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Thread: Leftwich eager to hit the ground running as leader of offense

      
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    Angry Leftwich eager to hit the ground running as leader of offense

    Leftwich eager to hit the ground running as leader of the offense

    Friday, August 13, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette




    Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

    Byron Leftwich drops back to pass during team drills at training camp Thursday in Latrobe.


    Ben Roethlisberger has had the best first two weeks of training camp in his career, which makes the first four weeks of the Steelers' regular season that much more important.

    If, at 28, Roethlisberger appears to be ready to improve on his best statistical season in 2009, then what the Steelers do during those first four games without him could mean the difference between getting another shot at a Super Bowl or writing the season off as one big calamity.

    And that is why it remains so important to get the opening-game starting quarterback prepared while Roethlisberger sits out the first four games with a suspension, and why it would be strange if Roethlisberger would start the first preseason game Saturday instead of Byron Leftwich.

    Coach Mike Tomlin left everyone guessing Thursday as to his plans at quarterback for the game against the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field and indicated that he could start Roethlisberger or not play him at all. Roethlisberger said after he and Leftwich split practice time with the first team Thursday that he would like to play Saturday.

    Leftwich, though, is the quarterback the Steelers need to have ready for the season opener Sept. 12 against Atlanta, five weeks before Roethlisberger will be eligible to play in his first real game.

    Leftwich, who has a minor thumb problem, insists his coaches have not told him what the quarterback rotation will be Saturday, but it has become more than obvious that he will begin the season as the starting quarterback.

    And no one has walked around the Saint Vincent campus smiling as wide as Leftwich.

    "I'm excited to be back and part of this team. It's good to be with a good football team, I'm telling you. As a quarterback, it's a whole lot better to play when you have these types of players around you."

    He said the Steelers have more offensive talent than any team he has been with, which includes two playoff teams in Jacksonville in 2004 (12-4) and '05 (11-5), a mediocre Atlanta team in '07 (7-9) and a bad Tampa Bay outfit last season (3-13) when he started the first three games and then did not play again.

    Both of Leftwich's turns with the Steelers came after trouble hit one of their quarterbacks. In 2008, it was a season-ending broken collarbone to Charlie Batch in the preseason opener. This year, it was Milledgeville, Ga.

    Leftwich's take on the offensive line, with Willie Colon out for the season and Flozell Adams his late replacement, is upbeat.

    "They look pretty good to me. Anytime you lose Willie, that's tough because you have a tough guy, a guy who has been around. But when you can add Flozell, that kind of put a Band-Aid on that wound because here's a guy who knows how to play football. He's played a lot of football, he's been on a lot of winning football team, he's been in all the situations you can think of."

    He has been reminded often since rejoining the Steelers of the many quarterback sacks the team has endured the past four seasons -- 49, 47, 49 and 50 last season.

    "Somebody asked me something about how many sacks we've given up over the years. I don't really look at it that way," Leftwich said. "I know these guys. I know how good these guys are. If I get the ball out on time, get the ball to the right guys ... the offensive linemen are the least of my worries."

    And his receivers without Santonio Holmes?

    "They look pretty good. It's tough to say anybody's going to replace Santonio because he did a lot for this team, not just catching passes, but the fear he put into defenses. I don't know how teams are going to play us in the beginning because he's not here. Not to say nobody else can do what [he] did, but none of us have seen it yet in game situations.."

    That might explain the eagerness by Leftwich to play in a game for the first time since Sept. 27, the third game of the 2009 season that ended when the Buccaneers put him on injured reserve with an elbow injury. He's familiar with just one receiver from the '08 Steelers team, Hines Ward. All the others are new to him.

    "People are asking me if I'm going to replace Ben," Leftwich said. "I'm not going to try to replace Ben. I'm going to go out here and try to play the game the way I know how to play. I've won games in this league and I feel I can continue to do that with this team."


    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10225...#ixzz0wXjildxG

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    Default Re: Leftwich eager to hit the ground running as leader of offense

    What's up with the angry Icon, Hawaiian? Not a Lefty fan?

    Fan or not and I'm not the biggest Leftwich fan... i';ll be rooting my *** for him. Getting off to a strong start without Ben is going to be important. If we go into game 5 with a record of 3-1, that'll be awesome. There will be good momentum and confidence built and then Ben's return should really help ignite the team even further
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    Default Re: Leftwich eager to hit the ground running as leader of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    What's up with the angry Icon, Hawaiian? Not a Lefty fan?

    i'm definitely a Lefty fan...especially here in the preseason and for the first four games of the season.

    the angry icon is directed towards the man pictured below who suspended a man who was never proven guilty of any crime other than that of using poor judgement.


    seriously, the sorority girl followed Ben from bar to bar while wearing a DTF tag...how can you compare that to the Vince Young, Michael Vick, Cedric Benson and Vincent Jackson cases and not believe that Ben might have been a victim of reverse discrimination?


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    Default Re: Leftwich eager to hit the ground running as leader of offense

    With you all the way there, Hawaiian. None of the fan exasperation was ever going to impact Roger the Todger in any way, so we have to ride it out now.

    Lefty's our guy for the next 8-10 weeks (maybe Ben will get a few snaps tonight), so here we go.
    '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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