Steelers bring back quarterback Batch for another season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Steelers addressed the lack of experience behind Ben Roethlisberger on Monday when they re-signed veteran backup Charlie Batch.
Batch agreed to a one-year contract that would keep him with the Steelers for an 11th season and ninth as a trusted backup to Roethlisberger. The Steelers are 5-2 in games Batch has started, and the Homestead native led them to a 27-0 win over the St. Louis Rams last December.
Playing in place of the injured Roethlisberger, Batch threw for 208 yards and completed 68 percent of his pass attempts.
Batch, who has been with the Steelers since 2002, is 37 and has played 14 NFL seasons.
He joins Troy Smith and Jerrod Johnson — both signed contracts in January — as the other quarterbacks behind Roethlisberger on the Steelers' depth chart. The Steelers also could re-sign Byron Leftwich, who has been in line to be the No. 2 quarterback the past two years, only to get hurt.
Leftwich, an unrestricted free agent, broke his left arm in a 34-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons in an Aug. 27
preseason game, and the Steelers put him on injured reserve.
General manager Kevin Colbert has said the Steelers would like to re-sign Leftwich and Batch, though the team is unlikely to take more than four quarterbacks to training camp.
Prospects visit Steelers
The Steelers hosted four draft prospects Monday, including Clemson defensive end Andre Branch and Louisiana-Lafayette tight end Ladarius Green.
Branch, who will move to outside linebacker if he is drafted by a team that uses a 3-4 defense, and Green are widely considered among the best at their respective positions. The 6-foot-4, 259-pound Branch recorded 10 1⁄2 sacks and 17 tackles for losses last season, while the 6-6, 238-pound Green caught 51 passes for 606 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011.
The Steelers also met with Michigan State wide receiver Keshawn Martin and Cincinnati defensive tackle John Hughes.
The 6-foot, 188-pound Martin caught 66 passes for 777 yards and four touchdowns last season. The 6-3, 309-pound Hughes had five sacks and 12 1⁄2 tackles for losses in 2011, Teams are allowed to host 30 out-of-area prospects in advance of the draft. Wednesday is the last day teams are permitted to have in-house visits from draft prospects.
Back to work
Running backs coach Kirby Wilson returned to work, a little more than three months after suffering life-threatening injuries in a fire at his Seven Fields townhouse.
Wilson was severely burned in a Jan. 6 fire and suffered smoke inhalation from the blaze. The veteran coach has made remarkable progress, and he took another significant step Monday.
The Steelers also welcomed back players as offseason workouts started at their South Side practice facility.
Players are only allowed to lift weights under team supervision, and official offseason practices don't start until next month.
Center Maurkice Pouncey, defensive end Brett Keisel, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and cornerback Keenan Lewis were among those who worked out at team headquarters.
The Steelers are unveiling throwback jerseys they will wear in 2012, their 80th season, Tuesday at a 4:30 p.m. news conference at Heinz Field. ... The NFL will announce its complete schedule for the 2012 season during a three-hour show that will air on NFL Network. The league had previously released teams' opponents for next season but without times or dates of the games.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers will make small strides this season
- Steelers have plenty of new faces at wide receiver
- Steelers cornerbacks Allen, Gay, Taylor have something to prove
- For Steelers outside linebacker Jones, size is not an obstacle
- Why Steelers will — or won’t — snap out of their funk
- Steelers running back blunt about focusing on football
- In last preseason game, a final audition for some Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Team cuts 15 players, including LB So’oto, RB Hall