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Old 09-22-2010, 11:35 PM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Tomlin confirms that Charlie Batch will start against Buccaneers

Tomlin confirms that Charlie Batch will start against Buccaneers
Thursday, September 23, 2010

A look at Charlie Batch's starts with the Steelers:

Nov. 6, 2005 at Green Bay (9-16 65 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT)

Nov. 13, 2005 Cleveland (13-19 150 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INT)

Sept. 7, 2006 Miami (15-25 209 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)

Dec. 30, 2007 at Baltimore (16-31, 232 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INT)

Charlie Batch believes his history of injuries kept him from getting a legitimate shot at the Steelers' quarterback job during the preseason.

Today, his health is the only thing that stands between the Steelers and chaos.

Batch will start his first game in nearly three years Sunday when the Steelers take on undefeated Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. He's getting the call largely because he is the only healthy quarterback on the roster.

Dennis Dixon underwent knee surgery Wednesday. Despite participating in his first full practice since injuring his knee last month, Byron Leftwich still hasn't healed fully, leaving the job open for Batch.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that Batch will get the start instead of Leftwich.

"It feels good,'' Batch said. "All along, I wanted to throw my hat into the ring as one of the options (at quarterback). I never imagined it would turn out this way, but here we go."

Batch was the odd man out of the competition in the preseason to see who would replace the suspended Ben Roethlisberger for the first four games of the season.

Batch could have been released before the season had Leftwich not been injured. Instead, Batch was kept around as the backup to Dixon before the youngster injured his knee against the Tennessee Titans last weekend.

"Charlie was counted out by everybody else, but as a team, we know what he can do," Steelers tackle Max Starks said. "Charlie is a great quarterback, and a lot of people seem to overlook that."

Batch has more than 10,000 passing yards over 13 NFL seasons but has started only four games since joining the Steelers in 2002. At 35, he is the oldest player on the roster and is just three years younger than Tomlin.

"For me, there won't be many more opportunities," said Batch, who graduated from Steel Valley High School. "You are starting to get up there in years. You just have to wait for those opportunities. A couple of weeks ago, I was a little disappointed because I didn't get that opportunity, but here I am again ... getting that opportunity again."

Batch has proven to be successful when called upon in a pinch. He is 3-1 filling in for Roethlisberger, winning games against Green Bay and Cleveland in 2005 and Miami in 2006. He lost to Baltimore in 2007.

"Charlie knows this offense better than anybody," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "He has been here for a long time. We just have to protect for him and make plays for him."

Batch got game action against Tennessee but wasn't asked to do much. That could change this week against the Bucs.

"Last week, Dennis was starting, so we had to prepare that way," Batch said. "Hopefully, as they look at it and start preparing for the rest of the installation, we'll get some more things in there for me to do."
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tomlin confirms that Charlie Batch will start against Buccaneers

Batch returns from the pasture
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Thursday September 23, 2010 12:03 AM

PITTSBURGH — Charlie Batch’s demise was greatly exaggerated.

Just a few weeks ago, he seemed like the odd man out, a forgotten man in the Steelers’ wild and wacky quarterback rotation.

But on Sunday, Batch, at 35, will start for the Steelers as they try to improve to 3-0.

“It feels good,” Batch said after practice Wednesday. “All along, I wanted to throw my hat into the ring as one of the options during these first four games. I never imagined it would turn out this way. But here we go.”

With Ben Roethlisberger suspended for the first four games, Byron Leftwich was the first choice to start the opener. But Leftwich sprained his knee in the final preseason game, and Dennis Dixon started the first two games. But he’s out with a torn meniscus in his knee.

So now the Steelers turn to Batch, who admits that even he wondered during training camp if he’d be cut this year. After all, he was the fourth man in a rotation that had Roethlisberger, Leftwich and Dixon getting far more practice repetitions.

“No, I never thought my career was over,” Batch said. “I just didn’t know how things would play out here. I don’t think anyone could have imagined how it would have played out here because this (situation) was the first of it kind.

“Someone had to get the short end of the stick and it was me.”

It’s somewhat ironic that Batch is the only quarterback on the Steelers’ roster right now who hasn’t been injured yet this year. Three weeks ago when coach Mike Tomlin chose Dixon over Batch, he said that one reason was Batch’s tendency to get hurt in recent years.

Batch missed the 2008 season after breaking his shoulder in a preseason game. Last Nov. 22, he suffered a broken wrist after relieving Roethlisberger, who had sustained a concussion, in a loss in Kansas City.

“I’ll let you all (in the media speculate) on that,” Batch said. “If that was the reason, and I guess it was because (Tomlin) gave it, the only way I could prove it (wrong) was by being out there. So, I had to get out there during the preseason and show it. In the Tennessee game, I took a couple shots and was able to stand up. I didn’t have any problems.”
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After Dixon got hurt, Batch played three full quarters in the 19-11 win over the Titans. He completed only 5 of 11 passes for 25 yards. But according to Tomlin, at least three well-thrown passes by Batch should have or could have been caught.

“Charlie may have been counted out by everybody else, but for us, we all know what Charlie can do,” tackle Max Starks said. “I’ve been here for games where Charlie started, and I think Charlie’s a great quarterback and a very smart player. He’s almost like a coach out there.”

“He’s been with the starters. He’s been with the second team. He’s been with the third team,” added wide receiver Hines Ward. “He probably understands this offense better than anybody.”

Batch’s start Sunday will be his first since the final game of the 2007 season. He started the regular-season finale in Baltimore when Tomlin rested Roethlisberger and a few other starters because the Steelers had already clinched the AFC North.

“Here I am again,” Batch said. “All I can do is be ready and go out and take advantage of this opportunity.”

Off to a good and bad start

James Harrison looks like he’s ready to earn his fourth straight trip to the Pro Bowl. Harrison was the most dominant defender in last Sunday’s win at Tennessee with nine solo tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery and was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. He forced fumbles on both of his sacks of Titans quarterback Vince Young and now has 41.5 career sacks. He’s ninth on the Steelers’ all-time sack list, just ahead of Ernie Holmes (40). He was also fined $5,000 for slamming Young to the turf
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