Earlier this week, current Steelers presumed interim starter and former Jaguars starter Byron Leftwich said the team that acquired him in the first round of the 2003 “really f–ked up that situation” by getting rid of Leftwich and other key players.
Now, one of the original Jaguars has responded.
Linebacker Tom McManus, who played for the team from 1995 through 1999 and now hosts a morning-drive radio show on the Jacksonville FOX Sports Radio affiliate, contacted us via e-mail with a message for Leftwich.
“Please tell Byron Leftwich to shut his mouth,” McManus said. “That guy lives in fantasy land.
The reality? He was average at best, Mike. I don’t care about stats. If you
watched him week to week while he was the starter here in town, like I did, he
would make you pull your hair out.”
The stats confirm the notion that Leftwich was average; he has a career passer rating of 79.6.
“He was tough, could take a hit, but he would
disappoint you more than not,” McManus said. “For example, his 15-yard out throw would never be
consistent. He would throw it 10 yards over the receiver’s head or five yards on
the ground in front of the target. His five-yard slant? Back hip, too high, you
never knew. The touch pass? Ha. The dude didn’t have any touch. Had some good
games, made some great throws, but overall, he wasn’t accurate at all. That’s
why Shack [Harris] drafted these big target receivers so he could make it easier for Byron,
which didn’t help.
“Like a lot of young guys, Byron needs to look in the mirror,” McManus added. “He never changed his mechanics, even after they tried to early in his career, to
make himself better. He thought he was way better than he was. Showing up on
the red carpet at the Kentucky Derby, with shades on nonetheless, that’s
laughable. Only big time athletes/celebrities are supposed to do that, something
Byron was not even close too.
“Look, I wasn’t a marquee player, by any means. I stuffed the run and ran down
on kickoffs. But, I know football as well as anyone else. And Byron Leftwich
was an average quarterback, who didn’t deserve any kind of ‘big-time player’ recognition,
because he simply wasn’t. You know what he was? The beginning to the end of
Shack Harris’ tenure as GM of the Jags, being the first bad pick of that era.
“Guys like him need to wake up. Maybe we should call it the ‘entitlement era,’
an era where young people think they’re better than they actually are. As my
late father would say to me, ‘Don’t act like a big shot when you are not one,’ and
Byron Leftwich was anything but. Pittsburgh can have him.”
Pittsburgh currently has him, and despite Leftwich’s desire to stay we’re still not sure it’s in Pittsburgh’s best interest to keep him.