Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Watching Leftwich

I came away from seeing Byron Leftwich for the first time in practice Monday morning impressed.

He's got a canon for an arm, far more so than Charlie Batch.

Now, I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, Batch's spot here isn't so firm.

Batch was having surgery Monday and it wouldn't surprise me if the team eventually releases him. Leftwich looks like a better player.

He threw a perfect strike to rookie Limas Sweed in the front corner of the end zone on his first play in red zone practice Monday morning. Sweed dropped the ball.

He just missed Dallas Baker on his next attempt on a short slant, but followed that up by threading the ball to tight end Jonathan Dekker at the goal line. It was a pass Batch couldn't make.

I like Charlie. He's a great guy.

But he doesn't have this kind of arm strength - not any more, not ever.


Liguori said...

I thought the signing was a good one as well and I think Leftwich can be a quality backup. If Dixon ends up developing, thats great, but if not I think Leftwich can be a good option to have around for a few years.

f Leftwich shows enough to the Coaches, I think they should IR Batch and bring him and Leftwich to camp next year and let them compete for the backup job.

Patrick said...


I'm surprised you didn't mention this. What about his release, his game intelligence and complete lack of mobility?

Almost everyone agrees his release is borderline ridiculous, taking way too long to allow for sacks and defenses to read his passes. Has he changed his release? This plus his lack of mobility also worries me behind what is not a great pass blocking o-line.

Charlie may not be a burner, but he moves ok, and is smart with the ball.

Jamie said...

Dale - I see the Eagles released Kimo VO, any chance we would see him in Black and Gold to add to our defensive line depth?

Dale Lolley said...

I don't see Kimo coming back. He's as old as me. There comes a time when you have to hang them up and the d-line players played well against the Eagles.

Leftwich does have the long release, but he really only wound up on a couple of throws today. We're talking about a backup. And if you combined his throwing motion with Dixon's, you might have something. His is too long. Dixon's is too short.

datruth4life said...


I'm not as worried about throwing motion as I am about a quick release and if the ball arrives accurately. There's no way Batch will be ready at the beginning of the season anyway so he's going on to the PUP list and they'll evaluate him after 6 weeks into the season.

The question that I wanted to ask you is how would you sum up the D-Line competition so far? I watched the game twice and Clement and Reffrett played pretty well. Both pushed the pocket, held the point of attack, made a few plays and got good pressure on the QB. Reffett even seemed like a pretty good athlete to me on a couple of plays. What do you think are the chances of either or both of them making the 53-man squad? They both have good size for 3-4 DEs & are clearly better than Eason, McBean and maybe Kirschke, whose probably 90 years old in dog years by now.


Dale Lolley said...

At this point, I don't see them keeping any of those guys on the active roster. McBean is even a stretch at this point.
I think they'll go in with the same six on the active roster that they had last year with McBean and one of the other guys on the PS.
The only difference is that McBean could replace Eason and then they would keep two on the PS.

datruth4life said...


Please tell me you are kidding. Reffett and Clements looked a lot better than Eason and McBean did the other night. Neither Eason nor McBean can get off blocks or hold the point of attack. Granted, the two free agents did it against 2nd and 3rd teamers, but I'm just telling you what my eyes saw.

What aren't Clements and Reffett showing you in practice to say they don't have a shot? It clearly wasn't the same thing they showed you in the game.

McBean and Eason aren't that impressive at all, and they've had 2 years and 2 training camps to show something. Let's hope Tomlin will actually keep some youth with some talent and upside on this DL instead of the same slop that fell apart in the second half of the season.

Anyone agree?

Dale Lolley said...

McBean is 6-5, 300 pounds and can run. Like I said, he flashes great ability at times, but has been inconsistent with it.
Eason is a vet who as Tomlin likes to say, is a been-there, done-that kind of guy.
I don't think he's that good, but word is that he played well the other night.

Clement has a knee injury right now. Reffett missed half of last week while his wife was having a baby.
I'm not saying they don't have a chance, but they'd better do something special this week.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Leftwich is really ready to be a backup for the rest of his career? or that he'll stay longer term for the current price?
He's only a year older than Ben and he's been a quality starter in the past.

He's only signed for a year...

Anonymous said...


Staying on the Leftwich/Batch theme, do you really believe Leftwich will sign to stay here long term if we release Charlie??? Also, is Troy hurt badly or are they being super-cautious with him??? Let us know.


Dale Lolley said...

They're resting Troy as long as possible and also getting a good look at their young safeties.

Leftwich will be here a year, no more. But Batch was only going to be here for another year as well.

They really like Dixon and forsee him as the backup next season.