- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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When ranking the backups in the AFC North, I had Byron Leftwich at the top of the list. That doesn't mean Leftwich is the best backup for the Steelers.
If you know anything about Todd Haley's offense after eight games, it's a system that relies on short and quick passes. If you know anything about Leftwich after watching him throw a couple of passes, it's the fact that he doesn't get rid of the ball quickly.
In fact, Leftwich might have the slowest release in NFL history. The big criticism of Leftwich over his career has been his long windup. He looks more like someone pitching for the Pirates than throwing passes for the Steelers. His release is the extreme opposite of Kurt Warner.
If the Steelers knew this was the direction of Haley's offense, I'm confused on why they would think Leftwich would be a good fit in Pittsburgh. Leftwich's strong arm and desire to throw deep is better suited for the Steelers' old offense under Bruce Arians.
This isn't to say I'm endorsing Charlie Batch to start. At his age, he can fill in for a game or two. Batch won't hold up over an extended period, and no one knows when Ben Roethlisberger will return.
The Steelers are going with Leftwich and saying they are confident that the offense won't have to change with a change at quarterback. But, if the Steelers want to maintain success on offense, they're going to have to adapt to Leftwich's strengths.