View Full Version : Bryon Leftwich to begin as No. 1 QB

06-11-2010, 01:03 AM
Bryon Leftwich to begin as No. 1 QB
Friday, June 11, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 85451.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_685451.html)

Byron Leftwich will be the Steelers' No. 1 quarterback when training camp opens July 30 at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

Ben Roethlisberger will be suspended for at least the first four games. Coach Mike Tomlin stopped just short of naming Leftwich the starter during a news conference Thursday following the Steelers' final offseason practice, a walkthrough at Heinz Field.

"I'm not going to name a No. 1 — no need to," he said. "But I think how we distributed reps is an indication of our mindset at this juncture."

Leftwich took the majority of first-team reps, followed by Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch. Roethisberger received the first-team reps upon returning to team activities last week.

Wide receiver Hines Ward said it's important for the players to know who their starting quarterback will be entering training camp.

"You do (need to get a rapport), and hopefully by training camp we have a guy that we name," he said. "If not, I'm not going to go up to Coach Tomlin and tell him what he needs to be doing. I'm going to work with all of the guys, but you would like to have that quarterback named so you can get in and see him on a daily basis. That's why we pay Coach all of the money -- to make that decision."

Pouncey in the mix

Tomlin said first-round pick Maurkice Pouncey has made such a good impression that he could be in line to unseat Trai Essex at right guard or Justin Hartwig at center. At the least, he's in the mix to start at right guard, Tomlin said.

"I think that he's proven to be mature beyond his years," he said. "He's been comfortable at guard and center."

Although Pouncey has lined up primarily at right guard, he has filled in at center as Hartwig recovers from a shoulder injury. Asked about the possibility of Pouncey replacing Hartwig, Tomlin replied, "Not out of the question — no."

Youth movement

The Steelers this season are in line to feature seven defensive starters who are at least 30 years old, but Tomlin said he likes the transition being made to insert younger players in the rotation.

"I think we're doing a nice job of infusing young guys to go along with some veteran guys," he said. "That's been ongoing since I've been here, going back to Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley and as recent as Thaddeus Gibson and Jason Worilds, Ziggy Hood, the young corners. We've done a nice job of adding young guys to the mix at virtually every level."

Voluntary work resumes

Some Steelers will be at the team facility next week for weightlifting, conditioning and classroom work.

The offseason program is voluntary, but Tomlin said attendance is encouraged.

06-11-2010, 01:05 AM
No surprise: Leftwich to enter camp as No. 1 QB
June 10th, 2010
http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-the- ... ox+Blog%29 (http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-the-press-box/2010/06/10/no-surprise-leftwich-to-enter-camp-as-no-1-qb/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+triblive%2Fblog%2FViewFromThe PressBox+%28View+from+the+Press+Box+Blog%29)

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin declined to name a No. 1 quarterback Thursday following the conclusion of offseason practices.

Yet he all but said that the Steelers will go into training camp with the same rotation at quarterback that they have had since late April.

“I think how we distributed (repetitions) is an indication of our mindset at this juncture,” Tomlin said.

Assuming nothing changes over the six weeks -- the players are off and will be training on their own -- Byron Leftwich will arrive at St. Vincent College with the inside track to start while Ben Roethlisberger serves a four- to six-game suspension.

Dennis Dixon will be the No. 2 guy and Charlie Batch will essentially be the odd man out as Tomlin has said that only two players will compete for the starting job at camp since the Steelers also need to get Roethlisberger his share of work in Latrobe.

When asked if Batch still figures into the quarterback competition, Tomlin said, “He is, but there will not be equal reps and equal opportunities to prove what you’re capable of. It’s just not feasible.”

It has been clear for awhile that the job is Leftwich’s to lose despite Tomlin saying during mini camp that the competition at quarterback would be an open one.

Dixon would have to play lights out during training camp and the preseason to unseat Leftwich. Don’t count out Batch if Leftwich falters or gets hurt considering how reliable he has been as a backup.

But right now he is clearly No. 3 behind Leftwich and Dixon.

Wide receiver Hines Ward weighed in on the quarterback situation earlier this week, saying with a laugh that he’s not about to start telling Tomlin how to do his job.

“But you would like to have that (starting) quarterback named so you can get in and see him on a daily basis,” Ward said. “That’s why we pay coach all of the money, to make that decision.”

Tomlin will really earn his paycheck with the juggling act he will have to pull off at Latrobe.

He essentially has to get three quarterbacks ready to play and he only has so much practice time to do that.

“There’s no blueprint for these circumstances,” Tomlin said. “We’re kind of making it up as we go along.”

As for what he expects to see from Roethlisberger during camp, Tomlin said, “I think he’s going to have the mentality that he always has when we reports to training camp and that’s to put himself in position to be the very best he can be and prepare himself as he can.”

06-11-2010, 12:32 PM
Asked about the possibility of Pouncey replacing Hartwig, Tomlin replied, "Not out of the question — no."

Since the OTA's are non-contact (players in helmets with no shoulder pads), it is tough to discern how well rookie linemen are progressing physically until the actual hitting starts in Latrobe. However, the above statement by Tomlin shows that Pouncey is certainly progressing mentally, learning the offense and the line calls during OTA's and mini-camp.

At first, he was only going to be considered at RG as a rookie, since he would be receiving information instead of giving it (since the center is responsible for making line calls). Now, though, since it is not out of the question that Pouncey could replace Hartwig in Tomlin's mind, means that the rook is up to speed mentally so far. Excellent news at this point.