The Signing of Byron Leftwich and Not Drafting a Quarterback Shows Steelers Value Veteran Passers

DENVER - AUGUST 29: Quarterback Byron Leftwich #4 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by linebacker Jason Hunter #52 of the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on August 29 2010 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Lost in the hubbub of The NFL Draft Experience was a key indication of how the Steelers were going to prepare for their yearly selection of amateurs.

While it's somewhat old news now, the Steelers re-signed veteran QB Byron Leftwich to a one-year contract. He will join Charlie Batch in backing up starter Ben Roethlisberger.

Leftwich is a solid back-up, but injuries have plagued the off-again, on-again Steelers passer. He's missed most if not all of the last two seasons with injuries, and hasn't been in a game since early in the 2010 season.

Still, though, the fact he's being given a contract in Pittsburgh shows the value the franchise puts on veteran back-up passers.

Batch has survived a run of several younger passers the team brought in to be his eventual replacement as back-up or third string QB over the years, but he's still there.

I forget who it was who made this comment on an older article, but it was a great point; in an offseason that's seen the jettisoning of several veterans, it's interesting they brought Batch back earlier than usual, and now with Leftwich's return, and subsequently, their decision not to draft a quarterback this past weekend, it shows the team isn't completely shifting into its transition period without anyone from the past.

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