The next man up is Charlie Batch. - Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
It's Steelers week.
For many Cleveland Browns fans, this is their favorite week of the season: if your team isn't going to do anything else all season, at least beat Pittsburgh. In a weird twist of events, the Browns are going to be facing an "Expendables" version of the Steelers this week.
37-year old Charlie Batch is expected to get the start for Pittsburgh this week. Ben Roethlisberger suffered a serious rib injury two weeks ago and missed last week's game. Byron Leftwich started against the Baltimore Ravens and was hammered all game. He also suffered injuries to his ribs, which is why the Steelers are now left with Batch.
On one hand, you can't treat this as a "gimme" for Cleveland: Batch started one game last season against the Rams, and Pittsburgh won 27-0. Granted, Batch won't will his team to victory, but the Steelers' defense knows when to rise to the occassion. On the other hand...come on...it's Charlie Batch. The Browns couldn't ask for a more non-impact quarterback to face than him. The Steelers did sign Brian Hoyer as a backup off the street, so if Batch gets hurt, he'll be thrown to the wolves instead.
The other sudden change for Pittsburgh is the fact that they signed veteran wide receiver Plaxico Burress to a contract. The Steelers have been hurting at the position since losing Antonio Brown to injury. Will Burress be thrown into active duty right off the bat after not playing all season? Here is how Behind the Steel Curtain thinks Burress will contribute:
Burress is a quality addition, particularly if it is as third or fourth receiver. With a healthy Antonio Brown it would be, with all due respect to Jerricho of whom I am a big fan, a more potent and dangerous quartet of receivers. Plax is still a 6'5" match up problem, a possible deep threat and a real problem in the red zone for defenses. Good luck trying to cover him with your third or fourth defensive back.
What do you think, Browns fans? Does the thought of Batch and Burress concern you, or does it make you salivate at the fact that Cleveland is finally going to beat Pittsburgh again?