Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Free Agents Analysis: QB Charlie Batch – Unrestricted

The Pittsburgh Steelers offseason has started and it is that time of year unfortunately to start breaking down and analyzing the free agents as we head towards the start of free agency. We will knock out a few of these a week and will start with the unrestricted free agents first before moving to the restricted and exclusive rights free agents. First up on the list of unrestricted free agents is quarterback Charlie Batch.

Player: Charlie Batch

Position: Quarterback

Experience: 14 Years

Free Agent Status: Unrestricted

2012 Salary Cap Hit: $605,000.00

2012 Season Breakdown: Batch signed a one-year qualifying contract last season that came with a reduced salary cap hit. The Steelers long time veteran spent most of the season on the game day inactive list until Ben Roethlisberger went down with his shoulder and rib injury in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Batch backed up Byron Leftwich in the Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and started the next two games after Leftwich was sidelined with a rib injury.

In his first start against the Cleveland Browns Batch was 20-of-34 passing for 199 yards with no touchdowns and 3 interceptions. In that loss the Steelers turned the ball over 8 times in total. Batch looked very rusty in that game just as you would expect he would after not getting many reps with the first team offense all season in practice. He didn\’t look to be on the same page with his receivers at all.

In his second start against the Ravens the following week, Batch looked like a completely different quarterback. In that game he was 25-of-36 passing for 276 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He led the Steelers offense on a 12 play, 51 yard drive for the game winning field goal and ran off all the time on the clock in the process. The drive included him converting a big third down throw to Mike Wallace under heavy pressure. He stood in the pocket and took the hit like a champ. That win was perhaps the biggest one of Batch\’s career and it kept the Steelers division hopes alive with four games remaining and Roethlisberger returning from injury the following week. It looked as if Batch had saved the Steelers season in that game.

Batch lost his ability to throw the deep ball a long time ago, but his knowledge of the game, and his understanding of the offense, will never be questioned. His performance against the Ravens secured him the backup spot behind Roethlisberger for the remainder of the season and he certainly deserved it.

Free Agency Outlook: Batch has given no indication that he wants to retire as he heads off into the offseason. The Steelers, however, are not likely to put themselves in the same position in 2013 that they were in 2012 as it relates to having two older backup quarterbacks on the roster. They need to make sure that at least one of the two backups is younger and they will accomplish this either through free agency or the draft. The number three job next season could go to either Batch or Leftwich, but the chances that both will be brought back figures to be slim. Batch will not receive any attention in free agency so he must wait like he did last offseason to find out whether or not the Steelers want to bring him or Leftwich back on another one-year veteran qualifying contract for the minimum to serve as the third string quarterback. The Steelers could do worse than Batch as a number three so I expect that they will choose him over Leftwich once summer rolls around. That is of course if Batch doesn\’t decide to retire.

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  • I say give him another year and if he is needed then play him until he breaks. Then hire him as a QB coach. Make him a Steeler for life.

  • Lose Leftwich like a nasty watch

  • zyzak

    Ben misses a lot of games they need someone younger

  • SteelerDave

    Batch needs to retire and be our QB coach. He is loyal to our city, awesome in being involved with charities and he knows football. People of his character are hard to find.

  • steeltown

    Re-sign Batch for the minimum, he’s a savvy vet, if they draft someone this year they could learn much from him… Let Leftwich walk (please) and bring back Jerrod Johnson /Brian Hoyer and a mid Rd draft pick to compete in 2013 camp

  • steeltown

    I do hope whenever he does retire that he becomes a coach, should Haley leave, maybe Fichtner as OC and Batch as the QB coach??

  • TJimmy

    He threw and connected on a really nice deep ball in preseason this year so I’m not sure why there is a knock against him on that. Lately it’s Ben who can’t time and connect the deep ball very well. The receivers seem like they often have to adjust.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Whatever they do they need to get rid of Lefty. I would prefer for Batch to retire and sign a contract as a coach in 2013. Bring in 2 younger guys, perhaps 1 in a late round of the draft, and 1 in FA.

  • I’ve been saying for years that a washed up Batch is better than Leftwich. We saw that this year. We should try to bring him back to tutor whatever young blood we can bring in. We know Ben isn’t likely to take on that role…

  • awlcohen

    Another bum that has no reason to be on a roster that past three years. Steelers need to quit giving symphaphy roster spots to local guys and washed up run down vets.

  • B.J.Weaver

    Arrivederci, Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich.

  • Tim Culligan

    did you watch the second ravens game? Not sure how many 3rd stringers in the league can win a home game at Baltimore.

  • Tim Culligan

    If its down to Batch or Leftwich as the 3rd stringer, you need to take Batch. Both are great guys, but durability is a huge factor, and Batch has it, Byron’s been hurt too many times.

  • Mike Carroll

    I’d prefer to see Batch brought back and Leftwich replaced.

    Batch has been a very good backup for the team for many years. In fact, I would say the placement of Batch as backup to Ben during his career has been one the best things the Steelers have done, relatively speaking. Batch showed he can still play and should be good for at least one more year.

    Leftwich often times has gotten lumped together with Batch for some reason, but he has never been a good backup for this team. There really is no comparison between the two and letting go of Leftwich should be an easy decision for the team. His replacement should be durable and effective (like Batch).