Leftwich Signs With Bucs. What’s Next for Steelers?

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2009

ESPN is reporting that Byron Leftwich has signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For Lefty its not a bad move at all he goes to a team where he gets a chance to start. Leftwich was a solid performer as the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ backup quarterback last season. So in my opinion that means this transaction is a possible nightmare for the Steelers. With Ben Roethlisberger as their starting quarterback there is a dire need for a capable backup.

So where do the Steelers go from here? The only other QB on the roster is Dennis Dixon. Dixon has thrown one pass in his entire career, a completion for three yards. I don’t remember the play but I’m sure it came in a Wildcat type scenario. Pittsburgh fans feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

One option is Charlie Batch. Batch broke his clavicle during a pre-season game and missed the entire 2008 season. He stayed with the team thou in a coaching role. Ironically, that’s something that could lead to him being re-signed as a player. He knows the system. He’s had mild success in the system. So bringing him back all but makes sense. Would he want to try a comeback thou? Batch will be turning 36 during the season and who knows if he wants to put his body through the NFL grind again.

Basically if Batch doesn’t resign the Steelers have to address the QB position in the draft. Do they need to draft one in the first round? No, not at all they’ve got their franchise player. Then again if a Josh Freeman somehow falls all the way to them, they could pull the trigger. Profootballtalk.com talks about the Steelers QB situation as well and makes a strong case for West Virginia QB Pat White.

Having White and Dixon as their backups could present some interesting matchups. They could run the Wildcat more often with both in the game at the same time. It could also allow the Steelers to give Big Ben some rest during the game. Especially after his notorious reckless scrambles that almost knock his head off.

No matter who the Steelers get at backup thou, there is another issue they have to address, the offensive line. Part of the reason that Big Ben is always banged up is his protection, or better yet lack of. The Steelers must address this during the draft and get some big boys up there that can protect Roethlisberger. He’s the face of the franchise and if the Steelers want him to be around for the long haul they better find a way to keep defenders off him.

Oh and Leftwich. Congratulations on your new job, you’ll definitely have a chance to start out there in Tampa.

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