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Thread: Leftwich Worst Option For Steelers Against Ravens

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    Leftwich Worst Option For Steelers Against Ravens

    Leftwich Worst Option For Steelers Against Ravens

    Nov 13th, 2012 by Craig Gottschalk



    Steelers backup quarterback Byron Leftwich winds up to throw the football, and in the time that it takes you to read the entirety of this sentence, he will have finally released the football. Even for a fast reader, the length of that sentence would guarantee trouble for any quarterback.

    A 3 step vs 5 step vs shotgun vs 7 step drop is one thing when it comes to examining the release of a football from the time the ball is snapped. Those kinds of patterns just determine the overall time receivers have to run their own patterns. The factor that doesn’t change in any of those is that whenever the quarterback decides that he needs to throw the football, he needs to do it quickly. This has always been a problem for Byron Leftwich. In fact, you could say it is the sole reason why he will only ever be a backup quarterback the rest of his career. He certainly still has the arm strength to throw the ball 50 yards down the field. But like I Tweeted during the game last night – it just takes him forever to deliver the football.

    Mike Tomlin reported on Tuesday that Ben Roethlisberger is listed as ‘questionable’ for Sunday night’s game against the Ravens. Most doctors will tell you that an injury such as this one - sternoclavicular injury (that’s a 80 point word score for those playing at home) – takes about three to six weeks to fully heal. It’s a very painful injury to start out, and it takes about three weeks just for the pain to subside. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I want Ben taking any brutal hits from that Ravens defense this Sunday. I’m sure Tomlin is listing him as questionable by playing the ‘injury game’ with his opponents. In reality he is more than likely ‘doubtful.’

    So that leaves either Leftwich or Charlie Batch to take the snaps under center. Batch is clearly the superior in this situation. Well, he’ll always be the superior option when it comes to Leftwich. Todd Haley’s offense is a quick throw kind of offense. There are many screens and crossing routes that are dependent on 3 step (hell even 1 step) drops that need the ball out very quickly. Again, Leftwich is not conducive for this kind of offensive scheme. This was very apparent last night, especially when Leftwich was asked to throw a quick screen out to the wide out. Those types of plays require the quickest of releases because the offense is trying to catch the defensive backs off guard or take advantage of a large cushioned coverage. That these screens gain even 5 or 6 yards is greatly attributed to the fact that Ben gets rid of the ball quickly. Watching Leftwich execute these kinds of screens or slants was downright painful – and it sure seemed painful for those receivers getting hit immediately. The defensive backs and linebackers had an easy time reading Leftwich’s delivery and closed quickly on whomever caught the ball.

    The same results are likely if Lefwich is used against the Ravens. Compounding the problem even more for the Steelers offense is the fast and physical pass rush of the Ravens. Ray Lewis may be out. And, in case you couldn’t hear Dan Dierdorf having a minor T-Sizzle’gasm during his first game back a few weeks ago – Suggs will be back in full force to wreak havoc in the Pittsburgh backfield. Did you see Leftwich’s first pass play on Monday night? It didn’t go very well for him as KC got penetration and caused a lineman to roll under his legs.

    I thought for a few moments that Leftwich would leave the game with some type of neck or head injury, but he stuck it out. There will be plenty of that when it comes to the Ravens D. Guys like Ngata and Suggs have a habit of giving the Steelers offensive line problems over the course of an entire game.

    Batch may be a little older and slower with the footwork, but he has a quicker release and can still throw the ball down the field when the opportunity arrises. He’s a proven effective game manager, and will give the Steelers their best chance of having solid offensive production against the Ravens. That’s all we can ask for at this point. If Ben sits for the next couple of weeks to heal, maybe he’ll be ready by the second game against the Ravens in three weeks. I like our chances better then than now. Batch might just squeak out a win.

    Leftwich? It’s going to be a long day for that offense, and an even longer day for the Steelers D because they are going to be on the field for a long time if he starts.

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/11/13...gainst-ravens/

  2. #2
    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    I think Haley is well aware of this problem and it is exactly why Haley started calling mid range pass plays. Leftwich will do fine as long as Haley doesnt try running the same O that Ben runs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCrazy View Post
    I think Haley is well aware of this problem and it is exactly why Haley started calling mid range pass plays. Leftwich will do fine as long as Haley doesnt try running the same O that Ben runs.

    The question is... Why is Leftwich ahead of Batch in the pecking order? I watched Batch practice in Latrobe before the season. He still has a nice touch on his passes and if he's running the same quick-decision offense that Ben has been playing, then he should hopefully be able to avoid injury. But the coaches must have seen something that's keeping Byron ahead of him.

    Byron's wind-up release actually looks slower than it has in the past. You'd think he'd be able to work on that weakness over the course of his career but it's downright awful now. Besides the time it takes to get rid of the ball, it telegraphs his intentions to the defense. To his credit, he did hit a few passes against KC but he tends to throw nothing but bullets, which makes it even more difficult in the short passing game and it's not even a good fit for the long ball to Wallace with no air underneath.

  4. #4
    I disagree.... He has the experience, we just need a good game plan...

    this should say it all......

    http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/st...jag_jags.shtml

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    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sword View Post
    I disagree.... He has the experience, we just need a good game plan...

    this should say it all......

    http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/st...jag_jags.shtml
    it does say it all.................."a Baltimore team that played without two of the best defenders in the league -- linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed." this was in 2005 too, when these two were in their prime, well Lewis anyways and a young Reed

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCrazy View Post
    it does say it all.................."a Baltimore team that played without two of the best defenders in the league -- linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed." this was in 2005 too, when these two were in their prime, well Lewis anyways and a young Reed
    Actually, this says it all:

    Boller was sacked four times and harassed into three interceptions.

  7. #7
    All respect to the writer.....but this is a bunch of bull. There is absolutely no reason that Lefty can't run most of Haley's Offense, and Batch?.....I like the dood....first class guy all the way, but he's not a better option. He may be slightly better at short throws....slightly, but Lefty can handle it, and even though he's not extremely mobile, he's faster than Batch, and he has way more arm strength.

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    There is a 50-50 chance Lefty won't last this game. Even in the KC game, he was getting creamed. He is a tough guy, in that he will hold onto the ball waiting for the rec. to get open, but it also gets him beat down. Within a few games, he will be taken out of the game with an injury. Not a matter of "if" but "when." No way he lasts long. I suspect we will be seeing Batch in this game as well. And, with him being near 40 years old, he won't likely last more than 2 games himself. We have a few game window of getting Ben back or the season is toast. Balt. is now a balanced offense; they can rush the hell out of the ball and throw it all over. Their TEs are good too.

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    Personally, Chadman still thinks Leftwich is one of the better back-up QB's in the league. It's not ability that has held him back, but injury, mostly.

    If nothing else, Haley has proven that he is adjustable in his schemes. No doubt, with a week of working the offensive strategy to suit Leftwich, we'll see a much more comfortable fit this week against the Ravens.

    Tough week- and potentially season-defining. If the Steelers can get up over the Ravens here, momentum might take them a long way.

    Here's betting we see plenty of running plays..
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    Hall of Famer SidSmythe's Avatar
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    I'm just mad we got the only 2 slow black QB's in the league for our backups
    Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go...
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