There was a time when the Steelers struggled mightily to have one quality quarterback. They shuffled through the Mark Malone's, Bubby Bristers and Kent Grahams. In 1996, Pittsburgh tried to defend a Super Bowl appearance with Mike Tomczak and an inexperienced Kordell Stewart. And they paid the price in the playoffs as Tomczak went 16-for-29 for 110 yards and Stewart was an awful 0-for-10.
Admittedly there aren't a whole lot of guys whose name doesn't end in Rooney who are still around from those days, but the Steelers have learned their lesson. From the day Tommy Maddox earned the backup job, the Steelers have generally had a very solid No. 2 quarterback. Charlie Batch showed in recent years that he can win games, and when he went down, the Steelers immediately went out and looked for another veteran--choosing Byron Leftwich over Daunte Culpepper.
When Ben Roethlisberger went down with a shoulder injury Monday, we saw what a wise choice that was by the Steelers. Leftwich ensured that the Steelers picked up a key win against the Redskins on a night that he was much better than Ben Roethlisberger. That doesn't in any way mean that Roethlisberger isn't still the quarterback as soon as he's healthy, but it sure makes us Steelers fans breathe easier to know that Leftwich is ready if Roethlisberger's bum shoulder sidelines him for a week or two.
The top sports headlines of the day
And how much do the Cowboys wish they had gone out and found a solid backup during the offseason?