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Monday, November 19, 2012

Leftwich hurting

Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich reportedly suffered two broken ribs late in Sunday night's 13-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and is highly questionable to start in this Sunday's game at Cleveland.

With that in mind, the Steelers are exploring their options at quarterback.

If Leftwich can't play, 37-year-old Charlie Batch would get the start in Cleveland. But with Ben Roethlisberger still out with shoulder and rib injuries, and Leftwich also hurting, the Steelers wouldn't have a healthy backup.

Options include re-signing Jerrod Johnson, who was cut by the team at the end of training camp, signing a veteran such as David Garrard, or even bringing back former backup Dennis Dixon, who is currently on Baltimore's practice squad.

In the meantime, Batch, who is 5-2 starting in place of Roethlisberger, might be asked to hold down the fort.

@ In other news, with the injury to Jerricho Cotchery late in Sunday night's game and the Steelers apparently unsure if Antonio Brown will be ready to return, the team will likely sign Plaxico Burress on Tuesday pending his passing of a physical.

Mike Tomlin had an interest in Burress in training camp when Mike Wallace was holding out, but didn't want to bring the veteran in unless he was sure Burress would make the team.

Burress caught 45 passes and - more importantly - 8 touchdown passes last season for the Jets.


DAVE said...

If we were to bring in Dennis Dixon, aren't there rules regarding keeping Dixon on the active roster for a certain amount of time since he'd be signed from another teams Practice Squad?

If so, not sure he'd be the right call because we'd need to potentially keep him as the primary back-up when Ben returns or always dress 3 QB's.

Again, I could be wrong about that...what is the rule?

Pistol said...

If its between those 3 i vote pass and let Heath do it.

Henry said...

Good. Batch is better than Lefty anyway.

Anonymous said...

Dale, was it the right call to leave Leftwich in there last night when he was hurting and missing throws?

Dale Lolley said...

They just have to sign Dixon to their active roster if they sign him from another team's practice squad. I don't know how long they would have to keep him. But, with Leftwich's ribs and Ben's shoulder/ribs, he would be here several weeks.

As for leaving Leftwich in, I had no problem with it. He said he was OK.

Imagine if they had thrown Batch out there and he got hurt as well - which is a concern with a QB who turns 38 in two weeks.

Patrick said...

He said he was ok, but he was obviously not ok. Sure he had some good throws, but he had just as many bad ones, if not more, and as the game went on, the bad ones were obviously coming out poor because of injury, not because hes a mediocre QB.

So you had two mediocre QBS available. One who was playing less than mediocre because of 2 broken ribs and a healthy one on the sidelines.

With the game on the line against Baltimore, give me the mediocre QB with his ribs intact.

marc said...

Makes you wonder where Batch's skills are really at now.

adamg said...

I like Leftwich, but for a guy who is as big as he is, he sure is fragile. I'd say Dixon, Johnson and Smith are the most likely qb choices, plus Dixon would have insight on Balt.

Burress, meh, but at least he's been around and the Steelers know what they'd be getting.

I guess VanDyke would be the expendable man on the 53 man roster.

joe said...

burress ? to hell with him
1 and maybe two new qb's on the roster
it's a mash unit. we aren't the only team with this problem though.
maybe the league should look into some newer, higher tech pads, and the league and players union should get serious about drug/blood testing.

the nfl is slowly going the way of the nba with it's outlawing defense. i(and plenty of others) have little interest in the offense oriented nfl.

marc said...

there is no doubt the rule changes in recent memory benefit the offenses, but the difference in scoring doesn't seem to be significant. below is the "average points scored per game for one team" for each season from 2002.

2002 - 21.7
2003 - 20.8
2004 - 21.5
2005 - 20.6
2006 - 20.6
2007 - 21.7
2008 - 22
2009 - 21.5
2010 - 22
2011 - 22.2
2012 - 23 (so far)

clearly, there is a trend upwards. but very small, easily less than a FG per game over the past 10 years.

keep in mind, this includes defensive and ST scores, so i'm not sure what the numbers would reflect if you took those out.

i got the info off of espn's site.

Anonymous said...

Any DeCastro updates? Don't the Steelers have to make a decision on him pretty soon?

Anonymous said...

what about Jerrod Johnson to backup Batch? wasnt he decent in preseason?

Anonymous said...

Dale, What was so bad about Dixon that the Steelers didn't want to keep him ? Also why didn't the Steelers sign Johnson to the practice squad knowing that they were probably going to need a younger stronger + more athletic guy at the qutarback position? Dave W. in Las Vegas

Dale Lolley said...

Dixon wanted to go somewhere where he had a chance to play. Didn't work out for him.

The Steelers have very rarely kept a QB on the practice squad. Three is enough unless somebody is hurt. The practice squad is for just that, practice. They don't typically hide somebody there based on potential since that player is available to be signed elsewhere.

As for Leftwich's ribs, they didn't know they were broken during the game. He made several good throws down the stretch as well. The throw to Sanders that drew the penalty on Reed was a bullet. The pass to Wallace in the corner of the end zone was a good one. The throws to Miller and Cotchery in the fourth quarter would good ones. Don't know where this he got worse as the game wore on is coming from. I thought he got better.

Eric T said...

Dave: Dixon didn't want to stick around and is reported to rebuff the Steelers this week, choosing to stay on the Balt PS.

ANd I doubt the Steelers FO knew "that they were probably going to need a younger stronger + more athletic guy at the qutarback position" since they had 3 veteran QBs, including a Franchise guy in Ben.

They have been terribly unlucky with injuries this year.