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Steelers sign QB fill-ins Leftwich, Culpepper
Posted: August 9, 2008
Sporting News staff reports

With backup quarterback Charlie Batch out of action, the Pittsburgh Steelers have signed free agents Byron Leftwich and Daunte Culpepper.

Batch broke a collarbone in Friday's preseason opener, leaving the Steelers without a veteran behind starter Ben Roethlisberger. With Dennis Dixon and Mike Potts on the depth chart, Steelers officials decided to try the two experienced quarterbacks in what could be an open audition for backup.

Culpepper, 31, spent last season with the Oakland Raiders after a season with the Miami Dolphins. He's best known for his seven seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

Leftwich, 28, was a long-time starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent last season with the Atlanta Falcons, appearing in three games. He has proved himself as a backup but is dogged by injuries.

It's the first opportunity for both players this preseason.

Batch figures to miss at least a month while his collarbone mends. That means Leftwich and/or Culpepper are likely to be with the Steelers once the season starter. Their first regular-season game is Sept. 7 against the Houston Texans. They have three exhibitions left, including Thursday at Buffalo.

Contributing: ProFootballTalk.com

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Comments
Steelers Fans
SpecialAgentUtah on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:12 pm
Leftwich is your guy, Culpepper is done. Byron can lead, make all the throws, and read defenses. His only problem is his "bum ankle". Plus him & Big Ben are good friends.
WOW!!!!
The 50year oracleBlog on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:19 pm
I know they're concerned about Batch, but if If I had known they were going to siign both these guys ...I would've flown my MOM out for a tryout!! Rolling Eyes
Backup QB
fryguy34Blog on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:46 pm
I thought we might move quickly here, but to sign both of them? I prefer to take a shot with Dixon for the moment as I think the kid has alot of upside and neither Culpepper nor Leftwich have shown much of anything that last 2 years. There is almost no way we will sneak Dixon through to the practice squad so I doubt we will keep both of these guys. I wonder who will stay? My money is actually on Leftwich. Call it a gut feeling.
SteelHammerBlog on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:52 pm
I dont like either one of em. Hope Batch makes a quick recovery.
steelers7fanBlog on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:07 pm
I never would have thought they would have signed both of them. About 5 years ago..this would have been absolutley HUGE!!! But neither are the QB they were back then. Im leaning more towards Letwich..Batch may be done for the year. Thats a hard injury to come back from, especially for a QB, and one with some age on him. Hopefully, we wont have to use either one of these guys (if they make it) in a regular game that means something. BLACK AND GOLD FOREVER!!
Carly0822Blog on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:24 pm
Now all the Steelers need to do is to invent the time machine so they can make Leftwich and Culpepper relevant again.
maelstrom3585 on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:25 pm
It's a good idea to grab two good guys with so much time left in preseason. Keep the better, cut the extra. Smart.
samolagBlog on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:36 pm
Carly0822 wrote:
Now all the Steelers need to do is to invent the time machine so they can make Leftwich and Culpepper relevant again.


I think Leftwich is the guy. Culpepper actually landed in Pittsburgh out of the Time Machine. That dude still thinks he is fresh off his Pro Bowl season. If Batch recovers quick, Culpepper is not going to want to be there.
k_zearleyBlog on Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:32 am
I must interrupt this comment apparently pittsburg is calling me on the other line..." what's that you need a washed up QB? Ok I'm in." sincerely,
Trent(hey, at least I have a super bowl ring) Dilfer
May the best man win
ACDClivewireBlog on Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:51 am
I don't usually agree with a die-hard Flyer fan like maelstrom3585, but he is right on this one. Wink

First and foremost we are talking about a backup to Roethlisberger. These two aren't going to start unless an injury. Letting these two battle it out for the backup is a no-lose situation. Batch will be an UFA after the season plus he is getting up there in age. The Steelers could possibly put Batch on the IR (even though Tomlin said they wouldn't) thus ending his career as a Steeler. The Steelers aren't going into this season with Dixon as the backup. Let the winner sign as a backup for a couple of seasons while Dixon gets some experience if he supposedly is the backup of the future.

I wouldn't mind either of these guys as a backup. Yes, Culpepper best days are way, way behind him and Leftwich never lived up to the hype but both have a lot of experience starting in the NFL which is exactly what you want in a backup. Also there isn't a great QB out there otherwise, obviously, they would be in camp somewhere. The Steelers made a wise move in signing these two that way they could determine who the better guy is. Yes there is some flack in signing these guys because of their inconsistency but in reality it is a smart move by the Steelers organization.
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