Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch was on 93.7 The Fan today and was asked about several different topics that ranged from the loss Sunday to the Denver Broncos, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, the struggles on offense this past season and the future of both Hines Ward and Dennis Dixon. I transcribed the important questions and answers below and you can listen to the whole interview here.
RE: On why Bruce Arians is a good offensive coordinator
Batch: When you look at what he has done, he\’s been able to break down the playbook to exactly what Ben likes. So immediately in 2007 he broke the playbook down because over the years offensive coordinators came along, but coach Cowher stayed the same. So it basically it was plays added on top of plays and how thick the playbook became. So at some point it became confusing. Now B.A. comes in 2007 and says, you know what, we\’re going to break it down, but build it back up to way you like, Ben. So now this offense is Ben\’s offense and in 2007 Ben put up phenomenal numbers and it was franchise records all over the place for what he was able to do and that was the talk how Ben now all of a sudden turns the corner and becomes one of the great quarterbacks. We\’ve always known that, its just the fact that we were starting that transition of becoming a run first football team to now, passing and relying on Ben\’s arm more than he has in the past. So now when you look back and see what B.A. has been able to bring to the table, he\’s bringing consistency and you don\’t want to change that right now when Ben is actually entering into the prime of his career. I don\’t see why you probably would want to change, but you never know, people are always going to have flack because of the way the offense performs, but Ben is the first one to step up to say this offense goes how I go, if I play well we win, if I don\’t we lose.
RE: On the offense struggles this year
Batch: That\’s the biggest part. I mean one thing about it, if you look at our losses, a lot of them came because of us beating ourselves. Doesn\’t matter in what form or fashion… turnovers… at the end of the day when you look at it we were at the bottom of the league because we turned the football over. That is something you cant do and anytime that you go on the road, which our struggles tend to kind of lean towards, it became communication, making sure that everybody\’s on the same page and people underestimate what it\’s like to play on the road. It\’s very tough. So that\’s why you try to put all of your heart into it to be able to get those home games so you\’re not running into those problems. Any time you beat yourselves, we were on the positive side and when we didn\’t, the majority of time we came out with loses.
RE: On if he wants to come back next year and if he would like to coach one day
Batch: Well, that would be way down the line. I think for me honestly you have to play until your body tells you otherwise. One thing about football and your career, once you retire there is no coming back. You\’re done. So, you just got to fight it along until at that point you figure out what you want to do. Is coaching something I want to do? Yeah, way down the line, but not right now.
RE: On if it would be weird if Hines Ward does not return next season
Batch: It would be weird for me and probably all of Steeler Nation, because we came in the same draft class, we were 1998, but of course I got here in 2002, so over the last 10 years I have been able to be around this guy, get a chance to know him, become friends, see the work that he puts into it and become the Pro Bowler that he was. And now all of a sudden to have 1000 catches and put the career that he had, of course it is going to be different to see him if he was to move on to another team. I think they work something out that he is coming back. It\’s hard because he wants to play, but it is hard to envision him somewhere else because he loves the Steeler Nation, he loves being a member of the black and gold and at some point and time, you want to say as a member of the Hall of Fame. He will become a Hall of Fame member. At some point you want to say, you know what, it was great to see him in the black and gold.
RE: On if Dennis Dixon can be a starting quarterback in the league
Batch: Absolutely he can be a starting quarterback, the problem is that it is not going to be here. Ben is your guy. Ben has probably another 8 or 9 years and that\’s something that you just cant afford to sit and wait for. You think about it, Ben is now entering into season number nine, he probably put together 7 more years if that is what he chooses top do. It is just a matter of how his body is going play. But for Dennis, he has to look at the opportunities that are presented to him. I know at some point last year he may have thought that he was going to leave. He ended up coming back, but it just depends on what he wants for his career. I know he wants to be a starter in the league. Is he capable of doing that? Absolutely he is. It\’s just a matter of he wants to really look at this offseason, because this is a critical offseason for him.