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Old 11-04-2005, 02:38 AM   #1
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Cool Players confident in Batch

Are the Steelers in a Batch of trouble?


Not according to those in the Steelers locker room who received word that No. 2 quarterback Charlie Batch will fill in for injured starter Ben Roethlisberger for at least one game, Sunday at Green Bay.

Roethlisberger underwent a 15-minute arthroscopic surgical procedure Thursday to remove loose cartilage around a slight tear in his right lateral meniscus. Coach Bill Cowher said Roethlisberger should be out "10 to 14 days," meaning he could miss the next two games.

Wide receiver Hines Ward expects the transition from Roethlisberger to Batch to be seamless.


"Charlie's a veteran; he's been around," Ward said. "I know he's been chomping at the bit for a long time. Finally, he'll be out there running our offense."

Added veteran center Jeff Hartings, a former teammate of Batch's in Detroit: "His composure in the huddle always sets the tone."

Batch is an eight-year veteran who didn't want to hear anything about going "into the unknown," even though he hasn't started a game in nearly four years, and has never started for the Steelers.

"It's not unknown for me," said Batch, a Homestead native. "That type of question is probably posed to a rookie because they haven't been in that situation. But I have games under my belt that I've been able to go through. So, I don't necessarily say the unknown. You don't ever know what the unknown is going to be. But I don't anticipate that because I haven't played in a while."

Roethlisberger lobbied to avoid surgery and wanted to play, just like the last time he was injured going into the Jacksonville in Week 5. But Cowher greeted him with the same response each time: No chance.

Cowher's decision was based on the results of an MRI on Tuesday and a subsequent second opinion by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who received the results of the MRI via overnight mail. The surgery was then performed by Steelers Orthopedist Dr. James Bradley yesterday morning.

"We sat down and talked with Ben and everybody involved," Cowher said. "Ben felt much better (Wednesday), but the consensus was that this was something that if we let it go, he could have played this week, but the longer we went with this, the risk of injury would increase and there would be a chance that the he could be out for an extended period of time."

At this juncture, Cowher has ruled Roethlisberger out of Sunday's game at Lambeau Field against the 1-6 Packers. The Steelers (5-2) host the Cleveland Browns a week from Sunday, then play at Baltimore the following Sunday.

Cowher said it's "very conceivable" Roethlisberger could return for the Nov. 20 game in Baltimore.

Roethlisberger leads the NFL with a 112.4 passer rating.

Batch steps into the starter's role for the first time since Dec. 2, 2001, when he led his former team, the Detroit Lions, against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Batch separated his shoulder in that 13-10 loss - after completing 18 of 28 passes for 214 yards - and has yet to start again, a span of 59 regular-season games.

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Old 11-04-2005, 04:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Players confident in Batch

I don`t have a huge problem playing Batch, but I am afraid that if he can`t prove that he can throw accuratley early in the game, then Willie and the running game will suffer. Ben does keep opposing defenses honest and on thier toes.
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Old 11-04-2005, 11:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Players confident in Batch

I think Batch was the right choice for this week. I don't think you could Maddox in there after his horrible showing against Jacksonville. Batch also looked good during the preseason. The preseason game vs the Carolina Panthers he looked like he was on key.
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