Mike Tomlin likes Byron Leftwich. It is easy to see why. Sure, Leftwich is immobile and has an irregular release.
But he’s got 60 starts under his belt and is no stranger to the pressure that comes with that role. He’s got poise and confidence in the huddle and in the pocket. And he has a rocket for an arm (Leftwich is one QB who would never under throw Mike Wallace)
Leftwich has everything you want in a back up quarterback. Except dependability.
- Slated to win the temporary starting job in 2010, Leftwich injured his knee in preseason
- Again the favorite for the number 1 back up slot in 2011, Leftwich broke his leg and went on IR
- Making his only start for the Steelers vs. Baltimore, Leftwich injured his shoulder – on a 31 yard scamper into the end zone of all plays!
Injuries bedeviled Leftwich prior to his coming to Pittsburgh, and that fact serves to be his inconvenient truth.
Leftwich to Exit Stage with Steelers
A good back up quarterback is like a comfortable suit case. You don’t use it every day, but you sure are glad to have something familiar when traveling in unfamiliar places.
Any number of men have made good livings as an NFL back up by holding a clipboard for most of the time and delivering when called upon the rest of the time.
- Think Don Strock, Gary Kubiack, Frank Reich, Jon Kitna and yes Charlie Batch.
Bill Cowher found such a back up in the form of Mike Tomczak and stuck with him until Kevin Colbert arrived in 2000 and convinced him to bring in Kent Graham to give Kordell Stewart competition.
Mike Tomlin has dearly wanted Byron Leftwich to be “his” back up. When the word “Midgeville” entered the vernacular of Steelers Nation, Tomlin wasted little time in bringing in Leftwich to start in Ben Roethlisberger’s place.
But each year those plans have been foiled by injury. The experiment has been replicated. Numerous times.
- Expect the Pittsburgh Steelers and Byron Leftwich to part ways this off season
Mike Tomlin can be a patient coach, but everyone’s patience has a limit.
Scenario that Sees the Steelers Deciding Leftwich is Still Right for Them…
Unless press reports are horribly wrong, there almost no chance of Byron Leftwich getting an offer from the Steelers in free agency.
- Could Leftwich be back in Pittsburgh in 2013?
Perhaps… should injury strike at quarterback either during training camp or during the regular season, strike certainly possible Steelers management could pick up the red phone to a Leftwich.
But in such an event the Steelers would likely exhaust other possibilities before taking that route.