Defense won't worry about Big Ben

Defense won't worry about Big Ben
November 14, 2012, 4:00 pm
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The Ravens' defense won't have to worry about Ben Roethlisberger this weekend. Instead, they'll have to deal with Byron Leftwich.

Leftwich was an NFL starter who lost his job and never has made it all the way back to a starting role. He's from Washington originally and has a tremendous arm but doesn't move around as well as Big Ben-- and that's something which will help the Baltimore defense.

One thing that Roethlisberger does which helps the Pittsburgh offense is the way he moves around and can keep plays alive. It's not even scrambling. He just knows how to move around in the pocket, around the pocket and the line of scrimmage and make plays. That's his signature and something the quarterback will always be remembered for.

Leftwich has a big arm and can throw the ball long, hard and far. The question is how much time -- if any -- he'll need to adjust to running the team again since it's been awhile since he's started. In fact, Leftwich has started just five games since the 2006 season. He began his career as a starter with Jacksonville in 2003-5, but Leftwich has been a a back-up since.

During the past three seasons, including 2012, Leftwich has thrown only 21 passes in games. He's a good quarterback to have as a back-up because he's big and experience and knows the NFL.

But he also could be the kind of quarterback which might  help the Ravens' pass rush. There's some similarities to Carson Palmer, the Oakland starter from last weekend, as Leftwich will not run much. He'll go back in the pocket and stay there, which could help guys like Terrell Suggs have some fun.

Coach John Harbaugh's defense will try to put extra pressure on Leftwich, since he's been on the sideline for so long. How he adjusts to being on the field is going to be one of the biggest parts of Sunday night's game.