Ex-Steelers QB Batch learns new form of 2-minute drill
Charlie Batch never knew there was a two-minute warning for pro football writers just like there is for NFL players.
Batch, the still-not-retired former Steelers quarterback, took another step toward his post-football career this week when he attended a three-day seminar at Bowling Green State University that taught writing skills to current and former NFL players.
The hands-on session is one of 10 career transition programs run by the NFL. Batch already had experience with the broadcasting boot camp, which will be held in June and is designed to teach on-air skills to players looking ahead to possible careers as commentators or analysts.
Batch felt the writing program was beneficial because those skills are often needed to succeed in radio and TV. The classes included column writing, ethics in journalism, game coverage and social media training.
“It doesn't hurt to have that in your arsenal,” Batch said. “What I didn't know was there was so much work involved.”
Such as deadlines, and how little time writers often have to write, edit and produce readable copy in a short period of time after a game.
One of Batch's assignments was to write an opinion column in 90 minutes, and he felt like he was running a hurry-up offense the entire time.
“You turn it in, and it's reviewed and that's your first draft. You don't get a chance to do any more drafts,” Batch said. “You hand in something that good, and your editors are ripping it apart. You've got to have thick skin.”
Batch, former Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch, a college football analyst, and former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who was on a Super Bowl winner only 31⁄2 months ago, were among the 23 attending the boot camp.
Spots in the NFL career programs are coveted; 120 players, for example, applied for the broadcasting session, but only 20 will attend.
Among Batch's assignments were interviewing Toledo Mud Hens general manager Joe Napoli and Bowling Green football coach Dave Clawson in news conference settings, and writing a Mud Hens game story.
Batch, 38, was a Steelers backup from 2003-12. He is unsigned, but hasn't ruled out playing again.
“I'm not closing the door,” the former Steel Valley High star said. “I'm open to whatever is out there for me.”
In a year or so, he wouldn't mind working in some football broadcasting role or, perhaps someday, in an NFL front office.
“I'd definitely be open to (Steelers GM) Kevin Colbert teaching me his job,” Batch said.
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.
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