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Batch of emotion for Steelers QB


Batch of emotion for Steelers QB

Charlie Batch turns 38 on Wednesday. He’s been in the NFL since 1998. Yet there couldn’t have been a member of the Steelers more touched by Sunday’s 23-20 victory over the Ravens than the veteran quarterback.

Filling in for injured fill-in Byron Leftwich while the Steelers wait for Ben Roethlisberger to heal enough to reassume his position, Batch had an awful performance last week in Pittsburgh’s loss to the lowly Browns. He was intercepted three times and posted a passer rating of 38.7.

And had the Steelers not won on Sunday, fingers would have been pointed at Batch for missing a wide-open Mike Wallace in the end zone in the first half. But Batch came through when it counted most, completing his last seven passes, including 4-for-4 on the 12-play drive that took Pittsburgh to the game-winning field goal by Shaun Suisham as time expired.

After Suisham’s kick, Batch and Roethlisberger embraced on the sideline, with Batch burying his face in Roethlisberger’s shoulder while he was clearly sobbing, overcome by the emotion of leading his team to a victory that meant so much — because of the rivalry with the Ravens, because of Pittsburgh’s tenuous playoff position, because of wanting to make up for the week before.

And also — with Roethlisberger likely returning next week — because this might have been the last game Batch plays in the NFL.

“I think every game I got out there, I look at it that way,” Batch said, according to The New York Times. “I wanted this opportunity because I played poorly last week, and I wanted the opportunity to come out there and prove it and lead this team. I’ve been in the league 15 years. I’ve been a starter in this league, and the one thing you can’t do is dwell on the past.”

Batch finished 25 of 36 for 276 yards.

"We were able to do something nobody thought we were able to do, outside of our locker room," Batch told NBC's Carolynn Manno after the game (via Shutdown Corner). "We came down here, we knew it was going to be a 60-minute ballgame. We see everybody fought — offense, defense, special teams — and we put the thing together. … We know we're a team. We know we didn't put our best performance last week. We knew in order for us to get to where we want to get to, and that's a shot at the tournament, we knew we had to come in here and get this. And no matter how it unfolds, we know that come December, we have to win football games and it started today."

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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?