QB Byron Leftwich - Pittsburgh Steelers

6-5, 240Born: 1-14-1980College: MarshallDrafted: Round 1, pick 7

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Game Recaps

2012 Week 10 vs KC (7 / 14 / 73 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Leftwich bounced his first pass attempt to Mike Wallace, before throwing an incompletion on his next attempt. He didn't look comfortable on the field initially, but sparked a good rapport with Emmanuel Sanders to kickstart the offense. Leftwich limited the effectiveness of the Steelers' short passing game because of his slow release. If Leftwich is to be the Steelers' starting quarterback moving forward, the team will likely have a very different gameplan than they showed tonight as they will have time to work with him in practice. Leftwich is not Roethlisberger, but he did show off his big arm on occasions in this game with the highlight being a big third down conversion to Jerricho Cotchery over the middle from his own goalline.

2012 Week 11 vs BAL (18 / 39 / 201 / 0 / 1 pass, 1 / 31 / 1 rush)

Byron Leftwich delivered a gritty, gutty performance in the place of Ben Roethlisberger. On his first play, Leftwich threw a deep post route to Mike Wallace that resulted in a defensive pass interference penalty. Two plays later, Leftwich rumbled for a 31-yard touchdown. On one of the most peculiar plays in recent memory, Leftwich scrambled to the right and decided to run for the first down. Ten yards into the play, Leftwich ran through a half-hearted Bernard Pollard arm tackle, lumbered untouched for an additional 21 yards, and scored. Pollard appeared ready to unload a big hit, but held back and tried to arm tackle Leftwich. After scoring, Leftwich was unable to stop his momentum and fell onto his right shoulder. For the rest of the game, Leftwich was clearly favoring the shoulder and his throws lacked velocity. After the touchdown drive, six of his seven first half drives resulted in punts. Leftwich's longest first half pass play, a 25-yard slant route to Emmanuel Sanders, was completed due to a blown coverage. Leftwich completed just 7-of-17 first half attempts for 85 yards. During his first second half drive, Leftwich attempted to establish some rhythm by feeding his running backs. After two Rashard Mendenhall runs, Leftwich stepped up and found Sanders on a deep post route for 37 yards. Velocity was not an issue on this throw. Two plays later, Leftwich was once again targeting Sanders on a deep post route, but the ball was underthrown and intercepted by Corey Graham. Unlike his last completion to Sanders, this throw lacked the necessary velocity. While his turnover led to three critical Baltimore points, Leftwich would atone for this mistake by leading his most impressive drive. Leftwich deployed his running backs as both receivers and runners as he paced the Steelers down the field. Leftwich completed four of his six pass attempts, but failed to convert in the red zone. On a 3rd-and-2 play from Baltimore's three-yard line, Leftwich had Mike Wallace open on a fade route, but threw the ball too far to the sideline and Wallace was unable to get two feet in bounds. Pittsburgh needed a touchdown drive, but settled for a field goal. As the fourth quarter progressed, Leftwich continued taking big hits. Leftwich was grimacing after each one, but stayed in the game. Arm strength was an obvious issue as Leftwich attempted to fuel the late game come back. Asking an injured Leftwich to lead a fourth quarter drive against the Baltimore Ravens is a tall order. Leftwich is an adequate backup, but the Pittsburgh offense clearly missed Ben Roethlisberger.

2009 Week 1 vs DAL (25 / 41 / 276 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 3 / 0 rush)

You can't pin this loss on Leftwich. He was in synch with his receiver early, displaying terrific downfield accuracy and the typical fireball velocity we've come to expect from Leftwich. He even moved around ok in the pocket and actually scrambled to the sideline on one play! Leftwich did have trouble with accuracy on short touch passes to RBs out of the backfield, and his INT came on a deep target that was underthrown because he was hit low as he released the ball. Josh Freeman will likely take over at some point this year, but if Leftwich plays like he did on Sunday, it won't be because the coaches feel the need to yank him.

2009 Week 2 vs BUF (26 / 50 / 296 / 3 / 2 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)

Leftwich was his normal "battling to the very end" self, but his numbers were mostly compiled in a desperation efforts to catch up as the Bucs fell behind big early, then tightened the game, only to have the Bills pull away in the second half. Leftwich threw a gift pick six early that happened because Kyle Williams hit him low as he was throwing to Cadillac Williams. He also had multiple throws that should have been interceptions. Leftwich threw downfield without hesitation, and actually threw a nice strike to Kellen Winslow on his TD. He displayed nice touch on throws to Cadillac and Derrick Ward out of the backfield, and he hung tough in the face of many blitzes from the Bills. He's playing well enough to keep the Bucs offense viable, but he's not going to hold off Josh Freeman for long at this rate.

2009 Week 3 vs NYG (7 / 16 / 22 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / 3 / 0 rush)

Leftwich may start again next week vs. Washington, but his days are numbered after this horrendous performance - not that his teammated helped him much. He got off on the wrong foot with an interception downfield that seemed to be targeted to no one in particular, and never really recovered. The Bucs offense didn't convert a first down until there was five minutes left in the third quarter. Leftwich really didn't have time to throw, and the few times he did, he seemed out of sync.

2008 Week 9 vs WAS (7 / 10 / 129 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

Leftwich came into the game at the start of the third quarter after starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his shoulder in the first half. His first pass of the game was a beautiful deep ball to WR Nate Washington that went for a gain of 50 and helped set up the team's second touchdown. Later on in the game, the backup quarterback led a 12 play, 77 yard drive that he capped with a five yard touchdown toss to WR Santonio Holmes.

2007 Week 5 vs TEN (2 / 8 / 28 / 0 / 1 pass, 3 / 1 / 0 rush)

Provided with multiple opportunities to bring the Falcons back in this game, Leftwich failed to do in his first action with the club. Leftwich was missing high and long on most of his passes, including a wide open Laurent Robinson on a deep out pattern. Later in the fourth quarter near the Titans goal line, he took a sack on fourth down to end the series and the game for the Falcons.

2007 Week 7 vs NO (15 / 23 / 145 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 6 / 0 rush)

Trying to complete a deep pass, Leftwich held onto the ball too long and took a hit which caused him to suffer an ankle injury and exit the game. Prior to departing, he completed 65% of his passes for an average of 6.3 yards per attempt. While in the game, he threw five passes to Roddy White and Michael Jenkins, with four passes intended for Joe Horn and three for Laurent Robinson.

2007 Week 11 vs TB (15 / 28 / 106 / 0 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Leftwich got the start in his return from ankle surgery and for Leftwich and the Atlanta Falcons, it was a return they would like to forget. He finished 15 of 28 for 106 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions and two fumbles. As a result, he failed to lead his team on any drives inside the red zone, and was replaced late in the third quarter by Joey Harrington.

2006 Week 1 vs DAL (23 / 34 / 237 / 1 / 1 pass, 5 / 7 / 1 rush)

Leftwich started off slow but put together a good game by the time it was all over. Leftwich converted on 23 of 34 passes with one passing touchdown and also ran one in as well. He spread the ball around to five different receivers, throwing for 237 yards in the process. His touchdown pass to Reggie Williams at the end of the first half turned the game in Jacksonville's favor. Leftwich moved the Jaguars effectively in the second half.

2006 Week 2 vs PIT (26 / 39 / 260 / 0 / 1 pass, 5 / 4 / 0 rush)

Leftwich was pressured often by the Steelers' pass rush and was unable to make much happen in the first half. The Jaguars looked good on their opening drive until Leftwich attempted to find Reggie Williams. The pass was batted in the air by LB James Farrior and intercepted by LB Clark Haggans. Leftwich attempted a Hail Mary on the final play of the first half and Matt Jones got a hand on it but failed to catch the ball. Leftwich fumbled a snap in the second half but the Jaguars were able to recover and kick a field goal on the drive. The biggest play of the day came when Leftwich found Reggie Williams who then evaded a tackle and gained 48 yards to set up the Jaguars' second field goal.

2006 Week 3 vs IND (16 / 28 / 107 / 1 / 2 pass, 6 / 14 / 1 rush)

Leftwich did not have a good game. He missed several open receivers, in large part due to pressure from the Colts' pass rush, but also due to making poor decisions. He did show the ability to shake off his sub par game and lead the Jaguars to a position where they had an opportunity to tie the score late in the game, but eventually came up short. Leftwich ran fairly well, showing good agility on a four yard touchdown run, and on other occasions when he had to scramble to evade pass rushers, but did not make enough plays with his arm in this game.

2006 Week 4 vs WAS (20 / 34 / 290 / 3 / 1 pass, 5 / 14 / 0 rush)

Leftwich was under duress from an aggressive Redskins' pass rush throughout the game, but showed his toughness by standing firm and waiting for his receivers to get open. He showed tremendous confidence in his arm, as he rifled many passes accurately into tight coverage. Leftwich was comfortable throwing the ball to all parts of the field, and displayed very good arm strength in addition to accuracy. Leftwich showed that he can keep his team competitive in games when the running game is ineffective.

2006 Week 5 vs NYJ (9 / 20 / 140 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 2 / 0 rush)

Leftwich completed only 45 percent of his 20 passes for 140 yards. However, Leftwich led the Jaguars to a turnover free day and threw two touchdown passes. The first touchdown pass was a one yard toss to George Wrighster on a third and goal play. Leftwich also found Reggie Williams wide open in the end zone for a 16 yard reception in the third quarter. Leftwich was forced to leave the game for one play after he was shaken up by an Eric Barton hit, but returned and showed no lasting effects.

2006 Week 7 vs HOU (14 / 28 / 125 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Leftwich did not play well during this game. Although his receivers dropped some catchable passes, he missed open receivers several times. He was unable to get into a rhythm with his receivers, and seemed uncomfortable throughout. Leftwich did not complete a pass to someone other than a running back until the second half. Even when the Jaguars had to abandon the running game in an effort to catch up, Leftwich was unable to connect with his receivers very often, and could not sustain drives. He had been questionable to play after injuring his ankle late in the week during practice. It was the same ankle that he broke last year.

2005 Week 1 vs SEA (17 / 31 / 252 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 9 / 0 rush)

Leftwich played an efficient, virtually mistake-free game. He began the game by completing his first four passes with ease. Jimmy Smith was by far his most popular target as he was wide open more often than not. Leftwich's scrambling ability limited the Seattle defense to only two sacks and generated minimal positive yardage. With the Jaguars defense firing on all cylinders, Leftwich simply wasn't asked to do anything spectacular.

2005 Week 2 vs IND (16 / 29 / 198 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 11 / 0 rush)

Leftwich played like a warrior continuing to fight after taking several punishing shots from the Colts' defense. He showed his toughness late in the game after sustaining an obvious injury to his leg, he returned for the Jaguars' final drive of the game. Even in the final drive he hung on to the ball until the last possible second waiting for his receiver to clear and was pounded into the turf by Colts DE Dwight Freeney but hobbled to the line of scrimmage to spike the ball and give the Jaguars one last shot at the end zone. His last pass attempt for Jimmy Smith in the end zone was defended by the Colts as time expired. Leftwich put up better numbers than Manning, completing 16 of 29 attempts for 198 yards and no interception but also no touchdowns.

2005 Week 3 vs NYJ (16 / 23 / 177 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / 12 / 0 rush)

Leftwich completed nearly 70 percent (16-23) of his passes in this game for 177 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He had 12 yards rushing on two scrambles. His 16 completions were spread among five receivers. Leftwich was sacked twice and Jacksonville's offensive line again struggled at times to keep him protected. Leftwich lost a fumble when John Abraham came untouched off the edge and leveled him. The Jets' James Reed picked it up and ran 33 yards for a touchdown. Leftwich's interception came on an under thrown ball targeting Matt Jones during Jacksonville's first possession in overtime. Jones had gotten behind the defense and likely would have scored on a well thrown pass. He redeemed himself on the Jaguars' next drive by hitting Jimmy Smith with the winning 36 yard touchdown on a third and twelve play.

2005 Week 4 vs DEN (20 / 34 / 240 / 1 / 2 pass, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)

Leftwich did not appear comfortable during the game. He was hurried, knocked down and sacked, as the Denver defense teed off on him, as Jacksonville could not get their running game started. Most of Leftwich's yards came in the second half, and were as a result of a nice running by Jimmy Smith who turned an intermediate pass into a 45 yard touchdown play, and Denver playing conservatively once they had command of the game in the fourth quarter. Both of Leftwich's interceptions came on long pass plays where the Denver defensive backs made very good plays on the ball, taking a more aggressive approach to the ball than the intended receivers. Leftwich was hit several times throughout the game, but stayed in for the entire duration.

2005 Week 5 vs CIN (10 / 24 / 161 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 0 / 0 rush)

Leftwich was not spectacular but managed the game effectively enough for Jacksonville to win the game. He was inconsistent, at times overthrowing his receivers, but hitting them in stride at other times. He was victimized by a couple of dropped balls during the game, including one by Jimmy Smith. When given time to throw, Leftwich displayed a very strong arm on several passes. He continued to display his toughness by continually going after the Bengals' defense even after they had knocked him down or one of his receivers had dropped a pass. Leftwich did miss some receivers on the shorter routes, which could have increased his productivity.

2005 Week 6 vs PIT (19 / 35 / 177 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)

Per usual Leftwich got bruised and battered from a heavy pass rush, and per usual he dusted himself off and kept on marching against the Steelers scraping together 19 completions. But rarely did he lead Jacksonville on long sustaining drives and the Jags had to settle for a field goal after he failed to convert a drive that began on Pittsburgh's 16 yard. He did hit Matt Jones for a ten yard touchdown, but even that pass was long, and Jones snatched it with one hand for the score. Leftwich also threw several deep balls near the end of regulation when they only needed to get a little closer for a game winning field goal. He went to the well one too many times and was intercepted in the end zone. Pittsburgh won the overtime coin toss, but turned it over twice (four times overall), essentially saving Leftwich and his average at best performance.

2005 Week 8 vs STL (18 / 31 / 213 / 2 / 1 pass, 1 / 9 / 0 rush)

While Leftwich was hurried and under pressure for a good portion of the game, he still displayed his trademark toughness and brought Jacksonville back to within one drive of tying the game. Despite the pressure, Leftwich made the right decisions most of the day in terms of who his open receivers were. He did miss his receivers at times due to the blitzing pass rush pressure he faced, which contributed to his numbers not being as impressive as they could have been. Leftwich targeted Jimmy Smith the most in the first half, but went away from him in the second half, only throwing to him once. Leftwich did take advantage of the single coverage on Ernest Wilford, and seemed in sync with him the most of his receivers.

2005 Week 9 vs HOU (19 / 25 / 218 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 10 / 1 rush)

Leftwich overcame a shaky first half to direct the Jaguars to victory. He connected on all of his pass attempts in the second half, and did a fine job of spreading the ball around to his receivers. Leftwich did not attempt many deep passes, as he focused mostly on short and intermediate throws. He appeared equally comfortable throwing across the middle or to the sidelines. When he did throw deep, it was to either Ernest Wilford or Jimmy Smith, and connected with both of them. Leftwich also showed he could be effective with his feet, running up the middle for an eight yard touchdown. He did a solid job of raising his performance in the second half when Taylor was lost for the game, and led his team to victory.

2005 Week 10 vs BAL (16 / 30 / 211 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 3 / 0 rush)

Leftwich performed solidly, leading the Jaguars with a mistake-free, balanced offensive attack. He threw no interceptions and was sacked only once. He targeted Ernest Wilford and Matt Jones frequently, finding the latter on a couple of big plays, including a touchdown. He threw two passes to each of four different running backs.

2005 Week 11 vs TEN (22 / 38 / 258 / 3 / 0 pass, 6 / 9 / 1 rush)

While Leftwich was hurried and under pressure for a good portion of the game, he still displayed his trademark toughness and showed great leadership in bringing his team back from a terrible start offensively, to win the game. After missing his first ten passing attempts, he made the right decisions most of the day in terms of who his open receivers were. He and his receivers seemed to be on the same page after the first quarter, and especially so in the second half. He tended to look for Jimmy Smith most of the time in the first half, but distributed the ball more evenly in the second half. He was knocked out of the game for one play, but returned to direct the offense. On another series, he was hobbling on the sideline trying to walk off the effects of taking a shot to the legs. He kept returning to the game and leading his team to time-consuming and scoring drives.

2005 Week 12 vs ARI (2 / 2 / 18 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Leftwich was hurt on his first pass attempt, but despite limping, stayed in to complete a pass to Smith, and then left for the remainder of the game with an ankle injury. X rays have revealed Leftwich has a broken ankle and will be out indefinitely.