Inside the locker room: Charlie Batch

November 28, 2012 by Teresa Varley

Quarterback Charlie Batch talked on Wednesday about the offense, his performance and this week’s game against the Ravens.

Re: Performance Sunday and your thoughts moving forward:
I have to play better. It’s something I can do. I turned the football over three times. Right now, I just have to figure out a way to get us into the end zone, and that’s what I have to do.

How much input did you have in the game plan last week and will you have a little more this week?
With me, I did have an input in the game plan. That’s something that as you go throughout the course of the week, you start with what you like and what you don’t like. I don’t expect that to change this week and that’s something that, between today and Friday, I’ll have better indication of what I like moving forward.

What kind of a difference does it make having WR Antonio Brown in the lineup?
Depending on how this week goes, that can determine what our packages are for the week. We’ll be encouraged as we go through. Right now, I know he’s excited to get back on the field. It’s been a while for him, and I’ll be excited as well.

What do you think will go better this week?
I have to make better decisions. The three turnovers just can’t happen, especially when you’re moving the football. I think right now, just getting back on the practice field, I have to go out there and make sure I get the timing with the receivers. And I need to make sure I’m doing whatever it takes to put this team in the end zone.

You said that if you put the ball out there two or three yards more on a pass to Wallace that hit Browns S T.J. Ward in the helmet it would have been a completion. Do you still have that two or three yards more?
Absolutely, and that’s something when you’re going that deep and trying to make a decision 50 yards down the field on his angle, that’s something that I have to figure out a way to get that ball in front of him, because that’s a potential 70 or 80-yard touchdown pass in that situation. You just make sure you continue to work on that timing.

Do you have any concerns about your game speed, your arm strength, getting the ball deep or making the throws to the sideline?
Not at all.

Did you struggle with some decision making because of the offense being choppy with all the turnovers? Did you feel like you needed big chunks of yards and pushed the ball deep down the field to Wallace in double coverage?
No. Every situation is different throughout the course of the game. For me, when you’re in those critical situations, I just have to make better decisions. The last interception was a first-down play. We didn’t necessarily need to have the ball pushed down the field the way that I did. I could have easily checked it down and continued to play ball. Any time that you have situations like that, you would love to have those back. Unfortunately, I couldn’t and that’s why you get back on the field and get ready for Baltimore.

Is there any difference in this Ravens defense than ones you may have faced in the past?
No, because we just saw them two weeks ago. They did a lot of good things on their side that kind of messed with us defensively. And I’m sure we’ll continue to see that. We’ll see an added element that they’re going to add this week. We’re just going to have to prepare for everything.

How weird is it to face a team like this you know so well twice in three games?
It’s definitely weird but this is the way that the schedule was dealt. We knew that we were going to be dealing with this situation two weeks ago and when the schedule came out. It’s nothing that surprised us, and right now what we have to do is prepare for them.

Do you expect QB Ben Roethlisberger to lobby hard to play?
I’ve been around him long enough [to know that]. I’m sure he’s been lobbying the last couple weeks. That’ll be something that he and Coach Tomlin talk about.

This team has won without Roethlisberger before. What makes this stretch different? Are there mistakes that you avoided before and are costing you now?
I think it’s that we’ve been able to get wins the last couple of times. That’s what’s different about it right now. We have to figure out whatever we need to do because as we continue to push during the final stretch of our season in order for us to get to where we want to get to, we have to start winning.

Is the offense too reliant on Roethlisberger’s specific skill set?
I wouldn’t necessarily say that because there are a lot of guys on this team that are capable of making plays. For whatever reason, we just haven’t been able to get into the end zone, and I think right now we’re going to figure out a way to do that. I don’t think that anybody in this locker room would think any other way.

Do you think the offense will take a bigger step this week with you at quarterback after having a game under your belt?
We’re going to have to. Last week, we only put up one touchdown, and defensively they did a great job. They went out there and played phenomenal throughout the course of that game. We just continued to put them in bad situations. In order for us to grow, we can’t do that offensively. We’re going to go out there, work hard and continue to do what we need to do in order to make progress this week.

What role might WR Plaxico Burress have this week?
We’ll see how that plays out. We don’t know how it’s going to play out because Antonio [Brown] can make a difference either way as far as packages go. I’m sure we’ll be able to answer that throughout the course of the week.

Is it frustrating to have an offensive line that is continually banged-up and shuffled around?
That’s tough, but either way it’s the next guy’s opportunity. Early on this year we had to deal with the same situations, and for us, we’ve been able to battle through that. Right now is no different.

Do you still have the feeling that you need to redeem yourself, even after playing for so many years?
I still have it because I know I didn’t play well last week. Any time that you have another opportunity like this week, for me this is going out there and making sure I don’t make those mistakes again.

Is there a statement Coach Tomlin was trying to make naming WR Mike Wallace a co-starter and naming RB Jonathan Dwyer the starter?
I don’t know. When we hear it, we hear it the same time that you do. I wouldn’t look into anything more than that.

Are teams defending you differently with Roethlisberger out?
No, not at all.

Are teams defending you differently with Brown out of the lineup?
No, because it depends on the different formations and what we’re trying to take advantage of. We haven’t been able to do that over the last couple of weeks. Those questions tend to play out throughout the course of the game.

Have you seen Wallace double covered a little bit more in the last few games than he was when Brown was on the field?
Possibly. I wasn’t seeing him double-teamed any more than he was in the past. You have to respect his speed and teams obviously do.

Do you expect to improve now that this will be consecutive starts for you?
For me, you have that opportunity to go out again and correct those mistakes. Now you’re dealing with timing issues, and you’re talking about play clock management. I had a delay of game and that’s unacceptable. I shouldn’t do that and it has to be corrected this week. You’re talking about five yards of field position in that situation. Obviously, I was disappointed and Coach Tomlin was disappointed in that because that’s something where I expect better from myself.


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