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NKySteeler
08-10-2008, 06:28 PM
And a "no go" for Culpepper.....
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Steelers sign backup QB Byron Leftwich
By The Tribune-Review
Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Steelers, in need of a veteran backup quarterback after an injury to Charlie Batch, signed former Jacksonville Jaguars starter Byron Leftwich on Sunday.

Batch, who suffered a broken right collarbone in Friday night's exhibition opener vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, is expected to miss four to six weeks. The Steelers' first regular-season game is Sept. 7 against the Houston Texans.

Leftwich, 28, was cut by the Jaguars prior to last season. He was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons and appeared in three games.

Before signing Leftwich, the Steelers had only a pair of rookies - Dennis Dixon and Mike Potts - available to back up starter Ben Roethlisberger.

**********

Leftwich signs as backup Steelers quarterback
Sunday, August 10, 2008
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers signed Byron Leftwich to be their backup quarterback, choosing him over Daunte Culpepper after bringing both veteran quarterbacks to training camp today.

Leftwich (6-5, 242) and Culpepper (6-4, 260) each passed physicals in Pittsburgh this morning and reported to training camp in Latrobe for individual workouts while the Steelers debated which quarterback to sign.

The move to sign Leftwich, a former No. 1 pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was necessitated when Charlie Batch, 33, broke his right collarbone in Friday night's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, a 16-13 victory.

Batch will have surgery tomorrow that will keep him out a minimum six weeks.

Also, nose tackle Casey Hampton was taken off the physically unable to perform list today and joined his teammates for his first practice since reporting to training camp 40 pounds overweight.

Ozey74
08-10-2008, 06:32 PM
So, if Batch is all healed up in 4-6 weeks and performing like nothing ever happened, what's the pecking order at the QB position?

Ben, Batch, Leftwich?

NKySteeler
08-10-2008, 06:36 PM
So, if Batch is all healed up in 4-6 weeks and performing like nothing ever happened, what's the pecking order at the QB position?

Ben, Batch, Leftwich?

I would guess so... But like I was saying last night, I don't know what sort of pain would be involved in throwing during the healing process... Someone also mentioned that they could drop the qb (Leftwich) for the first week, then re-sign him so as to avoid paying the entire season of salary. (It would be a gamble, and don't know if this is true, but that could signify that they expect Batch to be alright sooner rather than later...)

fordfixer
08-10-2008, 06:37 PM
That was my question how long is he with the team? do they let him go when Batch is back or is this the end for Batch?

BIG FAN
08-10-2008, 06:37 PM
Hope he passed the running test.
Better yet hope he's learned how to run period.

Jooser
08-10-2008, 06:38 PM
Living 20 miles from where Byron played college ball (Marshall U.), I followed Byron extensively. He is slow by any means, but has an absolute cannon for an arm. I don't think this is a bad pickup for us, but I am a little biased. :wink: I guess alot will depend on how quick he absorbs a new offense.

Ozey74
08-10-2008, 06:41 PM
So, if Batch is all healed up in 4-6 weeks and performing like nothing ever happened, what's the pecking order at the QB position?

Ben, Batch, Leftwich?

I would guess so... But like I was saying last night, I don't know what sort of pain would be involved in throwing during the healing process... Someone also mentioned that they could drop the qb (Leftwich) for the first week, then re-sign him so as to avoid paying the entire season of salary. (It would be a gamble, and don't know if this is true, but that could signify that they expect Batch to be alright sooner rather than later...)

It sounds like it could be a gamble. I guess it depends on how much we signed him for, and how much the Steelers could save by cutting him and resigning him. If another team has a QB go out and Batch isn't up to snuff come week #1, then the Steelers wouldn't do this. Should be an interesting next few weeks.......

Shawn
08-10-2008, 06:41 PM
What we do with Batch depends on how Leftwich and Dixon perform. If both play well Batch's days as a Steeler could be numbered.

Ozey74
08-10-2008, 06:43 PM
Living 20 miles from where Byron played college ball (Marshall U.), I followed Byron extensively. He is slow by any means, but has an absolute cannon for an arm. I don't think this is a bad pickup for us, but I am a little biased. :wink: I guess alot will depend on how quick he absorbs a new offense.

He's not that far removed from his Jaguars days. Maybe he can provide some insight that can be useful to our gameplan the week we play Jacksonville???

Ozey74
08-10-2008, 06:47 PM
What we do with Batch depends on how Leftwich and Dixon perform. If both play well Batch's days as a Steeler could be numbered.


You bring up something to ponder. If Leftwich is a good fit for our system, he could be a great back-up for the next 6 or so years since he's only 28. Batch is 34 and it's doubtful that he has that kind of time left.

It would be a bittersweet cut. Batch is a great Steeler. :tt2

Shawn
08-10-2008, 06:49 PM
What we do with Batch depends on how Leftwich and Dixon perform. If both play well Batch's days as a Steeler could be numbered.


You bring up something to ponder. If Leftwich is a good fit for our system, he could be a great back-up for the next 6 or so years since he's only 28. Batch is 34 and it's doubtful that he has that kind of time left.

It would be a bittersweet cut. Batch is a great Steeler. :tt2

This is something I have discussed for a couple seasons. Batch is getting up there in age. This might be the right time to find our future #2.

NKySteeler
08-10-2008, 06:51 PM
What we do with Batch depends on how Leftwich and Dixon perform. If both play well Batch's days as a Steeler could be numbered.

Very true... But call me crazy, because I don't see Batch getting cut... Of course, I could be wrong (again... :lol: ). ...Either way, we now have several weeks' worth of debate over it till the final cuts.... BTW, can you cut a player that has been injured in some way? (without being responsible for his contract) ...I seem to remember that Bettis "faked" an injury to avoid it, or so it was stated in his book...

Yes Les, it would be a huge gamble. But as I understand it, if it is done this way, we would not be responsible for the entire years' salary.... Anyone else able to shed some light on this possibility?

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-10-2008, 07:06 PM
Not smart enough to answer your question, sorry NKy.

I wonder what it was that the FO saw in Leftwitch that they liked more than Cunningham, I mean Culpepper? It could be for reasons as simple as Culpepper's knee is still Silly Putty, or something less tangible, like field vision or presence. I wonder if this is the sort of thing that ever comes out after a while ...

As for Charlie Batch, man that guy deserves something really special from the Steelers. I understand, as he does I'm sure, that business is business (does it bother anyone that this phrase seems to apply as much to the NFL as to Wise Guys?), but there is something more special about him than the typical player that gets cut, he seems to have Steelers and Pittsburgh in his blood. Maybe a coaching job, or something, I hope they find a nice way to thank him.

And I got to tell you, he is one of the oldest looking 34 year olds I've seen that doesn't have a decade or so of street life under their belt. He looks like he's 50 years old, and has for the last 3-4 years!

We love you Charlie!!

Steel Life
08-10-2008, 07:23 PM
In recent articles Batch has said that he wasn't worried about his contract status because the Steelers have always re-signed him after he entered free-agency. He also went on to say that he felt he could go on for a few more years depending on how he felt.

That said...I think there's a legitimate concern as to whether or not Batch fits Arian's system, which may factor into the decision. Batch doesn't have the biggest of arms, relying on timing & accuracy instead & we all know that the long ball is a big part of the plan.

What I want to know - & what might be an indicator of the future - how much did Byron get?

Shawn
08-10-2008, 07:35 PM
What we do with Batch depends on how Leftwich and Dixon perform. If both play well Batch's days as a Steeler could be numbered.

Very true... But call me crazy, because I don't see Batch getting cut... Of course, I could be wrong (again... :lol: ). ...Either way, we now have several weeks' worth of debate over it till the final cuts.... BTW, can you cut a player that has been injured in some way? (without being responsible for his contract) ...I seem to remember that Bettis "faked" an injury to avoid it, or so it was stated in his book...

Yes Les, it would be a huge gamble. But as I understand it, if it is done this way, we would not be responsible for the entire years' salary.... Anyone else able to shed some light on this possibility?

If Leftwich can prove to be a quick study...and solidifies #2 I don't see the Steelers keeping a 33 y/o #3 QB. I certainly could be wrong but the #3 should be reserved to groom a QB IMO. It will be a different story if Dixon shows he can't cut it...or Leftwich can't pick up the O quick enough.

Les 74
08-10-2008, 07:44 PM
Oh boy.I can just imagine the posts over at the trib the minute Ben has a bad game."Let the QB controversy begin......" :lol:

MeetJoeGreene
08-10-2008, 08:06 PM
This is very interesting.

My guess is that Batch starts the season on PUP.

I don't think they will take a chance with Dixon getting to the PS. I think he stays as 3rd QB or slash-type.

I could see them placing Batch on IR if Lefty is looking good in camp/preseason/practice.

Otherwise, they cut Lefty and activate Batch.

Chadman
08-10-2008, 08:24 PM
Chadman loves Charlie Batch as a player, but.....


If Ben was to, God forbid, go down hurt- who gives the Steelers a better chance to win as a QB- Leftwich or Batch? Chadman would pick Leftwich every time.

That leaves the 3rd QB spot open- who do you pick? The 33 year old, nearly done QB in Batch, or the promising rookie in Dixon? Chadman would pick Dixon.

Sorry Charlie. Sometimes bad luck strikes right when you don't need it to.

Mick'sTeam
08-10-2008, 08:28 PM
Hope he passed the running test.
Better yet hope he's learned how to run period.

They signed him to fill in for Batch. While Leftwich is slow, it's not like Charlie Batch was ever a threat to run.

Ozey74
08-10-2008, 08:28 PM
Chadman loves Charlie Batch as a player, but.....


If Ben was to, God forbid, go down hurt- who gives the Steelers a better chance to win as a QB- Leftwich or Batch? Chadman would pick Leftwich every time.

That leaves the 3rd QB spot open- who do you pick? The 33 year old, nearly done QB in Batch, or the promising rookie in Dixon? Chadman would pick Dixon.

Sorry Charlie. Sometimes bad luck strikes right when you don't need it to.

The fact that Batch brought this injury on himself by not ducking his shoulder, is like salt in the wound if he were to get cut.....

NKySteeler
08-10-2008, 08:30 PM
Sorry Charlie. Sometimes bad luck strikes right when you don't need it to.

That is almost poetic.... Why do I have a craving for a tuna sandwich now?!.... :lol:

DukieBoy
08-10-2008, 08:48 PM
Word is that Leftwich was well-liked by teammates, though he apparently had conflict with the head coach in Jax (not sure of the particulars). He does have a cannon arm and a rep as a gutsy player.

Culpepper has a rep for problems with some teammates and coaches, and then there is the Love Boat matter :Boobs in his history (would the 3 rivers be safe?).

Leftwich is the better option by a big margin. My2cts. :2c

AkronSteel
08-10-2008, 09:06 PM
I like the signing! I think the Steelers may carry 4 QB's initially but I think a decision will have to be made eventually who to keep and who needs to go. I think this may eventually mean the end of Charlie Batch with the team and that is tough for him personally. From the team's aspect I think it kinda forced the hand of the team to make a tough decision but is better for the team in the long run. Charlie hasn't been sharp for a while now and he looked terrible the other night. I don't know if Leftwich will be any better but he is a younger option that will give the team more of a future than a 34 year old can.

I also really like the Berger signing! I was not impressed with Ernster at all on Friday! Besides why do we need another Browns castoff anyways!! :D

:2c

NKySteeler
08-10-2008, 09:27 PM
I like the signing! I think the Steelers may carry 4 QB's initially but I think a decision will have to be made eventually who to keep and who needs to go. I think this may eventually mean the end of Charlie Batch with the team and that is tough for him personally. From the team's aspect I think it kinda forced the hand of the team to make a tough decision but is better for the team in the long run. Charlie hasn't been sharp for a while now and he looked terrible the other night. I don't know if Leftwich will be any better but he is a younger option that will give the team more of a future than a 34 year old can.

I also really like the Berger signing! I was not impressed with Ernster at all on Friday! Besides why do we need another Browns castoff anyways!! :D

:2c

OK, I gotta ask... What about Earnster didn't impress you... He averaged 42 yds/punt... Sup avgd' 42.9 last season. Earnster did land one inside the 20, but one went out at the 21... And he had one kickoff banged out of the endzone. ... Yes, he was somewhat "inconsistent" on his several attempts, but not that bad.... What were you not impressed about, considering we are going to a scrub that isn't on another team?... Seriously, just curious...

Also have to ask where you would personally make the cut to carry 4 qbs (the spot has to come from somewhere)... I could see it if Dixon would take some other role, but we haven't seen that in camp yet... But I really am curious as to what Batch has done to look "not sharp for a while"... Seriously. He gets the job done when called for, or at least I thought... What do you see differently?...

Man, 'ya gotta love this time of year!!!!!

Shawn
08-10-2008, 09:31 PM
Chadman loves Charlie Batch as a player, but.....


If Ben was to, God forbid, go down hurt- who gives the Steelers a better chance to win as a QB- Leftwich or Batch? Chadman would pick Leftwich every time.

That leaves the 3rd QB spot open- who do you pick? The 33 year old, nearly done QB in Batch, or the promising rookie in Dixon? Chadman would pick Dixon.

Sorry Charlie. Sometimes bad luck strikes right when you don't need it to.

Me and the Chadman see eye to eye on this one.

Flasteel
08-10-2008, 09:47 PM
What we do with Batch depends on how Leftwich and Dixon perform. If both play well Batch's days as a Steeler could be numbered.

I would hate to see that personally. Batch has proven himself very capable when called upon and 34 is still very young for a guy who rarely sees the field. While I don't live in the Pittsburgh area, I'm also fully aware of the type of ambassador he is for this team in the community.

If (and yes it's definitely an if) Dixon is to ever ascend to the number two spot, it will be in a couple of years, not six or seven, or how many we might project a guy like Leftwich to be around. Besides, I can practically garantee that Byron is looking for a paycheck in '08 (and maybe a ring), then he'll be out looking for a starting job next season...Batch is very content where he's at. While it's rare in this business, I also believe very strongly in loyalty and we owe that to Charlie.

The question comes down to keeping four quarterbacks, placing Dixon on the practice squad, or hitting the eject button on Leftwich when Batch comes back. I really don't like the idea of cutting leftwich before the first game and resigning him afterwards...simply unethical. If I'm management, I swallow the whole salary and explain to Fat Albert that once Batch comes back he gets the ol' heave ho and a nice golden parachute. I would also place Batch on the PUP list, and let him fully heal for the next 10 weeks. It's the honorable thing to do and the smart thing to do when you consider the ability Charlie has and the potential loss of Dixon.

AkronSteel
08-10-2008, 09:56 PM
I like the signing! I think the Steelers may carry 4 QB's initially but I think a decision will have to be made eventually who to keep and who needs to go. I think this may eventually mean the end of Charlie Batch with the team and that is tough for him personally. From the team's aspect I think it kinda forced the hand of the team to make a tough decision but is better for the team in the long run. Charlie hasn't been sharp for a while now [/color]and he looked terrible the other night. I don't know if Leftwich will be any better but he is a younger option that will give the team more of a future than a 34 year old can.

I also really like the Berger signing! I was not impressed with Ernster at all on Friday! Besides why do we need another Browns castoff anyways!! :D

:2c

OK, I gotta ask... What about Earnster didn't impress you... He averaged 42 yds/punt... Sup avgd' 42.9 last season. Earnster did land one inside the 20, but one went out at the 21... And he had one kickoff banged out of the endzone. ... Yes, he was somewhat "inconsistent" on his several attempts, but not that bad.... What were you not impressed about, considering we are going to a scrub that isn't on another team?... Seriously, just curious...

Also have to ask where you would personally make the cut to carry 4 qbs (the spot has to come from somewhere)... I could see it if Dixon would take some other role, but we haven't seen that in camp yet... But I really am curious as to what Batch has done to look "not sharp for a while"... Seriously. He gets the job done when called for, or at least I thought... What do you see differently?...

Man, 'ya gotta love this time of year!!!!!

The thing that bugs me about Ernster is the inconsistency. One of my main problems with Josh Miller all those years was he would have a great kick for 60 some yards and then have three below average kicks but his average would be skewed b/c of the good one. I don't want to have a punter on this team that is not consistent especially in the clutch. If there was one thing that people complained about with Sep is that he would not show up under pressure last year. When the team needed a big punt he would fall out. The one punt that went out at the 21 was a terrible kick then he put one through the end zone on another. Its just a personal preference I guess. Plus after what happened last year week one with Ernster, I am personally kind of scared of him.

Batch was terrible the other night, so maybe I just overstated for a while, sorry about that. The pass, maybe his first, to Willie Reid over the middle was one of the worst passes I have ever seen. He passed into double coverage and behind Willie at the same time. I don't know? I have always liked Charlie but I just don't see the same player he was a couple of years ago. I just see don't see him being able to lead the team in the long run if we did lose Ben for an extended period of time. I would much rather have someone else.

My roster would consist of:

4 QB's
5 RB's
5 WR's
3 TE's
10 OL's
6 DL's
8 LB's
9 DB's
2 K's
1 LS

This is my favorite time of year. For someone that works from home it is great to be able to watch all these games on NFLN.

NKySteeler
08-10-2008, 09:59 PM
Question: .... Will The game Thursday against Buffalo be on NFLN live?.....
(I'll be out of town, so this could be important to me...)

AkronSteel
08-10-2008, 10:03 PM
Question: .... Will The game Thursday against Buffalo be on NFLN live?.....
(I'll be out of town, so this could be important to me...)

The game will be on at midnight, so not too bad! If you can stay up that late I guess. I will be going to the Buccos game that night and to watch REO Speedwagon, no jokes please, not my choice, LOL! So I will get home just in time for the game at midnight!

NKySteeler
08-10-2008, 10:07 PM
Question: .... Will The game Thursday against Buffalo be on NFLN live?.....
(I'll be out of town, so this could be important to me...)

The game will be on at midnight, so not too bad! If you can stay up that late I guess. I will be going to the Buccos game that night and to watch REO Speedwagon, no jokes please, not my choice, LOL! So I will get home just in time for the game at midnight!

Hey I love REO... Saw them w/ Styx here in Cincy... Just looking for an avenue to catch the game on Thur. ... Will be out of town on vacation and off the board... Midnight is a little late to take the kids to the bar (just kidding.... :wink: ). ... Gotta check if they will be carrying the game in some way (Steelers Bar in Myrtle...).

AkronSteel
08-10-2008, 10:43 PM
Question: .... Will The game Thursday against Buffalo be on NFLN live?.....
(I'll be out of town, so this could be important to me...)

The game will be on at midnight, so not too bad! If you can stay up that late I guess. I will be going to the Buccos game that night and to watch REO Speedwagon, no jokes please, not my choice, LOL! So I will get home just in time for the game at midnight!

Hey I love REO... Saw them w/ Styx here in Cincy... Just looking for an avenue to catch the game on Thur. ... Will be out of town on vacation and off the board... Midnight is a little late to take the kids to the bar (just kidding.... :wink: ). ... Gotta check if they will be carrying the game in some way (Steelers Bar in Myrtle...).

Just a heads up! Murphy's Law Sports Bar, 405 S Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach. I caught the 06 Jags game from there, nice place but the night didn't go real well, hopefully you will bring better luck!

SteelerOfDeVille
08-10-2008, 11:10 PM
Batch will have surgery tomorrow that will keep him out a minimum six weeks.
??

I've heard 4-6... now, it's MINIMUM of 6? I guess that's why they needed to sign someone. I kept thinking "4 to 6 means, he could be back as early as just after week 1, as late as just after week 3... why are they looking for QBs?

I think we were missing something.

RuthlessBurgher
08-11-2008, 10:20 AM
Leftwich signed a one-year, $605,000 deal. Because he signed for a minimum exception contract, the deal will only count $445,000 on the Steelers salary cap. Therefore, there should be no reason to cut him before week one and then sign him back so we don't guarantee the full year salary.

I think one of the problems with Culpepper is that he does not have an agent. He represents himself when it comes to contract negotiations, and it can be difficult when there is not an agent as a buffer between the team and the player in these cases. Daunte still sees himself as a legit NFL starter and expressed a desire to be able to compete for a starting job somewhere. When you have a young Pro Bowl QB with a Super Bowl ring on his finger (that you just signed to a $102 million dollar contract), dude should realize that is simply not an option.

RuthlessBurgher
08-11-2008, 10:33 AM
I also think the fact that Kenny Anderson was Leftwich's QB coach in Jacksonville for 3 years is HUGE in terms of help him assimilate into this offense.

Although Leftwich is about as mobile as the bronze tribute to the Chief in front of Heinz Field, I haven't heard him anything about losing any velocity on the cannon arm that helped make him the 7th overall pick in the draft only a year before Roethlisberger was taken 11th overall (and in the same draft that Carson Palmer was taken 1st overall and Kyle Boller was taken 19th overall).

He always was a guy who was a leader and well-liked by his teammates (remember his o-line carrying him downfield during a last minute drive when he played for Marshall?). He has the heart to be able to stand up to the heat he will inevitably face behind our o-line. Hopefully, he is smart enough to know when to just throw the ball away.

frankthetank1
08-11-2008, 10:34 AM
Leftwich signed a one-year, $605,000 deal. Because he signed for a minimum exception contract, the deal will only count $445,000 on the Steelers salary cap. Therefore, there should be no reason to cut him before week one and then sign him back so we don't guarantee the full year salary.

I think one of the problems with Culpepper is that he does not have an agent. He represents himself when it comes to contract negotiations, and it can be difficult when there is not an agent as a buffer between the team and the player in these cases. Daunte still sees himself as a legit NFL starter and expressed a desire to be able to compete for a starting job somewhere. When you have a young Pro Bowl QB with a Super Bowl ring on his finger (that you just signed to a $102 million dollar contract), dude should realize that is simply not an option.

i really like the sign. leftwich is a good back up to have. i find it hard to believe any nfl team would want culpepper as a starting qb

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-12-2008, 02:16 PM
Can't wait to see him in action on Thursday. I wonder if he will be 2nd or 3rd string?