Pittsburgh Steelers running back Baron Batch didn\’t have much production last season and in fact, he is probably best remembered right now for dropping an easy gimmick play pass from wide receiver Antonio Brown in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Now, as Batch approaches the two year anniversary of his knee injury that sidelined him for his rookie season, he says he\’s healthier than ever.
“It\’s like my rookie season again; this is the first time in a while I\’ve felt like I did then,” Batch said, per Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “For me, it\’s just finding a way to get better. There\’s never been a doubt in my mind I could play in this league, at all, never been an issue. I\’ve got to eliminate mental errors.”
Batch certainly didn\’t set any stat books on fire in 2012 as he only had 25 carries for 49 yards and 4 catches for another 31 yards. He was, however, a big contributor on special teams and had four total tackles in 12 games played to show for his efforts prior to him breaking his arm in week 16.
Batch enters his third season in the league with nothing guaranteed. If he is going to make the 53 man roster out of training camp, it will more than likely be because either Isaac Redman or Jonathan Dwyer have been sent packing. Batch is certainly a better special teams player than both Redman and Dwyer and now he needs to show this year that he is not only a perfect fit for more outside zone runs, but that he can handle running inside in addition.
Batch has great hands and works well out in space with the football. In addition, he has football smarts and is solid in pass protection and recognition. He has a lot to prove in training camp, but don\’t be surprised if he is on the 53 come the season opener. More than anything else, it is good to hear he is fully healthy and ready to compete once again.