Baron Batch, the final selection for the Steelers in the 2011 draft has a decent chance to grab a roster spot and contribute in 2011 if he takes advantage of his opportunities. The Steelers backfield is overall in good shape with Rashard Mendenall and Isaac Redman as the main components in Bruce Arians running attack. Mewelde Moore, the veteran 3rd down specialist (and really the only on on the Steelers roster that fits that role) is still productive and continues to show his value when called upon. The Steelers also have Jonathan Dwyer who didn’t see much action in 2010. Batch is projected as a 3rd down specialist type of player. He’s got great hands and good quickness with the ability to make defenders miss if they don’t wrap him up. He needs to work on his vision and decisiveness in hitting the hole. He won’t outrun anybody in open space but he can get to the corner quickly. If he makes the team it will be for this pass catching ability and change of pace attack for the offense.
Baron Batch Conference Call
Re: Texas Tech offense preparation for the professional league:
It got me really well rounded. Playing at Tech I had to pick up the blitz, run the ball and also catch. So I think it polished me really well for the NFL.
Re: Coaches’ interests in performance:
They were impressed with how I picked up the blitz, and just liked the way I played. It was my favorite spot for sure, and I told a few people that’s where I want to be. I’m just so happy it worked out the way it did.
Re: Strengths as a running back and role with the Steelers:
I think I’m physical and that’s my number one trait. If you watch me play, you see that I run extremely hard and I’m physical on contact. I think that’s one of my biggest traits.
Re: Potential start as third-down back:
I see myself as a third-down back, a special teams back, or whatever they want me to do.
Re: Interests other than football:
Yes, absolutely. There are a lot of other things I do off the field. Off the field stuff is really important to me.
Re: Off-the-field activities:
Well, I write. For about eight months, since the start of my senior year, I wrote an article one a week for two different papers. I wrote for the Midland paper, my hometown, and for the Lubbock paper. I do a lot of humanitarian stuff. I worked in Haiti and did a lot of stuff down there. But, I just like to help people. I like to use my platform to affect people in a positive way.
Re: Saved a life with a column:
I can’t take credit for that. It was just a little glimpse of me getting to see, out of the business of God, and that was pretty cool. I can’t take credit for that.
Can you take credit for running down Curtis Brown on that interception?
I can take credit for that one. What’s funny is that we were all on the same visit up there, watching that clip together when they pulled it up.
What did you or he say?
Well I was watching it with the special team’s coaches and they brought that up and asked if I was fast. Well I watched this one play, and they brought it up, and they were like, “Oh, that’s Curtis Brown. He’s on the same visit.” So they called him in and it was pretty funny.
Re: Special teams:
Absolutely, I think my mold kind of fit well for the special teams player. I knew coming in, everyone told me you’re going to have to do special teams, and I’m happy to. I’m just so happy that they took a shot on me. It’s going to be well worth it.
Re: Disappointment with lockout being back on:
Well, just knowing that I’m eventually going to have a place where I know I’m going to go is good enough for me. I can’t control any of that, but I’m just happy to be a Steeler.
Re: Challenges for being a late-round guy:
I have the same mentality I would if I would have gotten picked mid-round or early on. I’m going to have to come in and prove myself and more importantly I’m going to have to better myself and better whatever team I’m on and the people around me.
Re: Preparation if lockout is lengthy:
I’ll just stay in shape for whenever the lockout ends. I will just make sure I’m in the best shape I can be in when I roll in. I’ll give myself the best chance I can to compete.
Would you like somebody to slip you a playbook if they could?
If they could, but I don’t think that is going to happen just yet.