Steelers should get ready to call Croyle, Palko

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Lost in the fact that the Steelers inexplicably stuck with a banged-up and ineffective Byron Leftwich at quarterback in the latter stages of Sunday night’s loss to the Ravens is the fact that Charlie Batch has gotten very limited reps in the team’s new Todd Haley offense.

So why not sign a quarterback who knows the system?

With Matt Cassel and Ricky Stanzi still playing for the team where that offense was last used, the Steelers should add Brodie Croyle or former Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko, both of whom have worked with Haley and know the offense well enough to get ready to play, quickly.  (Croyle technically has retired.  So did Brett Favre.  Three times.)

Also lost in the Steelers’ reliance on the not-so-dynamic duo of Leftwich and Batch is the possibility that, if the Steelers haven’t added another quarterback, it could mean that they don’t expect to be without starter Ben Roethlisberger as long as reported.

Though Leftwich deserves credit for refusing to come out despite shoulder and rib injuries, the reality is that, after several years of not playing and a future that likely entails more of the same, Leftwich (who is only 32) wasn’t going to tap out of what could be his last chance to convince someone else to give him a chance to compete for a chance to play on a more regular basis.

If Roethlisberger and Leftwich won’t be available to play on Sunday at Cleveland, the Steelers need to do something at the position, since Batch would be the only healthy quarterback on the roster.  With a looming date in Cleveland and a rematch in only 13 days with the Ravens, the absence of an effective plan at the quarterback position could plunge Pittsburgh to .500 with four games left.

Which could unlock a full-blown free-for-all for the sixth and final seed in the AFC playoff field.

18 responses to “Steelers should get ready to call Croyle, Palko

  1. Congrats to the Ravens for making the three plays to turn the game their way (2 turnovers and the punt return). As a Steelers fan, I am not ready to pull the plug on Leftwich, yet. I am curious as to why did not run the ball more early in the game. While I appreciate Leftwich’s determination working through his obvious injury, I appreciate Big Ben’s accuracy and timing a whole lot more.

    It also appeared to me that Mendenhall is not all the way back from his ACL and achilles injuries. He appeared to be tentative at times. In contrast, Dwyer would run with more reckless abandon.

    It appeared to me that the offensive game plan really did not suit the players that were on the field. I am also disappointed that the defense failed to create a turnover. The team needs to hang on until Big Ben returns. Hopefully, it will not be too late by then.

  2. I’ll never understand why they stuck with Batch or Leftwich this year. They showed last season that they had zero faith in either of them by starting Ben when he was clearly too hurt to play, but rather than make a clean break in the offseason and find some new blood that they might actually trust if called upon they simply doubled-down on those two. Go figure.

  3. What’s the point of even having Charlie Batch on your team if you won’t play him in a situation like last night?

  4. Fortunately, the Steelers are playing the Browns next week and with Skrine and Sheldon Brown at the corners, my mother could throw for 300 yards!

  5. I hope all steeler fans now understand why big ben is elite and should never be taken for granted. Without him this team would be a 6-10 team! He truly is the difference maker! We outplayed the ravens last night. Just not on the scoreboard. Keep your head up steeler nation. We just need a ticket to the dance ..Thats all!!!

  6. Im pretty sure they could get Matt Cassel for an autographed Terry Bradshaw football. Chiefs might have to throw in a draft pick though.

  7. As a Ravens fan, I’m certainly not putting any nails in the Steelers coffin. That D is good. They can run the ball. (Why they didn’t run on 4th down near the Ravens goal line is a mystery to me….). They could beat half the NFL with me at QB and I can’t hit the broad side of a barn at anything beyond 20 yards. If they take care of a few teams until Ben gets back, they could get the OL healthy, some D players coming back & could be a scary team in the playoffs. I wish the NFL hadn’t put our games darn near back to back. Do they need help at backup QB? Yep, but so do all of the top teams. If Brady, Manning (either one), Flacco, Rodgers, Brees, Cutler, Alex Smith, etc. go down……it’s not gonna be pretty. Hoping the Steelers heal & get a ticket to the playoffs. (Hoping I don’t regret that come late January!)

    Want to see AFC Championship Game = Steelers at Ravens w/Ben & Ray Lewis both on the field.

  8. “Which could unlock a full-blown free-for-all for the sixth and final seed in the AFC playoff field.”

    Actually, it could unlock that free-for all for the 5th and 6th seeds…Right now, Steelers/Colts are tied for 5th at 6-4 (not sure who has tiebreaker; they don’t play in the regular season this year), Bengals a game behind… all 3 have at least 3 potential losses the rest of the way…and 5 more teams one more game back…

  9. @cd_ridge
    The reason the defense didn’t get any turnovers is because the Ravens played the most ridiculously conservative game in the history of the NFL. They were like Scrooge on Christmas last night.

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