View Full Version : The case for Charlie Batch

09-22-2010, 12:32 AM
The case for Charlie Batch
September 21st, 2010
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Mike Tomlin, perhaps unwittingly, made the case for Charlie Batch to become the latest starter at quarterback when asked about the Steelers’ inability to get the ball into the end zone against the Titans.

“I thought Charlie made some plays in the second half,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “We had an opportunity to make some plays for him that we didn’t make it.”

Tomlin didn’t stop there.

He essentially said the entire receiving corps was the reason why Batch completed 5 of 11 passes for a meager 25 yards against the Titans.

One play he mentioned specifically came in the fourth quarter when Batch put a pass onto Hines Ward’s hands in the end zone. Ward could not come up with the catch after flashing open on a short fade route.

It would have been a tough catch, Tomlin conceded.

“But those are the plays you have to make for a quarterback,” he said, “particularly one that hadn’t played a bunch or is in the backup situation.”

Putting the onus on the receivers for the non-existent passing game in Nashville is the right call by Tomlin.

And it leads you to believe that Batch will make his 51st NFL start Sunday in Tampa.

Tomlin said Batch is “in pole position” for the starting job though that analogy may not be entirely fitting since Batch’s only competition this week is Byron Leftwich.

Leftwich is scheduled to practice fully Wednesday for the first time since he sprained his left knee on Sept. 2.

“He’s been able to comfortably get through some workouts,” Tomlin said. “Workouts, of course, are different from practices and games, particularly the unanticipated movement that comes with playing football. But we feel comfortable with where he is.”

He should feel more comfortable starting Batch.

And not just because Leftwich may be even more of a target in the pocket if he plays against the Buccaneers (he is not the most mobile quarterback when he has two good knees).

Batch has a history of playing well when filling in for Ben Roethlisberger, and he made enough good throws against the Titans to earn the start in Tampa.

Tomlin would be smart to settle on Batch early in the week so the latter can take the majority of the snaps with the starters in practice, a group with which he has worked sparingly dating back to the spring.