LEFTWICH TAKES SHOT AT DAUNTE?
Posted by Mike Florio on August 12, 2008, 5:49 p.m. EDT
[url="http://www.profootballtalk.com/2008/08/12/leftwich-takes-shot-at-daunte/"]http://www.profootballtalk.com/2008/08/ ... at-daunte/[/url]
New Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich, who joined the team two days ago with no guarantee that he’d be anything other than the short-term backup to starter Ben Roethlisberger, might have taken a shot on Monday at quarterback Daunte Culpepper.
Both Leftwich and Culpepper came to Steelers’ training camp on Sunday, with the team planning to sign at least one of them. (There were indications that both could be added.) Culpepper reportedly opted against signing with the Steelers because he still wants to be a starter, and that he apparently was hoping to compete for the starting job in Pittsburgh.
Said Leftwich on Monday, according to the Washington (Pa.) Observer-Reporter, “Only a fool would come here believing you have a chance to start when you have [Ben Roethlisberger] here. They’ve got Ben here and Ben’s a hell of a quarterback.”
Meanwhile, Charlie Batch could eventually be joining Culpepper in the ranks of the unemployed. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Leftwich could keep the No. 2 gig for the entire season.
“Byron was a No. 1 pick, the seventh overall in the draft,” quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson said. “He’s started in the league, won games in the league. We’re happy to have him here to kind of bail us out.”
One possibility would be to place Batch on injured reserve and to use Leftwich as the No. 2 and rookie Dennis Dixon as No. 3. The team apparently hopes to keep Dixon on the active roster, since attempting to put him on the practice squad would expose him to the waiver system.
But at this point it’s impossible to rule out the chance that the Steelers will conclude that Leftwich is a significant upgrade to Batch, and that the time has come to part ways with the Pittsburgh native who has happily served as an understudy for his entire time with the team.