Tomlin Shoots Down Garrard Rumor & Says Game Plan Won\’t Change Much With Leftwich

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday following his weekly press press conference to talk about the SC shoulder sprain that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs as well as the state of the quarterback situation on the team as a whole.

After updating the status of Roethlisberger, which did not include any new information than what was given at the press conference, Tomlin was asked if the team would have any interest in signing veteran free agent quarterback David Garrard.

“No, I don\’t think that\’s necessary for us,” said Tomlin. “You know we\’ve got two veteran quarterbacks in Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch. If anything, we\’ll probably look at a practice squad eligible guy for another arm here at practice.”

Tomlin was then asked if indeed Leftwich was the guy going forward should Roethlisberger end up missing significant time, or if we could see more of Batch instead.

“Byron is the guy if Ben is not working,” Tomlin said without hesitation.

Tomlin was then asked if the Steelers game-plan would change should Leftwich play.

“You know, I don\’t know if it will,” said Tomlin. “Obviously in some minor ways we\’ll lean to his strengths and work to minimize his weaknesses, and I think every player has individual aspects that they excel in and so forth. But I don\’t know if largely that there will be drastic changes in terms of how we approach our football, or how our football might look.”

As I mentioned earlier this morning, the Steelers are very unlikely to add a quarterback to the 53 man roster. An addition to the practice squad is much more likely and I gave my reasons as to why I thought either Jerrod Johnson or Dennis Dixon, both who are practice squad eligible, could be that guy.

As far as no changes to the game-plan for Leftwich, I think the Steelers will need to lean even more on the run. Leftwich is notorious for having a long delivery, which could come into play with the short passing game timing. Leftwich does have a strong arm, however, so the deep ball aspect of the offense still will be at their disposal as long as he has time in the pocket.

  • RMSteeler

    Does Lefty have another speed than fastballs? Saw no touch at all on his passes last night. All high, hard fastballs regardless of distance. Even Ben lost his touch before injury. A little air under his long throw would have made an easier catch for Wallace. Charlie’s much better at touch passes, although he’s weaker in the long pass game.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think that wind and rain last night hurt the QBs more than any of them would like to admit. Lefty will be fine as long as Haley does a good job of preparing him for the Ravens attacking his weaknesses.

  • Charlie has the best touch, but that was mostly weather. Leftwich was gunning everything though.

  • By “won’t change much” I hope they mean something different than what they did last night. The offense was totally different with Leftwich, it seemed like it was pretty much all screens with a few deep balls thrown in.

  • RMSteeler

    I admit that the weather was a factor. Lefty has been known to throw the fastball in any conditions. Hope the receivers can adjust to the difference in accuracy. Sticky gloves for the receivers 🙂 should be a necessity. Concerned about two things against the Ravens. Tipped balls off receivers hands on short passes, and their secondary jumping routes because of Lefty’s windup. Steelers and JAX have had years to try to fix his release, without success. Hope the run game gets back to recent success. Ravens would love to have Leftwich passing as much as possible.

  • SteelSpine

    I agree with all that in your post. I think a reason Lefty’s been a better fit in NFL as a backup than as a starter is opposing defenses scout starters the week before, vs not likely to scout the backups, the scouting report on Lefty is his rear-back windmill windup. DBs break sooner to the ball & the receiver appears not as open when the ball arrives. Against Chiefs it shouldnt have mattered that our QB got knocked out of the game because we should have been able to run better.

  • SteelSpine

    This reminds me of why our 3rd QB all year has been an experienced veteren (Charlie) insteada any young developmental QB which typically teams have as their 3rd QB. We knew from recent years that our OLine is below-average & that Ben likes to hold the ball, & Leftwich had bad luck with injuries. Thank goodness Charlie played so sharp in preseason, & a WHEW that Charlie can step into the game if Lefty gets hurt.