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It’s not that Byron Leftwich, with his long delivery and high-octane throws, is a bad fit for Todd Haley’s offense.
It’s just that he was a better fit for the offense that was employed by Bruce Arians, which was the reason he was signed in the first place.
Leftwich will start against the Ravens because of the injury to Ben Roethlisberger and he looked uncomfortable against the Chiefs trying to make the short, quick throws that Roethlisberger does so well in Haley’s offense.
Granted, he will have a full week of getting most of the snaps with the first-team offense that should help his timing, rhythm and even confidence of executing the offense. But it remains to be seen if he will be able to do it well enough to help beat the Ravens.
I talked yesterday with two NFL people – one coach, one quarterback – who said Leftwich was better suited to Arians’ offense because he could use his strong arm (and even long wind-up) to make some of the deep passes that were more prevalent in that offense. Arians believed in trying to go deep four or five times a game, even if it meant just trying to loosen a defense.
Haley, on the other hand, is more judicious about throwing deep passes, doing it only if he thinks it will work.
That’s why Charlie Batch, the No. 3 quarterback, might get a shot before Roethlisberger is ready to return. He is more adept at throwing the underneath passes and little slip screens, and can do so by releasing the ball quicker than Leftwich.
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