View Full Version : Cook: Batch to the future

01-28-2011, 03:33 PM
Cook: Batch to the future

Friday, January 28, 2011
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Charlie Batch said Thursday he wants to play for the Steelers again next season.

There's just no way, right?

Batch is 36, the oldest man on the team, 32 days older than the next guy in line, linebacker James Farrior. He's the third quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich, the fourth if you count injured Dennis Dixon.

Really, there's no way the Steelers will bring back Batch next season.

Or is there?

I learned a long time ago not to count out Batch. You think the Steelers overcame great odds and survived a variety of on- and off-the-field adversity to make it to Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers Feb. 6? No one overcame greater odds or is more of a survivor than Batch.

Let's give the man his due right now:

Batch saved the Steelers' season when Roethlisberger was suspended for the first four games and Leftwich and Dixon were injured. Kind of ironic, isn't it? All through training camp and the preseason, Batch was regarded as too fragile by coach Mike Tomlin to make it through this season -- his 13th in the NFL, his ninth with the Steelers -- yet it was Leftwich and Dixon who got hurt. Batch was the only quarterback standing in the Tennessee game in Week 2, the Tampa Bay game in Week 3 and the Baltimore game in Week 4. "The only viable guy," Batch said, nodding.

You might say history repeated itself.

Batch led the Steelers to midseason wins in Green Bay and against Cleveland in 2005 when Roethlisberger was out with a knee injury. The team went on to win the Super Bowl.

This season, Batch took over for the injured Dixon early in the second quarter at Tennessee and led the Steelers to a 19-11 win. He threw three first-half touchdown passes in a 38-13 win at Tampa Bay. He came up just a bit short in the 17-14 loss to Baltimore despite taking the team 93 yards in 13 plays for a 14-10 lead with 7:14 left.

"Who said you can't play anymore?" safety Ryan Clark asked Batch. "They're crazy."

In the four games without Roethlisberger, the Steelers went 3-1. Who saw that coming? It's no coincidence the team is back at the Super Bowl.

"I didn't want to let the guys down," Batch said. "You never want to be the weak link."

His teammates are appreciative of Batch's contributions. They've always appreciated him, even when he didn't get in the games. They admire his professionalism, his selflessness, his team-first attitude. They especially admired him in the summer when he didn't say boo when he was little more than an afterthought in Tomlin's plans.

Actually, Batch did say something to the coach.

"If you need me, I'll be ready."

So Batch was. Not bad for a guy who wasn't supposed to make the team.

Tomlin traded to bring Leftwich in as the Steelers' starter in April when it became evident Roethlisberger was going to be suspended because of a sexual assault allegation against him in Milledgeville, Ga. Tomlin acknowledged he had concerns about Batch's durability after Batch missed much of the 2009 season with a broken wrist and all of '08 with a broken collarbone. Batch got very few reps in camp and the exhibition games and almost certainly would have been released in the final cut if Leftwich hadn't gone down with a knee injury in the final preseason game.

That same durability issue with Batch led Tomlin to go with Dixon as his starter in the opening game against Atlanta, won by the Steelers, 15-9, in overtime. It seemed again as if Batch would be released once Roethlisberger returned, at least until Dixon went down with his own knee injury in the Tennessee game.

Think about it:

Would the Steelers be getting ready to go to Dallas for the Super Bowl if the only viable guy hadn't been there to take over?

"I'm just glad I was able to make a contribution to the team," Batch said.

Now, the man is one win from a third Super Bowl ring. With his hometown team, no less.

Batch said he will sit down with Tomlin after the Super Bowl to talk about next season and make his case. "My body feels fresh," he said. "It isn't telling me to quit. It doesn't feel 36. And mentally, obviously, I'm still there."

Batch wouldn't rule out playing for another team, but that seems unlikely. He has been here too long. He grew up in Homestead and has deep roots in the area. His Best of the Batch Foundation has done marvelous work for the community. The Steelers would be smart to find a place for him in their organization when his career is done.

Of course, that could be as soon as Feb. 7.

Tomlin likely will go with Leftwich and Dixon as his backups to Roethlisberger next season. The odds against Batch playing another season seem overwhelming.

There's just no way, right?

Or is there?

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11028/11 ... z1CM8GNmwN (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11028/1121187-66.stm#ixzz1CM8GNmwN)

01-28-2011, 03:45 PM
Does he eat grits?

01-28-2011, 08:51 PM
Trade Dixon and keep Batch.

01-28-2011, 09:33 PM
Trade Dixon and keep Batch.

Keep both and worry about the back up next year.

01-29-2011, 01:49 AM
Does he eat grits?

He may not be able to afford grits at the moment. :(

01-29-2011, 02:16 AM
Does he eat grits?

He may not be able to afford grits at the moment. :(
At least he works for a living, unlike yourself, who freely admits "could work if I wanted."

A bit hypocritical for you to be judging him, don't you think?

01-29-2011, 03:54 PM
January 29, 2011

Barely Lifting a Finger to Get Super Bowl Rings


Not every player with multiple Super Bowl rings is a superstar like Ben Roethlisberger or Tom Brady. If the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XLV, quarterback Charlie Batch will receive his third Super Bowl ring. Batch did his part this season, helping win two games during Roethlisberger’s suspension, but three Super Bowl rings would be hefty compensation for 184 passes scattered across nine years.

Batch is not the first N.F.L. player to receive a lot of hardware for a little bit of work. Here is a far-from-complete list of individuals who earned at least two Super Bowl rings while contributing little to the winning cause. Some were starters, others were hangers-on and a few were good for a few seasons. All shared one great gift: a knack for being in the right place at the right time, and staying there.

Two Rings: Clipboard Club

JASON GARRETT As the third-string quarterback for the Cowboys in the 1990s, Garrett stood around on the sideline with no real authority or responsibilities. He is now the Dallas head coach, so nothing has changed.

MARC WILSON Al Davis selected Wilson in the first round of the 1980 draft and kept handing him the Oakland Raiders’ starting quarterback job. Wilson then handed the job back to Jim Plunkett. Wilson was the JaMarcus Russell of the Commodore 64 era.

HUBERT GINN He was a running back for the undefeated 1972 Dolphins and the 1976 Raiders. Ginn asked for a trade from Miami during the 1973 season, missing a chance for a third ring. He played behind Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris, meaning he had slightly more playing time than the Dolphins’ water boy. Ginn wore three uniform numbers for the Dolphins, perhaps to avoid detection during roster cuts.

Three Rings: Dynasty Darlings

Long snapper Dale Hellestrae had it easy for Dallas in the ’90s.
DALE HELLESTRAE Long snapping may be the most thankless job in football, but it is also among the least arduous. Hellestrae snapped for the great 1990s Cowboys teams that rarely punted or needed a clutch field goal to win the game. Other ring-laden snappers did not have it so easy. Lonie Paxton of New England (three rings) almost always had to snap for the game-winning kick in the final seconds of the Super Bowl, then dodge all the photographers and cameras rushing to immortalize Adam Vinatieri.

ROY GERELA With nine Hall of Famers in the starting lineup, the 1970s Steelers did not have to worry about their kicking game. Gerela missed more than half of his attempts in 1978, but the Steelers went 14-2 and won the Super Bowl. Gerela converted two of six field-goal attempts in his three Super Bowl appearances; at least the bar for Shaun Suisham is not set high.

DERRICK LOVILLE He backed up running back Ricky Watters on the San Francisco 49ers in 1994, then Terrell Davis for the Denver Broncos in 1997 and 1998. Loville is probably hiding among the Steelers’ carry-on luggage, hoping to slip onto the field disguised as Isaac Redman.

PATRICK PASS He played fullback and special teams for the Patriots, a team not known for overtaxing its fullbacks. Pass also played one game for the 2007 Giants but did not stay on the roster long enough to qualify for a fourth Super Bowl ring. If he shared some Patriots secrets during his brief tenure, the Giants should have given him two rings.

DON WARREN One of the N.F.L.’s first H-backs (a tight end who goes in motion before the snap), Warren helped Joe Gibbs innovate the two-tight-end offense for Washington in 1982, then hung around for a decade, collecting two more rings, catching seven passes in 1987 and five in 1991. Warren did his best work in strike-shortened seasons, and because he is the median age of a typical Redskins free-agent signee (54), we may soon see him again.

Four Rings: Outer Circle

MARV FLEMING He was a solid but unspectacular tight end who had the good fortune to play for the Packers in Super Bowls I and II, and the Dolphins in Super Bowls VII and VIII. Fleming later had a small role in “Heaven Can Wait.” Come to think of it, anyone who had to take orders from Vince Lombardi, Don Shula and Warren Beatty deserves extra jewelry.

MIKE WILSON He played wide receiver for the 49ers from 1981 through 1990 despite being the only able-bodied adult in the Bay Area incapable of catching passes from Joe Montana. Wilson played for four Super Bowl teams. He caught one Super Bowl pass.

Five Rings: Inner Circle

MSGR. PETER ARMSTRONG He was the beloved team chaplain for the 49ers in the 1980s and 1990s. That was an easy job. It is not as if he was team chaplain for … the Cowboys.

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2011 ... f=football (http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/29/barely-lifting-a-finger-to-get-super-bowl-rings/?ref=football)

01-29-2011, 10:16 PM
Steelers owe Super debt to backup QBs Dixon, Batch

By Clark Judge
CBSSports.com Senior Writer
Jan. 29, 2011

Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch won't draw much of an audience this week, but maybe they should. Because while Ben Roethlisberger rescued the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs, making the critical throws to beat Baltimore and the Jets, Dixon and Batch saved the season.

I'm serious.


Dennis Dixon kept the plays straight enough to guide the Steelers to a Week 1 overtime victory. (Getty Images) They were the two guys who stood in for Roethlisberger while he served a four-game suspension imposed by the NFL, and they were the two who did just enough that the Steelers won three of their first four starts when most realists had them pegged no better than 2-2.

Now, I know what you're thinking: Big deal. Well, yes, as a matter of fact it is. Because if Pittsburgh dropped one of those three games, it doesn't win the AFC North. Baltimore does. And if Pittsburgh doesn't win the AFC North, the Steelers -- not Baltimore -- are the fifth seed. That not only would've put them on the road for the first two games of the playoffs, it probably would have put them out of Super Bowl XLV.

But the Steelers didn't lose those games, and they didn't because Dixon and Batch did what they had to do -- which was not screw things up. They didn't throw a zillion passes. They didn't make secondaries run for cover. They didn't push their offenses up and down the field.

But they won, and that's all that matters.

Batch and Dixon combined to complete 63 percent of their passes for 606 yards, three touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 77.49. Granted, those numbers aren't exceptional, but this is: 3-1. They beat Atlanta. They beat Tennessee. They beat Tampa Bay. The three were a combined 29-19, and nobody in the NFC was better than the Falcons.

Now look how they got there: With second-string quarterback Byron Leftwich bowing out in the final preseason game with torn knee ligaments. Until that time, he was the logical guy to replace Roethlisberger, with Dixon the third-stringer and Batch headed for the chopping block.

But life changes and the Steelers changed with it.

"To me," said former Washington Redskins vice president Vinny Cerrato, "it's as much about Mike Tomlin as anyone. He said, 'We're going to play to the strengths of whoever was playing quarterback,' and he did. Basically, he said, 'We're going to win it with special teams, defense and running the ball.'"

The Backup Games

Week 1 (Dixon): Steelers 15, Falcons 9 (OT)
Week 2 (Dixon, Batch): Steelers 19, Titans 11
Week 3 (Batch): Steelers 38, Buccaneers 13
Week 4 (Batch): Ravens 17, Steelers 14

The Steelers won the opener on three Jeff Reed field goals and a 50-yard Rashard Mendenhall touchdown run in overtime. They won the second on three Reed field goals and an Antonio Brown punt return. They won the third when Batch dissected Tampa Bay for three scoring passes and Brett Keisel returned an interception for a touchdown.

All three victories featured stubborn Pittsburgh defense -- with the Steelers allowing no more than 13 points in any game -- and no major gaffes by the quarterbacks.

Credit Batch. Credit Dixon. Credit Tomlin. Credit offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, I don't care. The Steelers did what they had to do, which was to make the best of a bad situation and win more games than they lost without Roethlisberger.

Once he returned to the huddle, the Steelers returned to normal -- winning 11 of their next 14 and reaching their third Super Bowl in six years. That is no coincidence. Pittsburgh wouldn't be in Super Bowl XLV without Roethlisberger, but I argue they wouldn't be there without Batch and Dixon, either.

"What they did was huge," said one AFC coach who asked not to be identified, "but this is a place where I give Tomlin credit. He did a really smart thing: He didn't try to force the quarterbacks to win the game; he just made sure they didn't lose the game.

"When you have a defense as good as the Steelers do and when you have an improved special teams, you make sure you run the ball and don't let your quarterbacks lose the games to talented teams. That's smart. And Tomlin had to be a big part of that."

Sure he was. But so were Batch and Dixon. I don't care what they didn't do. I care what they did -- which was win. They didn't commit fatal mistakes. They didn't fumble a critical snap or launch a drive-killing interception. They didn't crack under pressure.

In short, they didn't fail, and the credit they may not have gotten then, they should be getting now.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/1461 ... ixon-batch (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/14618507/steelers-owe-super-debt-to-backup-qbs-dixon-batch)