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Old 08-30-2011, 07:53 AM   #1
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Default Practice doesn't always make QB Batch perfect

Practice doesn't always make QB Batch perfect
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
By Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Veteran Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch hasn't taken many repetitions with the first-team offense this summer. Hasn't taken many snaps in the first three preseason games with the reserves, either.

Of course, that's nothing new for Batch, who has learned over the years how to prepare himself without practice time. Batch's track record as a reserve -- most recently his winning performances last season -- make him the likely candidate to be the backup to Ben Roethlisberger in Week 1 after the arm injury to Byron Leftwich.

"I was in the same situation last year, didn't get many preseason opportunities, and all of a sudden, I have to go in there and play," Batch said Monday. "But at the end of the day, no one cares if you have preseason snaps. When the lights are on, they need you to go out there and perform."

Batch, who is entering his 14th NFL season, has done that consistently since joining the Steelers in 2002. Batch hasn't always been first in line as the No. 2 quarterback, but circumstances have elevated him to that role on several occasions.

After injuries to Leftwich and Dennis Dixon last season, Batch had to play in three games and start twice while Roethlisberger was serving his league-mandated four-game suspension.

Batch came on for an injured Dixon and led the Steelers to a win at Tennessee in Week 2. The next week he tied a career-high with three touchdown passes in a victory at Tampa Bay. Batch lost his final start in Week 4 when Baltimore mounted a last-minute winning drive at Heinz Field.

In 2005, Batch played a big role in the Steelers winning Super Bowl XL. With Roethlisberger out with an injury, Batch kept the team on course by winning midseason games against the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns.

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