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Old 09-08-2006, 08:10 AM   #1
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Default Batch comes through

By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, September 8, 2006


Charlie Batch did more than just manage the game. He played a pivotal role in the Steelers' season-opening, 28-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Anybody out there predict Ben Roethlisberger's backup would go 15 of 25 for 209 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions?

Didn't think so.

Every time the Dolphins looked as if they would take control -- thanks largely to shoddy work from the Steelers special teams -- Batch rallied the club.

The last time occurred with 6:25 left, when the Steelers lined up at their 13-yard line after a Miami punt, trailing 17-14.

About six minutes earlier, Batch made a major gaffe by fumbling a snap at the Dolphins' 1, resulting in a Miami recovery and nearly a Miami victory.

On the sidelines, Batch stayed calm. This was where having a nine-year veteran paid off. A lot of teams don't have experience behind their starting quarterback. If Peyton Manning had gotten hurt last season, the Indianapolis Colts would have had to turn to Jim Sorgi.

"We had some time to think about what happened," Batch said. "We said, 'Look, this may be our last opportunity. We have to get down there and score.' "

It took one play.

Batch feathered a pass over linebacker Zach Thomas and into the hands of tight end Heath Miller at the 30. Miller proceeded to outrace Thomas and cornerback Will Allen to the end zone on a dramatic dash down the right sideline.

It actually looked as if Miller's knee hit the ground before he reached the end zone, but Dolphins coach Nick Saban waited until the last possible second to throw his red challenge flag.

The referees never saw it.

Saban's take: "They said they didn't see it, and I said, 'Whose fault is that?' "

Batch started making big plays late in the first quarter, when his gutsy, 12-yard scramble set up the game's first touchdown -- and could have easily concluded with the horrific sight of Brian St. Pierre putting on a helmet.

That's because Batch lowered his head and ran into Thomas, the Dolphins' maniacal middle linebacker.

"He did that in Detroit, too," said Steelers center Jeff Hartings, who played with Batch in Detroit and predicted a big game for him. "I expected that."

Batch came out unscathed, setting set up a fourth-and-1 at the Dolphins' 39 -- and Bill Cowher's first big decision of the season.

He went for it, and the Steelers suckered defensive end Jason Taylor inside on a quick pitch to Willie Parker, who picked up the first down and went on to gain 115 yards on 29 carries.

Still worried about the running game?

Three plays later, on third-and-2 at the Dolphins' 27, Batch put up a nice ball to Nate Washington at the goal line. Washington leaped to grab it, then took a hard hit from Travaris Tillman and landed flat on his back in the end zone for his first NFL touchdown.

After Miami tied it with 5:14 left in the first half, Batch and Parker led a seven-play, 77-yard touchdown drive. Batch finished it with a strike to Hines Ward in the back of the end zone.

"Enough can't be said about Charlie," Ward said. "Everybody feels comfortable with him out there."

Linebacker Joey Porter sealed the victory with a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:42 left.

A loss, and the Steelers would have been staring at the possibility of disastrous start, what with a Monday night game at Jacksonville and visit from the Cincinnati Bengals ahead.

Indeed, their backup quarterback might have prevented a Batch of trouble.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Batch comes through

Charlie made a believer out of me last night. I admittedly was not comfortable with him going into the game, but I think he played well above anyone's expectations and more than got the job done. I was very impressed with his poise out there - even after the fumble. Kudos Charlie - thanks for turning a doubter into a believer.
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Batch comes through

charlie did a great job! he showed he's a very confident #2.

now... he's gotta talk to his momma about her hair!


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Old 09-08-2006, 09:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Batch comes through

Quote:
Originally Posted by j-dawg View Post
charlie did a great job! he showed he's a very confident #2.

now... he's gotta talk to his momma about her hair!


Even though your a browns fan that was FUNNY as HELL!!!!
HAHHAHAHAHAHA
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Batch comes through

Minus the fumble at the GL and the sack he took to take us out of FG range, he played a good game. He never put us in a situation to lose that game. Good job Homestead Charlie.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Batch comes through

Quote:
Originally Posted by j-dawg View Post
charlie did a great job! he showed he's a very confident #2.

now... he's gotta talk to his momma about her hair!


Man I was thinking the same thing. That was funny.
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Batch comes through

What impressed me most about Batch was how contained he was. He really stayed within himself. Excellent job.
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Batch comes through

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What impressed me most about Batch was how contained he was. He really stayed within himself. Excellent job.
CB never really seemed to lose his cool. Even after the fumble he was able to put that behind him and move on.
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Batch comes through

Batch has impressed me since he has been in Pgh. I have total conficence in him when he comes in to replace Big Ben.
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Batch comes through

I agree.. that Batch gave us all something to be proud of in our backup QB.. who else has a guy like this backing up their star QB that you would trust to start if needed.. there Is Not Many...I was most impressed with Willie Parker being very patient with his inside running and the power he ran with.. did anyone see him run over Zach Thomas..?
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