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Batch of emotion for Steelers QB

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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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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson is his own biggest critic

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson is his own biggest critic

Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including how quarterback Lamar Jackson has fared during OTAs.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. Following a January surgery on his left ankle, safety Tony Jefferson remains sidelined after the first week of OTAs. Originally, Jefferson was expected to return 4-6 weeks after surgery. However, now that it's 5 months later, his return timetable is becoming more and more concerning. 

2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson spoke with Ravens media Thursday about his progress not only learning the new offense implemented by Offensive Coordinator, Greg Roman, but learning the names of his new teammates as well. After another day of OTAs, Jackson was his biggest critic despite a solid day of running plays namely passing drills. “I’d say my first day, I sucked,” Jackson said to Ravens media. “Second day, I did better. Today was alright, but it could have been better. I always try to be perfect in practice. It was alright for the first week.”

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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'I started to realize that I’m not broken': Steve Smith opens up about mental health and depression

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'I started to realize that I’m not broken': Steve Smith opens up about mental health and depression

Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.

The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.

“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”

Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.

“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”

Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.

The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.

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