Steelers RB Baron Batch Healthy And Feeling Like A Rookie Again

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.

  • LouPGH

    I think most people around here are familiar with Batch’s story and would like to see him succeed. He certainly didn’t do much with the chances he was given last season. But, then again, with the exception of the gimmick play Dave mentioned in the post, it wasn’t as though he had many opportunities to shine. Remember that Batch came from Mike Leach’s pass-happy offense at Texas Tech. Ben should be tossing him quick screens and check downs; he’s quicker than he is fast, but he can make guys miss if he has some room. Watching him take the ball inside for two yards every touch last year got old quickly.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    AP spoiled NFL fans a bit…most guys suck only 1 year after bad knee injury. Hoping Batch is better than last year and beats out Stephens-Howling for 4th RB spot.