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Steelers notebook: Batch needs to find comfort zone

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By Alan Robinson
Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

His teammates refer to Charlie Batch as a coach on the field. To offensive coordinator Todd Haley, it's a comfort knowing the Steelers' No. 3 quarterback possesses such a strong grasp of his system.

A comfort — and a concern.

“He's a veteran, savvy guy who's an accurate thrower, short and long, and he's excited to play,” Haley said. “We got to teach him the art of not over-coaching. He's been around a long time, and I'm joking, but I'm being serious. You've got to understand everybody you're working with and not over-coach.”

Batch often throws to the younger, less experienced receivers during training camp and practice and helps them get properly positioned. But games are considerably faster than practices, and Batch needs to be more concerned about his own job.

“The biggest thing is making sure from a timing standpoint, you're understanding the play clock and having it register in your helmet and being able to spit the verbiage out in the huddle and get to the line of scrimmage in an ample amount of time,” Batch said. “You can't simulate that in practice.”

No coaching required, either.

Talk is cheap

Plaxico Burress regularly speaks his mind, but after spending five seasons in Pittsburgh, he probably understands that outspoken is not the Steelers' way.

NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes expects Burress to enjoy a successful return to the Steelers, as long as he remembers that, as he said, “It's about the Pittsburgh Steelers brand, it's not about Plaxico.”

“If he keeps his mouth shut and abides by the Steelers' way and not worry about what playing time he's getting or not getting, then things are going to be good, and he'll be around for a while. But if he doesn't, they'll ship him out of there,” Dukes said. “This is not New York. The reason that T.O. (Terrell Owens) is not working — and he could still be a top-40 receiver in this league — is because of his mouth.”

A ‘new' start

Batch has spent his entire 15-season career in Detroit and Pittsburgh, two cities that are only a few hours' drive away from Cleveland. But this will be the first time he has started in Cleveland.

Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer is more acquainted with the city; he has been living in Cleveland since being cut by New England in late August.

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