By Mike Prisuta
Saturday, September 9, 2006
Charlie Batch didn't surprise his coach, and the Steelers backup quarterback didn't affect the plan for Ben Roethlisberger's return.
"His performance, to be honest with you, was kind of what I expected," Bill Cowher said following his team's 28-17 win Thursday night over the Miami Dolphins that Batch helped orchestrate at Heinz Field. "That's not going to alter the decision-making with Ben.
"If Ben's healthy, he'll play, but we'll have to get the clearance from the doctors first and make sure he feels good."
With Roethlisberger watching from the sideline, Batch completed 15-of-25 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns.
The Steelers declared Roethlisberger out for the Dolphins game and characterized his status as week-to-week thereafter, in the wake of Roethlisberger's emergency appendectomy Sunday.
The Steelers have a few extra days to prepare for their next game -- Sept. 18 at Jacksonville.
Batch's start against the Dolphins was the 49th of his career, but it was far from just another start.
"I'm not going to lie. I was excited and had a lot of emotions flying going into that game," Batch said. "Once I was able to settle down, we were able to put things together."
Batch was especially emotional after he fumbled a snap on first-and-goal from the Miami 1-yard line with the Steelers trailing, 17-14, in the fourth quarter. Batch bobbled the ball upon accepting it from center
Jeff Hartings then had it knocked from his grasp by pulling guard Alan Faneca.
"In that situation, I'm mad at myself, because I let it happen," Batch said.