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    Default Setting sights on top spot

    Setting sights on top spot
    By Teresa Varley – Steelers.com
    5-18-2010
    Posted 2 hours ago

    [IMGR]http://i45.tinypic.com/1ze9ili.jpg[/IMGR]The Steelers OTAs picked up where they left off at the end of mini-camp, with quarterback Byron Leftwich working with the first team over Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch. And Leftwich is seizing every opportunity he gets to show the coaches why he should open the season as the starter while Ben Roethlisberger serves a six-game suspension.

    “It’s our job to go out there and execute the plays the way they are supposed to be executed,” said Leftwich. “We all understand that. Ben has been in that huddle a long time now. But with the circumstances that exist somebody has to be in there. I am going to work my tail off and try to be the guy.”

    He got a late start on the competition for the job, coming to the Steelers via trade on April 20, but is using the OTAs to catch up.

    “We all have to get ready,” said Leftwich. “Bottom line he is going to miss those games and somebody is going to have to play. My mindset is if I am the guy then make sure we don’t miss a beat. That is the only thing I think about every day, make sure I pick up everything they put in when I wasn’t here last year and try to learn as fast as I can. That is going smoothly. Now it’s getting acclimated to the guys. That’s what I am trying to do now.”

    Leftwich played with the Steelers in 2008 when the team won Super Bowl XLIII, but signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following offseason. While he is familiar with most of the Steelers offense, he still needs to work on some of the intricacies as well as his timing with the receivers.

    “I believe they have confidence in me,” said Leftwich of his teammates. “I am not new to these guys. I have been around these guys. They have seen the work I put in. Now it’s our job to work our butts off to make sure we get our timing down, make sure we understand each other. When you look at all of the teams that are good, especially offensively, they have been together a long time. That is where they establish chemistry. We just have to speed it up and see what happens.”

    The Steelers have 11 OTAs left before they get a break prior to training camp, so this is a key time for the quarterbacks to step their game up and show why they should get the majority of the snaps during training camp.

    “Coach Tomlin is going to make a decision,” said Leftwich, who has slimmed down but declined to say what he weighs now. “I try to every time I step on the field be the best quarterback out there. I am quite sure that is all Charlie and Dennis do too. We are all competing to try to play. We all want to be the guy.

    “When they make the decision, we all have so much respect for Coach Tomlin and this organization we all know it’s the right decision, the best decision for the team. From that standpoint we are just working our tails off and we’ll see what happens.”

    Leftwich completed 21 of 36 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns with the Steelers in 2008 as a back-up to Roethlisberger, a role he never took for granted and approached as if the job were his.

    “I understand what it takes,” said Leftwich. “Last time I was here we won the Super Bowl. It takes a lot of guys to do that. I wasn’t a starter, but I came in every day and prepared myself as if I was a starter. You never know what is going to happen, especially in this league. You always have to be ready. That is my mindset.”

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...e-e1eee23f9267
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    Default Re: Setting sights on top spot

    Leftwich is best suited to be the starter while Ben is out. He won't buy time in the pocket like Ben, but he does have a big arm. If he can be limited to around 20 passes a game because of a solid rushing attack, I think a 3-1 start is a realistic expectation. This is a perfect opportunity to re-focus on running the football. We'll be that much better off for it when Ben comes back.
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    Default Re: Setting sights on top spot

    On the Steelers: Will Leftwich rule the roost?
    Wednesday, May 19, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    [IMGR]http://i47.tinypic.com/2ia985f.jpg[/IMGR]The chickens don't come home to roost for another 31/2 months when the NFL season opens, and Mike Tomlin says he's nowhere near ready to declare who will be the Steelers' starting quarterback for the first quarter-season.

    But there is a pecking order, even with the big bird not around.

    The arrangement remains Byron Leftwich No. 1, Dennis Dixon No. 2, Charlie Batch No. 3 and Ben Roethlisberger in limbo.

    That's the way it was in minicamp 21/2 weeks ago, and how they lined up again when spring practice resumed Tuesday.

    Tomlin has said he'd know his new starter as training camp opened, but Monday referred to it differently.

    "We'll go in with a pecking order, if you will, and the opportunities to show what you're capable of will be based on that pecking order," the coach said after practice. "All guys will be given an opportunity, not an equal opportunity, that's just the nature of this game, the nature of this business. I will make those judgments based on intuition and knowledge I have of the men at an appropriate time and we'll proceed. They'll understand that and move forward."

    Roethlisberger still has not taken those forward steps because NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has not cleared him to rejoin his teammates. The starting quarterback will miss at least the first four games of the 16-game NFL season, a suspension Goodell levied for incidents involving Roethlisberger March 4-5 in Georgia. Goodell presumably is reviewing the behavior evaluation Roethlisberger underwent before he allows him to return to the team.

    "I'm just going to wait for word from New York just like everyone else," Tomlin said, "and I'm not going to speculate until I get that word."

    While Tomlin said Roethlisberger's absence from practices is less critical than it might be for others, he's not confident his quarterback can get work he needs while being away from the team.

    "It would be unintelligent of me to say that him [not] being here is not significant when I'm in the process of recruiting others to be here," Tomlin said. "So I'm not stupid. ... It is important to work, that's why we work."

    Confidence is not something lacking in Leftwich, who has had his ups and downs in the NFL since he was Jacksonville's starter. He relieved Roethlisberger in two games in 2008 and the Steelers won both on the way to a Super Bowl championship. After one down 2009 season in Tampa, he's back and has the look of the favorite in the quarter-season quarterback derby.

    "We all understand that Ben has been in that huddle for a long time now," Leftwich said. "He's been their guy for a long time, but the circumstances that exist, somebody's got to be in there, so I'm going to work my tail off and try to be the guy."

    Leftwich said he does not see the job as his to lose.

    "I don't have to do that. The way I approach it doesn't really matter. Coach Tomlin will make that decision. I try every time I step on this field to be the best quarterback out there. I'm sure that's all Charlie does and that's all Dennis does."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Quick hits[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Troy Polamalu was not among those who practiced Tuesday and is presumably back in California working out. Polamalu had been through the first two practices April 19-20 and then the three-day minicamp. Said Tomlin, "I tend to focus on the guys who are here. ... As I coach you can be a miserable person worried about the ones who aren't." ... Rookie defensive lineman Doug Worthington cannot attend until his Ohio State classwork is finished in June.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10139/1059147-66.stm
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    Default Re: Setting sights on top spot

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Leftwich is best suited to be the starter while Ben is out. He won't buy time in the pocket like Ben, but he does have a big arm. If he can be limited to around 20 passes a game because of a solid rushing attack, I think a 3-1 start is a realistic expectation. This is a perfect opportunity to re-focus on running the football. We'll be that much better off for it when Ben comes back.
    I think that would be a wonderful thing.im tired of people running down my team.3-1 would shut them the **** up!

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    Default Re: Setting sights on top spot

    5/19/2010
    Leftwich working on starting spot
    By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer

    [IMGR]http://i47.tinypic.com/25a191k.jpg[/IMGR]PITTSBURGH - The Steelers resumed their voluntary offseason workouts on Tuesday the same way they finished their previous workouts - without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

    Roethlisberger, who will serve a four- to six-game suspension to begin the season for violating the NFL's personal conduct code, is awaiting word from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about when he'll be permitted to re-join the team. Goodell is reviewing the results of a league-mandated evaluation before clearing the quarterback to practice.

    "I'm waiting for word from New York like everyone else," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "I'm not going to speculate until I get that word."

    In the meantime, Tomlin will continue to evaluate Byron Leftwich, Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch to see which of the three will be the starter when the regular season begins.

    Tomlin wants to have a starter in place when the Steelers begin training camp in late July.

    "I really don't believe it's an effective approach to go in with a pure open quarterback competition" Tomlin said. "There simply aren't enough snaps to go around. We'll go in with a pecking order, if you will, and the opportunities to show what you're capable of will be based on that pecking order. All three guys will be given an opportunity - not an equal opportunity."

    Thus far, Leftwich, acquired by the Steelers from Tampa Bay for a seventh-round draft pick, has gotten the longest look. As he did at the team's mini-camp last month, Leftwich got the majority of the work with the first-team offense Tuesday, followed by Dixon and Batch.

    But Leftwich, who is in his second stint with the Steelers after serving as a backup to Roethlisberger in 2008, isn't reading too much into that.

    He wants to win the job.

    "We've all got to be ready because the bottom line is that (Roethlisberger) is going to miss those games and somebody's going to have to play," Leftwich said. "My mindset is that if I'm the guy, I want to make sure we don't miss a beat."

    Replacing a quarterback who has led the Steelers to two Super Bowl wins, even for a short period of time, brings with it some pressure.

    "I understand what it takes. The last time I was here, we won a Super Bowl," Leftwich said. "It takes a lot of guys to do that. I wasn't a starter, but I came in every day and prepared myself every day as if I was the starter. You never know what's going to happen.

    "I'm not new to these guys, so that's not a problem."

    Tomlin hopes that the quarterback he picks can get the Steelers off to a strong start and help erase the memories of a 9-7 record last season that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time in his tenure.

    That's what makes these offseason workouts so important for Leftwich, who completed 58 of 107 passes for 594 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions in three starts for Tampa Bay last season.

    "For a lot of the guys Ben has played with a lot of years, there's chemistry there," Leftwich said. "That's why it's important for the guys that's here to come in and don't miss a beat. That's our whole plan, to get into the huddle, command the huddle."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Odds and end zones[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Strong safety Troy Polamalu was not in attendance at the optional workouts. Will Allen, acquired as a free agent in the offseason, worked in his place. ... Wide receiver Hines Ward, who strained his hamstring during the team's mini-camp, was in attendance, but did not practice. ... [HIGH-LIGHT]The Steelers are scheduled for workouts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday every week through June 10 before breaking until training camp begins.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/...wich-in-charge
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    Default Re: Setting sights on top spot

    If Steelers thrive without Ben, Byron may not be ready to step aside

    Posted by Mike Florio on June 2, 2010







    One of the points we've been making from time to time of late -- and which appears prominently in our season preview magazine -- arises from the mess that the Steelers are facing in Pittsburgh.

    If they do well without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, what will coach Mike Tomlin do once Ben returns?

    Though Tomlin is keeping his cards sutured to his chest, the guy who seems to be in line to replace Roethlisberger had a chance today to declare an intention to step aside.

    Appearing with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon of Sirius NFL Radio's The Sirius Blitz, Byron Leftwich faced this question: "You're the quarterback for the Steelers. Pittsburgh goes 3-1 or 4-0. Does Ben automatically get the job back [when he returns from suspension]?"

    It's a simple question, and the right answer likely is "yes," or some variation thereof.

    Leftwich didn't say "yes." Or any variation thereof.

    "I don't know," Leftwich said. "That's not a decision for me but that's a good problem to have. It's a good problem to have and I'm quite sure he'll say the same thing. You want to go out there and, every chance you get, get a chance to win football games because we're all in it for one thing. We're all trying to win football games and hopefully you can win a championship.

    "So if that's everybody's mindset and that's everybody's plan I don't really see that as an awkward situation. I see that as a situation that's good for the Pittsburgh Steelers and if it happens that way they'll handle it the way they have to handle it. But it's not something that you really think about. Man, it's too hard in this league to be hypothetical, you know? We've still got a long way to go and we'll see what happens."

    Yep, it's potentially going to get ugly if the Steelers thrive without Roethlisberger.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...to-step-aside/

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    Default Re: Setting sights on top spot

    Florio got "it's going to get ugly" out of that repsonse from Lefty????

    JFC..................


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    Default Re: Setting sights on top spot

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sodfather View Post
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    Florio got "it's going to get ugly" out of that repsonse from Lefty????

    JFC..................

    I suspect Florio wants to be tea-bagged by John Harbaugh.
    'I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ***-kickers, ****-kickers and Methodists.'

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    Default Re: Setting sights on top spot

    Leftwich vs. Roethlisberger

    Written by playerpress.com, Friday June 04 2010


    The Steeler Nation will be holding its breath when the regular season kicks off against the Atlanta Falcons on September 12th. Will the team be lousy without its star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, or will they fly high under the veteran leadership of Byron Leftwich?

    Leftwich’s numbers were never big when was at his best in Jacksonville. Then again, Leftwich was never known as a gunslinger, but more as a game manager which could be exactly what the Steelers need if they are going to return to being a running team that controls the ball.

    The Steelers are a virtual mess right now thanks to the controversy surrounding Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes before he was traded. The team did not look very good at times with Roethlisberger behind center including a five game losing streak that took the defending champions out of the playoff hunt.

    If Leftwich is able to rally the troops and get the Steelers off to a strong start should Tomlin leave well enough alone?

    It would be easy if Tomlin or Leftwich would publicly state their feelings one way or the other. Tomlin has said nothing on the issue; when Leftwich did speak he did little to clear things up.

    "I don't know. That's not a decision for me but that's a good problem to have. It's a good problem to have and I'm quite sure [Roethlisberger will] say the same thing. You want to go out there and, every chance you get, get a chance to win football games because we're all in it for one thing. We're all trying to win football games and hopefully you can win a championship.”

    http://www.playerpress.com/articles/943 ... hlisberger

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