The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking at Byron Leftwich and Daunte Culpepper as possible replacements for backup quarterback Charlie Batch, who suffered a broken collarbone Friday night in a preseason victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
|Byron Leftwich and Daunte Culpepper have a combined 136 starts in the NFL. (US Presswire)|
Leftwich, who was released by the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason, was a starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars at this time last year. But after a personality clash with coach Jack Del Rio, the team decided to release Leftwich nine days before the season. Several members of the coaching staff were stunned.
Leftwich signed with the Falcons, but suffered an ankle injury that limited him to two starts. He was let go in March by the new regime because his cap figure was too high. He worked out for the Tennessee Titans last week -- some Titans observers said it was an impressive session -- but that was more as a possible emergency replacement.
It's somewhat surprising that a team hasn't signed Leftwich, who was 24-20 as a starter in Jacksonville. There is some talk that he's a bad locker-room presence, which simply isn't true, according to several Jaguars player sources.
"That's just stuff somebody from the team is putting out there," one player said.
Leftwich has had a fair share of injuries, which could be scaring off some teams.
Culpepper made seven starts for the Oakland Raiders last season before a hamstring injury sidelined him. He was a free agent this spring and reportedly turned down a $1 million offer from the Green Bay Packers.
Culpepper is just four years removed from his impressive 2004 season when he threw 39 touchdown passes for the Minnesota Vikings. He tore up his knee the next season and thrown only 13 touchdown passes the past three years.
Culpepper is 31 years old, while Leftwich is 28. Both players have said they are healthy and ready to go.