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Batch thinks Steelers might groom Jones to replace Roethlisberger

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With the arrival of quarterback Bruce Gradkowski via free agency and quarterback Landry Jones via the fourth round of the 2013 draft, it’s highly unlikely that Charlie Batch’s 11-year run with the team will continue.

So Batch can speak his mind.  That’s precisely what he did regarding the team’s decision to draft Jones.

“[U]ltimately, I think this isn’t about replacing me,” Batch told Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  “Big picture, maybe they’re thinking, ‘Can we develop Landry Jones to be the starter?  Maybe two years from now, he could be our guy for the next 10 years.’  We don’t know.  But with the contracts for quarterbacks these days, he’d certainly be a heck of a lot cheaper than Ben at age 34 or 35 or 36.”

Batch has a point, to an extent..  As quarterback cap numbers grow while the salary cap doesn’t, it’s getting harder to build a team around the guy who throws the ball.

Still, G.M. Kevin Colbert didn’t sound like a guy who is thinking about moving on from Roethlisberger during last week’s visit to PFT Live.

“You look at the great quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, they’re in their mid-30s, and Ben’s just 31,” Colbert said.  “We think there’s a lot of football and we hope there’s a lot of football left in him, and hopefully it’s even better than he’s been for us.  It’s our job to maximize these years that he has left, and we really think that he has a nice stretch in him.”

Of course, no one would expect the Steelers to declare an intention to go cheaper and younger at quarterback without knowing that they have someone who would be as good if not better than Ben.  But if Jones shows the organization enough in the next two or three years, maybe Batch’s suspicions will be proven right.

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85 Responses to “Batch thinks Steelers might groom Jones to replace Roethlisberger”
  1. jeffesky says: Apr 29, 2013 9:59 PM

    Makes sense

  2. inyofaceagain says: Apr 29, 2013 10:04 PM

    The Steelers have really let their fans down these past few years. From my perspective they were just a few pieces away for consecutive years and just couldn’t bring in the right last pieces.
    It’s a shame a stellar QB like Big Ben isn’t getting that chance with that kinda team around him

  3. ravensdominate says: Apr 29, 2013 10:05 PM

    Yes I agree. I think the steelers should certainly invest a lot of time and money and not address the quarterback position for years and years. Good idea, Charlie. Ben’s got about 1 year left in him. He’s so beat up. He wishes he was as durable as Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.

  4. steelersfan88007 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:06 PM

    Please step away from the keyboard til the crack wears off.

  5. ezg1 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:06 PM

    If only it was that simple!

  6. morganstan100 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:09 PM

    Anyone would be an improvement.

  7. kash71 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:10 PM

    If they don’t have Charlie Batch how are they going to beat the Ravens?

  8. Stiller43 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:10 PM

    With how much of a beating bens taken so far in his career, i wouldnt be shocked if he couldnt play (at least effectively) at 34 or 35. Im not necessarily expecting jones to be his heir apparent, but he very well could be.

  9. dirtybird28 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:10 PM

    It’s their best case scenario, and deep down we know it’s what they want. sane goes for any player; get the most out of them.

  10. johnnyb216 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:12 PM

    Who cares. The Steelers will always play 2nd fiddle to the Packers just like they did when they met in Super Bowl 45. And that’s if they’re lucky…

  11. cmdrsmooth says: Apr 29, 2013 10:12 PM

    They should bring in Tebow instead.

  12. blackngold4life says: Apr 29, 2013 10:14 PM

    No complaints here..Ben has a good 2-3 years left (In Pittsburgh) dude just can’t stay healthy and its not Completely the O-Lines fault. That Offense has under achieved the last 4 years and Ben has somethin to do with that DESPITE his numbers. lol that being said its not a QB available I’d rather have then him. When its time for him to go I just hope the Landry kid is ready or who ever they have in mind at the time.

  13. chex1868 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:14 PM

    Let’s start with grooming Landry to learn how to take a snap from under center.

  14. raiderapologist says: Apr 29, 2013 10:15 PM

    Roethlisberger might be a little bit older than 31, based on the hits he takes.

  15. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 29, 2013 10:16 PM

    And next you’ll try to tell me they might groom Jarvis Jones to become a starting LB.

  16. raideralex99 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:16 PM

    Trading backup QBs on good teams brings in future draft picks … heck even the Giants drafted a QB.
    Copycat league after Reid fleeced the Cardinals.

  17. whysomanylosers says: Apr 29, 2013 10:17 PM

    You know what they say, “Ben’s backup is only one rape charge away from playing…”

  18. strokeytheclown says: Apr 29, 2013 10:17 PM

    Not a Ben fan by any means, but I didn’t know Charlie batch was still alive!

  19. mazblast says: Apr 29, 2013 10:18 PM

    If, as, and when Ben’s effectiveness declines and his salary doesn’t, it would be good to have Jones ready as the new guy or at least as the bridge to someone else.

    I don’t mind having one “old guy” as a backup, but having two, as the Steelers did last year, is a recipe for disaster. One clear starter, one veteran who is good with being the backup, one young guy getting ready, and maybe one longshot on the practice squad, preferably with a different style so he can mimic the opponent’s stuff.

  20. vicnocal says: Apr 29, 2013 10:18 PM

    Big Ben might be 31 in calendar years, but he’s at least 40 in football years. He’s taken a beating over his career.

  21. pgh15212 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:19 PM

    As much as I hate to say it, ben may be done in 2 years. 35 year old elite players are the exception, not the rule. Throw in the way he plays and it is the ugly truth.

  22. stiffler007 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:24 PM

    LOL Steelers!!!

  23. camdenyard says: Apr 29, 2013 10:25 PM

    Chronologically he’s 31. Physically he’s closer to 35.

  24. mydoglouie says: Apr 29, 2013 10:25 PM

    His body has taken quite the pounding thru his career. My personal observation is that 35 is where it catches up. He ain’t playing into his late 30’s with the style he has played over the years.

    Big Ben is a hell of a gamer thou!

  25. scorpwood says: Apr 29, 2013 10:27 PM

    As we saw in the 30-on-30, the Steelers probably didn’t want to repeat the mistake they made by not drafting Marino while they had Bradshaw who they thought had a few more good years but had a career-ending injury in ’83

  26. eltex says: Apr 29, 2013 10:27 PM

    The guess is the Steelers will need to extend Ben’s contract after the 2013 season, due to the cap hits in 2014 and 2015. If Ben plays like a stud this year, they will probably have to pay him top money. If he is hurt again, and loses a few close games, what do they do? Can they pay him Flacco money, or is that too big of a risk? That is why they got Landry. They have to have some sort of contingency, in case Ben won’t settle for less.

  27. thesteelers says: Apr 29, 2013 10:28 PM

    Best team in the world right here in Pitt. You must be jealous.

  28. steelfan66 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:28 PM

    Come on Charlie. Get real. We picked him up because you and Leftwich were too fragile.

    I still appreciate everything you’ve done for the team but it’s time to help in other ways, like say, coaching….

  29. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Apr 29, 2013 10:30 PM

    He can hardly stay healthy now. What makes you think he’s gonna be able to play in his mid 30’s?

    Fact of the matter is this

    Big ben’s sb rings werent because of him. They had a beast of a defense for every single one. He’s getting paid too much right now imo and in no way is he gonna get any better going forward.

    The only reason the steelers won’t finish 4th in their division is because the browns are, well, the browns are the browns.

    Mike Wallace will enjoy playing in Miami.

  30. t8ertot says: Apr 29, 2013 10:32 PM

    You can’t replace Big Ben. He’s the main reason why the Steelers have been successful the past few years, excluding last year (courtesy of my bengals)

    The big oaf is hard to tackle and extends plays. In a few years he won’t be able to do that. And as we all saw last year, he can’t rely on his defense to bail him out. Things are looking bleak in Pitt. It’s Cincy’s division for years to come.

  31. kvanhorn87 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:32 PM

    I was genuinely confused why qb was not viewed prior to the draft as a big need for the Steelers. Not only is Ben getting older but he is beat up. They need to have someone ready to go. Don’t know if that is Jones but at least they addressed it. All the talking heads just ignored it but thankfully the Steelers organization didn’t.

  32. robd1978 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:32 PM

    Is that not why teams draft players every year. Its absurd to think that teams are not going to look at thefuture or try to get better at every position no matter who is there.

  33. sampsonswag01 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:33 PM

    As someone who had a lot of exposure to Landry Jones being in Oklahoma….that’ll be A LOT of grooming needed.

  34. johnnybandwagon says: Apr 29, 2013 10:35 PM

    Ben takes a lot more hits to his body and head than Manning and Brady. Ben’s an old 31

  35. tokyosandblaster says: Apr 29, 2013 10:37 PM

    The Steelers and Ravens are now both on the decline.

    The Bengals should win this division rather easily this year.

  36. kissmytaintpatriotsrule says: Apr 29, 2013 10:38 PM

    Lets be honest the Steelers are going to be extremely bad for years to come. That extra million dollars Gods team the Patriots made the Steelers spend was the last nail in the coffin. I hope you enjoy 10-6 this year.

  37. smitty152169 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:40 PM

    Charlie is now a rocket scientists!

  38. Norseman says: Apr 29, 2013 10:43 PM

    Definitely makes sense to have something lined-up post-Ben. I don’t know how many years he’s got left, but it ain’t many. And I doubt any will be injury-free either.

  39. linvillegorge says: Apr 29, 2013 11:02 PM

    With his style, he takes a ton of punishment. Part of what makes him fun to watch is that he’ll hang in there to try to give his receivers time to get open, but that leads to him taking a lot more hits than a guy like Brady or Manning. He’s built to take them, but still, over the years, they take their toll.

  40. tipstopten says: Apr 29, 2013 11:03 PM

    Ben is a has-been, new leadership is needed in Steeler town.
    Boomer Sooner

  41. nonjaghater says: Apr 29, 2013 11:05 PM

    Dang…them some tart grapes

  42. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 29, 2013 11:05 PM

    ‘Cause you can groom Big Bentnose, but you still can’t take him to the Westminster Kennel Club show.

  43. shawon0meter says: Apr 29, 2013 11:14 PM

    “it’s highly unlikely that Charlie Batch’s 11-year run with the team will continue.”

    Charlie Batch has been with the team 8 years.

  44. howiehandles says: Apr 29, 2013 11:15 PM

    What a rocket scientist. Early draft pick might be developed to replace beat up successful, but aging, QB, but not for the geezer at the end of his rope?


  45. bensstinkyfingers says: Apr 29, 2013 11:22 PM

    Sad to see such a storied franchise on the downward spiral. Ben is only going to get worse from here on out, so the Landry Jones idea makes sense. Ben may be 31 ,but he has the body of a 43 year old, including the fupa, mind of a 18 year old, so until the steelers brass grows some cajones, and parts ways with Ben the team will flounder.

  46. clemsonstillsucks says: Apr 29, 2013 11:31 PM

    As “the guy with the cigarette and blindfold”, Batch is spending more truth than has come out of the Steelers in years.

    Kudos to him for calling like he sees it. What are they going to do – fire him?

  47. sbmcintosh36 says: Apr 29, 2013 11:31 PM

    Isn’t that why they drafted him or was it just because they had to turn a pick in and couldn’t remember any other names??

  48. bigdingyguy says: Apr 29, 2013 11:35 PM

    There are three reasons to draft a quarterback: To start, to groom, or best player available. I’m not sure in any team sets out looking to draft a backup.

  49. realfootballfan says: Apr 29, 2013 11:46 PM

    Jones will be under contract for 4 years, in other words until Ben is 36. By then, the Steelers will know what they have in Jones, which for my money, won’t be much.

  50. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: Apr 29, 2013 11:56 PM

    Of course they are, that’s why they drafted him, I think he is the best QB in the draft. I was hoping he would go to S.F. but they have other plans. Big Ben is just like the real big Ben, he doesn’t run anymore.
    I am a Landry Jones fan, ya’ll scored on that one, your fans don’t even know

  51. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 30, 2013 12:05 AM

    Most of you, not surprisingly, are missing the point. It’s not how many years Roethlisberger has left as a player but rather the number of years he has left on his current contract.
    There is simply no way the Rooneys are going to re-sign Roethlisberger to another multi-year, $20 million-per-season contract. His shelf life is about to expire in Pittsburgh.
    The good news is: It’s not like the organization is preparing for life without, say, Dan Marino.
    The organization is merely putting together and exit plan for a quarterback who has shown himself to be uncoachable, undisciplined and unable to grasp the concept of scoring points in a league that has gone out of its way to abolish the art of defense.
    Quarterbacking an offense that consistently ranks in the bottom 10 in scoring is no way to warrant another obscene contract.

  52. sherlock30 says: Apr 30, 2013 12:06 AM

    Wow Charlie. You might want to market that seeing into the future talent to a reality tv series. Did you also know that it’s dark outside at 1 am and your clothes would get wet if you jumped into a lake with them on?

  53. cannonballdookie says: Apr 30, 2013 12:14 AM

    No, just no. Ben is a great quarterback and will be for a few more years. Nothing wrong with getting a young talented guy and grooming him up though.

  54. riverhorsey says: Apr 30, 2013 12:24 AM

    Jones might be ready in 5 yrs at the soonest or he might never be ready.

  55. jjbadd385 says: Apr 30, 2013 12:46 AM

    As much as I dislike the Steelers, I have to give Ben credit for his play… he leaves it on the field and I respect him for that, but its true that QBs with his style of play dont seem to last into their mid 30’s….

  56. shkz4 says: Apr 30, 2013 3:02 AM

    Charlie is still in the league?…who knew

  57. eceverett66 says: Apr 30, 2013 3:07 AM

    Jones is not your next Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh. But he could be the next Charlie Batch with good coaching. And that wouldn’t be too bad for a 4th round pick and an occassionally competent back-up who understands the game, can make the throws, but just doesn’t have that “X” factor the way you want your starter to have.

    Also a plus, I doubt that Jones would ever have Steelers fans talking about motorcycle wrecks or criminal charges. He appears to be a good man, with a gorgeous wife and his head on straight. And maybe it was Stoops and Heupel’s fault as much as Landry’s at OU. As a Sooners fan, I’m convinced that they have gradually lost their edge under Stoops, whose teams were initially explosive (and run-heavy) on offense and physical on D, and who are now soft up the middle on D and much more “fast-break finesse” on offense. In a physical, run-first, play-action pro offense, Jones may surprise us all and develop into a decent version of Neil O’Donnell.

  58. stillers35 says: Apr 30, 2013 7:25 AM

    Even if he is being “groomed” he will sit for at least 4 years ala Aaron Rodgers. I think Rodgers was way more pro ready than Jones. This is a non story

  59. steelercrazy says: Apr 30, 2013 7:29 AM

    With the amount Flacco was overpaid, Ben who’s superior might expect 30 million per year. Flacco’s an average QB who had a good surrounding cast with players like Bolden. Looks like Jones will be groomed in case Ben’s next deal is a cap buster. But Ben will play at least another 3-4 solid seasons while Jones is prepped.

  60. bluffing024 says: Apr 30, 2013 8:05 AM

    It’s so funny seeing the Packers and Ravens fans lurk on the Steelers news. They so want to be fans of such a successful organization. So jealous.

    On topic, of course they Jones is good. Who drafts somebody to have them fail? Is he Ben’s replacement? Doubtful. Ben will get an extension next off season for sure.

  61. getyourownname says: Apr 30, 2013 8:38 AM

    “Grooming” sounds like finishing school. Does it include drama class?

    Ben may not be as effective as he once was, but he is one tough SOB and that fits the Steelers’ personality. Can Landry replicate that?

  62. tlmoon2112 says: Apr 30, 2013 8:58 AM

    Batch is going to get a lot of playing time this year after Harrison puts Ben in the hospital.

  63. djlawless1 says: Apr 30, 2013 9:02 AM

    Batch might be opening his mouth too soon, He obviously has yet to see Bruce Gradkowski play.

  64. footballfan says: Apr 30, 2013 9:04 AM

    Second fiddle to the packers?? Not even the steelers have choked that big in the playoffs!!!

  65. citizenstrange says: Apr 30, 2013 9:04 AM

    The Steelers have to start looking to improve the quarterback position.

    Three things from last season:

    1) Roethlisberger could not get the Steelers into the playoffs despite having the number one defense in the entire league.

    2) Roethlisberger could not get a win when the Steeler defense gave up over 17 points.

    3) Roethlisberger could not get a win in a HOME game of playoff like win or go home importance even though the Steeler defense gave up only 6 points to the Bengals.

    Roethlisberger used to be able to ride on the Steeler defense’s back to six or seven 13-9 wins each season but now with all of his pick sixes and other game ending interceptions that is no longer possible.

  66. @Cereal_22 says: Apr 30, 2013 9:39 AM

    Anyone who has watched the Sooners knows that Landry Jones is soft

  67. chucknorrisisabeast says: Apr 30, 2013 9:42 AM

    I just think that Morganstan100 is a true troll! Love your comments from the past couple of days about intelligence.. Made me laugh! I went and checked the last 20 posts on the Steelers and counted how many times you posted? For a good laugh? Go Count! Anyhoo, Ben has a lot of time left when healthy. That injury against KC killed us. If Jacobey doesn’t return that kickoff we swept the Ravens with 2 bum QB”S. And probably would of won one more with Ben in one of the games he missed. The Oakland loss hurt. And as well as the Dallas. Are main problem has been Special teams. Killing us! And most of our rookie class is an immediate help. And Larod. Hence the Antonio fumble in Dallas.

  68. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 30, 2013 9:52 AM

    This is becoming laughable. You people must think Roethlisberger signed a 20-year deal!!! His contract expires in two seasons, which is when the Steelers will need his replacement “groomed.”

    Batch was Maddox’s backup in 2003, which is more than eight years ago.

  69. baltimoresnativeson says: Apr 30, 2013 10:00 AM

    Ben isn’t going anywhere. He has 2 superbowls. I know he had great defenses to help but the chargers and eagles have had top 5 defenses several times over the past 10 years and they have zero rings. I dislike Ben by the way, Ravens fan.

  70. trollaikman8 says: Apr 30, 2013 12:48 PM

    Once the defense stopped carrying this team, Ben was exposed for what he is: Slow, fat, inaccurate and un-coachable.

    But hey on the bright side you got Plaxico on your roster now.


  71. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 30, 2013 12:49 PM

    No quarterback — not any quarterback from Chargers or from the Eagles — has had the defenses that Roethlisberger has had: Ranked No. 1 five times the past nine seasons…
    Secondly, the Rooneys are not going to continue to pay a quarterback top money for having a significant role in a scoring offense annually ranked in the bottom 10. It’s just that simple.
    Thirdly, those two Super Bowls were won in spite of a quarterback who threw one TD pass combined. The Rooneys have been paying attention, even if you haven’t.

  72. hrmlss says: Apr 30, 2013 12:58 PM

    I think he’ll beat Ben out in training camp.

  73. keiselsbeard says: Apr 30, 2013 1:08 PM

    Without Ben, we never make it to, let alone win, any of our recent Super Bowl appearances. Anyone else curious as to why this “headline”has been on the main page for so long, when so many others have come & gone already? I love how they put extra effort into their attempt to create controversy that doesn’t exist.

  74. texansdude says: Apr 30, 2013 1:48 PM

    The timing’s right to think to about a guy for the future, that’s for sure. The way young qb’s go bust these days, I might put my money on Big Ben to be around longer than Landry Jones.

  75. whitdog23 says: Apr 30, 2013 1:53 PM

    time for Charlie to go hang out with Bubby Brister, Mike Tomczak, Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox

  76. psuorioles says: Apr 30, 2013 1:54 PM

    Is the picture of Ben above from the INT he threw against Dallas or Cinci last year?? I’m going to go with Cinci

  77. ilovefoolsball says: Apr 30, 2013 2:00 PM

    Stick a fork in the Steelers, they’re well done.

  78. seabreezes51 says: Apr 30, 2013 2:01 PM

    Charlie’s just telling Ben what he should already know… Time marches on.
    It’s accelerated a little by the change in the draft pay scales. Any QB that caught the last wave is a dead man walking…

  79. ynzer says: Apr 30, 2013 2:42 PM

    Kissing that Chrysler New Yorker’s windshield didn’t do anything to aid in Ben’s longevity.

  80. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 30, 2013 4:50 PM

    You bring up an excellent point. The dirty, little secret in Pittsburgh is that Roethlisberger simply has never been the same quarterback since his face was rearranged in that cycle accident.
    His pocket awareness has been nearly nonexistent where, at one point, early in his career, his pocket presence was uncannily exceptional…

  81. blackngold4life says: Apr 30, 2013 6:28 PM


  82. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 30, 2013 7:45 PM

    Great insight.
    It’s always a joy carrying on in depth discussions with those who paint their faces, pull on their No. 7 jerseys and are passed out by halftimes.

  83. axespray says: Apr 30, 2013 8:03 PM

    top 5 defense and Big Ben can’t make the playoffs?
    Brady/Brees/Rodgers would kill to have that kind of defense.

  84. antibenapalooza says: Apr 30, 2013 8:05 PM

    Sounds good to me! Get rid of Rottenberger so I can be a fan again!

  85. 1mommicked1 says: Apr 30, 2013 10:08 PM

    steelers hang on to a banged-up, injury riddled back up quarterback like Dixon and leftwich, they are never there when needed, when the starter is banged-up injury riddled. honestly, can any steeler stay healthy

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