View Full Version : Leftwich taking setback in stride

09-24-2010, 12:15 AM
Leftwich taking setback in stride
September 23rd, 2010
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As Byron Leftwich went to sit down Thursday in front of his locker, his chair collapsed, leaving the Steelers’ quarterback nowhere to land but the floor.

It has been that kind of September for Leftwich.

But Leftwich, just as he has dealt with the knee injury that cost him a starting job, shrugged off the kind of scene you’d expect to see on a bloopers show.

He laughed at it, actually, before getting up and showing nearby onlookers that the Steelers’ quarterback situation had not taken another turn in the form of a freak injury.

As temperaments go, it is hard to imagine many with better ones than Leftwich.

He hasn’t felt sorry for himself since spraining his left knee on Sept. 2 -- and scuttling the Steelers’ plans to start Leftwich the four games that Ben Roethlisberger is suspended.

Nor has Leftwich sulked over coach Mike Tomlin’s decision to start Charlie Batch Sunday against the Buccaneers.

If Batch plays well Leftwich may not get the chance to start any games this season. And he is the guy who took the majority of the snaps with the first-team offense from late April until the beginning of September.

“It looks like from the outside ‘God, boy, you can’t catch a break,’ ” Leftwich said. “At the same time you can’t judge everything on football. There’s a whole world out there.”

Leftwich, 30, admits that such perspective comes with age -- and is one he may not have had at one point in his life.

“It would have been tough in my younger years,” the eighth-year veteran said of dealing with an injury. “I felt like I was a machine and was going to play through anything and everything. As you get older you start realizing this league is not going to allow you to do that.”

Leftwich is the consummate professional, which is one reason why the Steelers traded for him last April.

He studied film while he rehabbed his knee. He also served as a sounding board and a support system for Dennis Dixon during the first two games of the season.

Leftwich will do the same for Batch in Tampa while knowing he has done enough to prepare to play against his former team in the event of an injury.

“All you’ve got to do is look at our first three weeks to understand that you’ve always got to be ready,” Leftwich said.