... Batch was thrust into a starting role for the Pittsburgh Steelers – if even for just a few weeks until Roethlisberger is ready to resume playing quarterback once again.
We caught up with Charlie Batch Friday as the Steelers opened training camp
here at St. Vincent
College to see how he's dealing with being thrust into the spotlight.
Have you gotten your arm all loosened up? I would assume you'll get a
lot of reps.
CB: I'm excited. People ask me where I'm at. I don't know. I would
anticipate on Sunday
me getting a lot of reps, but that's because I'm the backup, nothing
more. I can't play it
any more than that. I'm excited and ready to go.
You showed some things here last year that you hadn't gotten much of
a chance to do
before and earned that No. 2 spot instead of being given it. Is it
better that way. You had
been No. 3, but you got a chance to win some games and really
contribute to that stretch
CB: Yeah. It was one of those deals where when you get an
opportunity, you've got to take
advantage of it. It took a while for me to get that opportunity, but
I was excited to be out
there and contribute to the season we had. You can prepare for it and
think they know what you can do. But until you go out and do it prove
it under fire, they
really don't know it for sure.
Was it a difficult pill for you to swallow in free agency to accept a
backup role? Did you
think about trying to find a starting role or at least a chance to
compete for one?
CB: That's always a possibility, but the thing about it, you look at
it realistically and see
what's out there. Then I looked here and the situation that I have.
The team wanted me
here. There was a comfort level. That's part of it. I wanted to be
here and they knew that.
It was a matter of what the role was if I accepted coming back here.
And that was part of it
as well, I like it here because they let you know where you stand.
There were no hidden
agendas. So it was at that point that I had to decide whether I was
comfortable with that
and I was.
How scary was it for when you first heard about the Ben
CB: I was probably one of the only people around here. The first
thing I thought of was if
he was even going to be alive. I got the first phone call and they
asked me if I had heard
about it. I was like, "Something happened to him?" Then, I got the
next one and I knew
something bad had happened because they were two different people who
each other. At that point, I turned on the breaking news. And after a
while, I just got tired
of it and I had to go to the hospital myself and find out. At that
point, I realized he was
OK. Football was really secondary. It didn't come into play. I told
him I wanted to make
sure he was OK and we'd worry about everything else when he was.
If it takes a little longer than expected and he misses some games, I
guess it was helpful
for you that you actually got to play some meaningful games last
CB: I think it was because I hadn't played in so long. It was
different because then I could
see what I had been working for. And I hadn't really seen many snaps
in training camp
even for the past couple of years except for the season when Tommy
was the starter and I
was the backup. Now, I had the opportunity to go out and work with
those guys. I was just
out there taking mental reps before. But it's a lot easier when
you're on the field.
I guess in a way it will help Omar (Jacobs) as well.
CB: That's kind of the tradeoff. When you're No. 3 or 4, you don't get as
many reps. And it
makes a big difference running a play as opposed to stepping into a
game and you've
never done it before because you didn't get many reps in practice.
Don't nobody care if
you've never done it in practice before. They call it, you'd better
know it. That's how it
works. I've seen it in my nine years. Whatever opportunity you have,
you'd better make the
most of it.
You've known Ben now for a couple of years. How tough will it be for
him sitting and
watching? Do you think he'll start lobbying to play right away?
CB: It's tough watching no matter what your injury is, that's the
competitor in you. But
he's the only one who can truly answer that question because he's
going to have to be the
one who will have to go and politic with the coaches and trainers
that he's OK. They're the
ones who will ultimately make the decision. There won't be any
players in there making
that decision. It will be the training staff and coach.
Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter
Batch ready for anything
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