If the Mayans were correct about the world ending, we can all rest easy knowing the only things that will survive are cockroaches, Ookla the Mok, and Charlie Batch.
For those who haven’t heard, the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday signed Chaz to what has to be his tenth one year contract in a row. He’ll go into training camp as an afterthought and he’ll outplay the other quarterbacks they bring in to camp. And he’ll once again serve as Ben Roethlisberger‘s primary back-up because that’s just what he does. Age may have crippled Aaron Smith and age may have laid Hines Ward out but age ain’t nothin’ but a number to Charlie Batch.
What about the team’s other quarterbacking options? Well, Byron Leftwich, who many thought would take Batch’s mantle as best back-up in the NFL, is evidently being courted by the Indianapolis Colts. Their new offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians, evidently believes Lefty will serve as a good teacher for young Andrew Luck while he stands on the sidelines struggling not to hurt himself holding a clip board. Meanwhile, the guy the Steelers wasted a draft pick on, Dennis Dixon, has talked with a handful of teams although he remains unsigned. It’s highly unlikely he’d return here, though, as at the very least he wants to be somebody’s top back-up which isn’t going to happen in Pittsburgh. Considering Mike Tomlin and company were extremely disappointed with his inability to grasp the offense after spending four years studying the playbook, it’s probably best the class dunce heads elsewhere.
This leaves former Heisman Trophy winner and Baltimore Raven Troy Smith as the only other quarterback currently on the roster. While Batch and Smith won’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of opponents should tragedy befall Big Ben, they’re better looking options than Curtis Painter or Tyler Palko. The team could also invest a draft pick in a young quarterback to groom although we saw how well that worked out with Dixon and Brian St. Pierre before him. And, while I’d love for the Black and Gold to shore up their quarterbacking position, they can’t really afford to spend a second or third round pick on a quality QB prospect when the team has so many other holes to fill.
Besides, I’m good with Chaz. Every year people want to write him off and every year he lives to fight another day. Batch put on a brilliant performance against the St. Louis Rams last season and, yeah, it was the Rams but I didn’t see young Dixon out there. Always remember age and guile beats youth, exuberance, and a bad haircut.