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.