Things have been a bit retro of late for the Pittsburgh Steelers. First, they've been wearing their bumblebee leatherneck-era throwback unis as if the equipment room lost the team's regular threads. Then, in order to deal with an endless slew of injuries at QB, the Steelers have been using the NFL version's of a time machine. They replaced injured star QB Ben Roethlisberger with Byron Leftwich, who hadn't started an NFL game since 2006.
When Leftwich was pummeled this past Sunday and broke two ribs, the Steel had to travel farther back in time to rediscover 37-year-old Charlie Batch, who it seems has been the team's backup quarterback since the Kordell Stewart days [kidding: Batch was clearly the backup in Detroit back then]. This Sunday against the Browns, Batch will make just his eighth start since 2002.
But the Steelers aren't done with their nostalgic recovery efforts. After Jerricho Crotchery also fractured multiple ribs (okay, this is almost endemic at this point), the team today brought back former star wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who was quite serviceable last year for the Jets, hauling in eight touchdowns, according to Sports Illustrated.
This year, Burress has struggled to catch on with an NFL team, and he's done everything but beg for a contract. In the past he went to prison for carrying a loaded gun into a New York nightclub. The gun accidentally discharged while in Burress' pants. More recently, Burress had a lien placed on his home and received a $1,000 fine for going over 100 mph on his motorcycle.
This offseason, NFL general managers questioned how much the 35-year-old receiver had left in the gas tank. With a dearth of quality arms and the fumbling Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh could use any weapon it can get its hands on.
To contact the editor, e-mail: