It's hard to believe, but veteran quarterback Charlie Batch has been named the starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 3 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dennis Dixon underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn menisucs in his left knee. Byron Leftwich, meanwhile, is back at practice this week after suffering an MCL injury during the team's final preseason game. Judging from Mike Tomlin's decision to name Batch the starter, Leftwich must not be far along enough with his rehab to entrust him with the starting duties. Hopefully Leftwich has a good week of practice nevertheless, and is ready to play in the event of an injury to Batch.
Batch, who was an after though to even make the roster or be with the team at the conclusion of last season, is pleased to be getting this type of opportunity at this stage in his career.
"It feels good," Batch said Wednesday. "I never imagined it would turn out this way, but here we go."
"For me, there won't be many more opportunities, Batch said. "You're starting to get up there in years, obviously you're just blessed to be out there in that situation. ... I was a little disappointed because I didn't get that opportunity, but here I am again. All I can do is be ready and go out and take advantage of that opportunity."
Batch was less than impressive last week against the Titans, completing just 5-of-11 passes for a mere 25 yards. His teammates are confident in him though heading into the inter-conference matchup with the Buccaneers.
"He's been with the starters, he's been with the second team, he's been with the third team," wide receiver Hines Ward (FSY) said. "He understands all the wide receivers. He probably understands this offense better than anybody. We feel good, we've just got to protect Charlie."
This will begin SB Nation Pittsburgh's coverage leading up to Sunday's game. Stay tuned for more injury reports, as well as a set of more comprehensive previews for the remainder of the week.