Charlie Batch


Charlie Batch
Charlie Batch

Charlie Batch at training camp
No. 16     Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: December 5, 1974 (1974-12-05) (age 36)
Place of birth: Homestead, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 216 lb (98 kg)
Career information
College: Eastern Michigan
NFL Draft: 1998 / Round: 2 / Pick: 60
Debuted in 1998 for the Detroit Lions
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2010
TD-INT     60-47
Passing yards     10,402
QB Rating     77.9
Rushing Attempts     169
Rushing Yards     639
Rushing Touchdowns     6
Stats at NFL.com

Charles "Charlie" Batch (born December 5, 1974) is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He played college football at Eastern Michigan.

Batch has earned two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers in Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII.

Contents

College career

Son of Lynne Settles, a former school teacher,[1] Batch had a remarkable career at Eastern Michigan University, owning almost every passing record. He earned a degree in criminal justice. He was a local favorite when he was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft.

Professional career

Detroit Lions

Charlie Batch was the Detroit Lions' starter through better parts of the 1998–2001 seasons. After the surprising retirement of Barry Sanders in 1999, Detroit struggled to find consistency in its running game and Batch was asked to assume a "hybrid" quarterback role and assist in the Lions' running game by using various QB sweeps, bootlegs, and QB draws in an attempt to keep defenders off balance. He proved to be effective, but injury prone, in his years with Detroit. His best year was clearly 1999, the year Sanders retired, as he helped rally Detroit to a surprising wildcard playoff game against the Washington Redskins. Batch did not play in the game, giving way to Gus Frerotte due to injury, and Detroit lost 27–13.

The 2000 season proved to be Batch's last as a legitimate NFL starter. He was again injured (leaving the Week 17 matchup against Chicago with a shoulder injury) in a pivotal game in which Detroit lost on a last-second field goal by Paul Edinger. The game cost the Lions a playoff berth and sent into motion a radical turn of events in the Lions' front office, resulting in the hiring of Fox Sports color commentator Matt Millen as the new CEO and general manager. Millen's arrival ultimately resulted in an extreme makeover in Detroit's roster, and Batch became one of the more visible casualties.

He started the 2001 season as Detroit's starter under new Head Coach Marty Mornhinweg, but was injured again late in 2001, and eventually released by the Lions that offseason for salary cap reasons. Batch had been deemed expendable due in part to the team's drafting of Joey Harrington with their first-round pick, and Millen had gone on record in his desire to find a starting quarterback other than Batch earlier that year. Still, Batch passed for over 9,000 yards with Detroit, reaching sixth on the Lions' all-time list.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed him to a one-year contract for 2002 as a backup, but he did not play. The move to initially sign Batch was not a surprise, given that Batch was from Pittsburgh and the Steelers' current Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert initially drafted Batch in Detroit. Despite not playing in 2002 (being third string behind Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox, who split the year as the starters), Batch became popular with Steeler fans, likely due to having grown up in nearby Homestead.

His contract was renewed by the Steelers, and Batch saw some action in 2003. In 2004, Batch spent the season on injured reserve after offseason knee surgery. In 2005, he became the second-string quarterback for the Steelers, playing behind Ben Roethlisberger. During 2005, an injury to Roethlisberger gave Batch two starting opportunities, yielding two victories. In the process, Batch became the first Pittsburgh-area native to start for the team at quarterback since Terry Hanratty, a native of Butler, Pennsylvania, started for a few games during his rookie season in 1969 before becoming a backup the following season to Terry Bradshaw.

He backed up Ben Roethlisberger during Super Bowl XL, and the Steelers' 21-10 victory made Batch a Super Bowl Champion.

On March 14, 2006 Charlie Batch signed a 3 year deal, through the 2008 season.[2]

He also was one of several Pittsburgh Steelers players that visited Ben Roethlisberger in the hospital to hear of his condition after his motorcycle accident on June 12, 2006.

Batch was again tapped to fill in for Roethlisberger to start the Steelers 2006 season when Roethlisberger had to have an emergency appendectomy the week before the season started. Batch had his best game in over 4 years, throwing for 209 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also threw the first touchdown pass of the 2006 regular season. Batch temporarily replaced Ben Roethlisberger in week 7 in Atlanta when Roethlisberger went down with a concussion. Batch completed 8 of 13 passes for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 70 yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward.

On August 8, 2008, Batch sustained a broken clavicle in the second quarter of a pre-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field.[3] The team signed former Jacksonville Jaguars starter Byron Leftwich. Batch was placed on season-ending injured reserve on August 30.

On April 14, 2009, Batch who was an unrestricted free agent after the 2008 season re-signed with the Steelers.

On November 22, 2009 Batch took over in a week 11 game against the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime after Ben Roethlisberger was injured. During the overtime drive, he threw 1 pass for 17 yards, putting them 2 yards out of field goal range. However, on third down, the Steelers opted to run (rather than relying on Batch's arm) which resulted in yards lost and a punt. Batch's wrist was injured during the game and required surgery. He missed 6 weeks, ending his regular season.

On March 26, 2010, Batch re-signed with the Steelers for another 2 seasons.

With Roethlisberger being suspended four games by the NFL to start the 2010 season, and with both Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich out with injured knees, Batch led the Steelers to a 38-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week three. Batch tied a career high with three touchdown passes. Because of this, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stated that Batch had earned a starting role in week 4 versus Baltimore.

Charity

In 2006 Batch was presented with the first Jerome Bettis Award for Humanity and Community Service for his work supporting children through his Best of the Batch Foundation and for efforts to upgrade local football fields and basketball courts for area kids.[4]

Batch has also been recognized for his efforts with underprivileged urban youth. The Schramm-McCracken Prize was bestowed on Batch in 2002 by the Three Rivers District of the Loyal Order of Moose in large part for his creation and work at the Charlie Batch Urban Pumpkin Patch and Gardens. The CBUPP was a created as a way to help fight hunger, using urban agriculture to employ inner city youth in a sustainable, green future.

Batch also helps raise money in Pittsburgh through the Charlie Batch Celebrity Golf Match for Mercy Hospital's Operation Safety Net, which helps provide health care to the homeless.

References

External links

Preceded by
Scott Mitchell
Detroit Lions Starting Quarterbacks
1998-2001
Succeeded by
Joey Harrington

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