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Steelers teammates confident in Leftwich’s abilities

Byron Leftwich AP

Byron Leftwich knows no one is giving him much of a chance.

The Steelers are 0-4 against the Ravens without the injured Ben Roethlisberger, who is not going to play Sunday night because of a dislocated rib and sprained shoulder.

But the Steelers backup remains confident in his own abilities, as do the players around him.

“I know they’re saying, ‘Hey, man, they got a backup quarterback playing Sunday night against the Ravens’ and we understand nobody’s giving us a shot,” Leftwich said, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s OK.”

While Roethlisberger is clearly their most important piece on offense, teammates are rallying behind Leftwich, with center Maurkice Pouncey saying: “I think we’ll do a great job with him. People are making this out to be bigger than it’s going to be.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Leftwich was “fully capable of running their whole package,” though there are significant differences.

First and foremost, what Leftwich lacks in mobility he makes up for in arm strength.

“Probably about 20-25 miles per hour,” wide receiver Mike Wallace said of the difference between Roethlisberger and Leftwich. “Byron’s ball comes out a lot faster. I like Byron’s ball. Ben has a nice soft touch on it, you just pluck out of the air and keep rolling. Byron, you definitely got to brace yourself because it’s coming.”

How well they’re able to adapt to the difference will determine whether the naysayers are right.

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20 Responses to “Steelers teammates confident in Leftwich’s abilities”
  1. joetoronto says: Nov 15, 2012 1:34 PM

    He throws the ball hard but by the time it comes out, it’s another day.

    That’s one hell of a slow release.

  2. steelersownyou says: Nov 15, 2012 1:38 PM

    Leftwich to wallace deep touchdown!!! Get used to that sentence ratbirds. Lefty all night sunday night! Next man up… Its what the steelers do!!

  3. 92and94and51and56 says: Nov 15, 2012 1:40 PM

    Pressure’s all on the Ravens now. And we all know how well Flacco does in those situations.

    Steelers win with a backup behind center and the Ravens look bad. Steelers lose, no one expected them to win anyway. So it’s all good.

    Good luck, Ratbirds.

  4. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 15, 2012 1:50 PM

    The Pillsbury Dough Boy rises again !

  5. ravenator says: Nov 15, 2012 1:54 PM

    Just wait till after the first couple series, then we’ll see how confident they are. Ravens rout the Steelers. This one won’t even be close. Another sweep coming up. Can’t wait to hear the excuses afterwards

  6. juliodamfoolio says: Nov 15, 2012 2:12 PM

    Gary Coleman (I mean Leftwich) does have a cannon, albeit a slow-firing one. WRs have to make plays since Ravens will be loading up against the run.

    Run defense better be better than it was monday night. If so, Steelers have good chance.

  7. randyschwimmer7 says: Nov 15, 2012 2:18 PM

    Dude has a wind up pitch style release that makes Tebow’s look compact.

  8. celly84 says: Nov 15, 2012 2:21 PM

    i COMPLETELY forgot how slow Leftwich’s delivery was until i saw him play in the night game. wow.

  9. riverhorsey says: Nov 15, 2012 2:33 PM

    Mendenhal is the key. Playing in Pittsburgh they stand a good chance of winning even w/o Ben.

  10. deathonwings410 says: Nov 15, 2012 2:34 PM

    These teams are just incredibly beat up…its amazing.

  11. sixlombardisinyourface says: Nov 15, 2012 2:48 PM

    note to Tomlin: have Leftwich run every play in the playbook 97 times each before Sunday night.

  12. baltimoresohard says: Nov 15, 2012 3:07 PM

    What do you want them to say, that he’s terrible? When would a team ever say that about their backup QB……oh wait.

    Every 300 lb morbidly obese Steeler fan will be crying in their deep fried Oreo’s on Sunday Night, when they lose 16-10, and will be whining about Little Ben being hurt.

  13. 3octaveFart says: Nov 15, 2012 3:10 PM

    I know how much Ravens fans love to crow about having swept the Steelers in a previous season – but they forget that one of those games went to overtime, with Dennis Dixon, our then #3 QB at the helm…

  14. mostlombardisintheleague says: Nov 15, 2012 3:34 PM

    Now how about some confidence in the coaching staff to call an effective game plan.

  15. baloneyjohn says: Nov 15, 2012 3:49 PM

    Hasn’t played in two years.
    Lotta luck as a bus with flat tires is mobile.
    Steelers are done, Thats a good deal

  16. NakedCowboy! says: Nov 15, 2012 4:37 PM

    This is probably the weakest the 2 defenses have been in last decade… this could be a relatively highs coring game…

  17. charlies1batch says: Nov 15, 2012 4:44 PM

    I personally think the Steelers will have a much better chance of pulling out a W with Charlie Batch under center

  18. steelersfanfromtheseventies says: Nov 15, 2012 8:25 PM

    I still would like to know who scheduled these two teams to play each other in a two week span.

    The way these guys go after each other they have to have a real sick sense of humor. :)

  19. mlbbal52 says: Nov 16, 2012 1:17 AM

    Which game went into overtime with Dennis Dixon playing? The blow out in week 1 or the 23-20 game in week 6 that ended with a game winning TD pass from Flacco to Smith in the 4th qtr…oh and Rothelisberger played both games…I’m confused…

    Anyway its about now not last year last I saw the sweep didnt matter cause the Giants won the superbowl…hope for a good game sunday.

  20. bobzilla1001 says: Nov 17, 2012 6:33 AM

    Even though the guy hasn’t played a meaningful game in two seasons, suddenly everyone’s a Byron Leftwich expert…
    Here are the stats from Monday night against the Chiefs: Roethlisberger 9 of 18, 84 yards. Leftwich 7 of 14, 73 yards. Please tell me again which of the two hasn’t played in two years?
    Here’s the problem: Everything SuperBen does is blown way out of proportion, and everything Leftwich does is scrutinized beyond recognition.
    Leftwich’s passes have been clocked at 51 mph. Not bad for a guy with such a slow release…
    Factoring in every game (preseason and regular seasons) that Leftwich has played as a Pittsburgh Steeler, he’s thrown 10 touchdown passes and zero interceptions.
    Call me crazy, but I like the Steelers’ chances at home, in primetime, with Leftwich at QB, against the 27th-ranked defense in the league.

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