading a seventh-round pick to Tampa Bay for Leftwich within hours of Roethlisberger being suspended on April 21.

Leftwich, formerly with the Bucs, Jaguars and Falcons, was the backup when the Steelers won the Super Bowl during the 2008 season. He signed with Tampa Bay last year for the chance to start, but wound up playing only three games.

While Steelers offensive co-ordinator Bruce Arians tweaked the playbook some while Leftwich was gone, it apparently hasn't taken much time for Leftwich to get caught up.

"When you like something, you never forget it and I never forgot his offence," Leftwich said. "It changed some, but as a quarterback you're so used to things changing here and there, you can pick up on it. Especially when he makes it as easy as he makes it. There's always a rhyme or reason to what he does. I know the way he thinks."

The Steelers also understand how Leftwich thinks, one reason why they hurried to reacquire him once they knew for certain that Roethlisberger would miss the start of the season.

They liked how Leftwich ran the offence in practice and during the minimal playing time he got in 2008, and how he easily settled into their locker-room.

"I've got confidence in myself and I believe they have confidence in me," Leftwich said. "I'm not new around these guys."

Copyright 2010 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

He's got my vote of confidence
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

View From The Press Box
http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-t...ss+Box+Blog%29


Leftwich still working with first team

May 25th, 2010

Dennis Dixon had an interesting take on the Steelers' so-called quarterback competition.

“Honestly I feel as if everything is pretty much equal as far as the quarterbacks,” Dixon said following practice Tuesday. “Everyone’s getting their share of reps and making the most of them.”

There is no question that Dixon, Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch are getting plenty of work in their battle to replace Ben Roethlisberger for at least the first four games of the 2010 season.

But it is fair to wonder whether there really is a competition for the starting job.

Leftwich has gotten most of the work with the starters in the nine practices the Steelers have had since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Roethlisberger for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

The Steelers only have eight practices left, and coach Mike Tomlin hasn’t given any indication as to when (or if) Dixon and Batch will get a chance to state their case for the starting job at quarterback.

What could further complicate matters for Dixon and Batch is how Tomlin divvies up the work when Roethlisberger returns to practice, which could happen next week.

The Steelers will have to get Roethlisberger some work with the starters, which could cut into opportunities for Dixon and Batch.

As for Leftwich if he has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Roethlisberger, he isn’t buying into the notion.

At least not publicly.

“I can’t be thinking of September here in May,” Leftwich said. “I’ve got to be thinking about this thing month to month, day to day and make sure I’m continuing to get better and working with the guys the right way to have the opportunity for us to even have those conversations.”

“I just try to come out here and make plays every single day. No let up, take this thing seriously and whatever happens, happens.”
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

Tomlin hasn't came out and said it but from all of the articles is seems like Leftwich will be the man.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

Saw an interview of Dennis Dixon (a pretty smart dude)... he seemed a little 'overly focused' on everything... that being said, Lefty must be doing real well in practice in order to be given the # 1 spot...
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

Makes me a happy camper.

Dixon has a good shot at being our QB of the future down the road and thus far, I like the patience he is showing and the hard work he seems to be putting forth.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

I said it before and I'll say it again. It doesn't matter whether it is Dixon , Leftwich,or Batch we need to run the ball effectively. If we do that we win. We have to get out on top and be able to close games out with a great ground game. The D will take care of itself.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by solardave View Post
I said it before and I'll say it again. It doesn't matter whether it is Dixon , Leftwich,or Batch we need to run the ball effectively. If we do that we win. We have to get out on top and be able to close games out with a great ground game. The D will take care of itself.


You are correct on the point that we need an effective running game this year not matter which QB it is and that includes Big Ben.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

I am probably more comfortable with Lefty than Dixon right now, but I do think Dixon will be a very good QB in the future.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers appear to have settled on Leftwich as Roethlisberger's replacement

It's the first four weeks of the season. The Steelers don't need Superstar play at QB. They just need a guy that will manage the game. Lefty has never failed for us when we called upon him. He don't need him to be Ben, and we better not try to use him as such.

Either way, we have to start running the ball now. Holmes is gone and Ben is going to be riding the pine for a month or so. We can't expect 2009 numbers from the passing game.
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