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Random Thoughts

– Well I think the short honeymoon with Batch is officially over. Some people thought that with Batch’s performance last week against the Bucs that Batch had nailed down a backup job again for next year. Not so fast. He showed yesterday that he really is in the twilight of his career. His arm is simply shot, not that he ever had a strong throwing arm to begin with. What was disturbing to me yesterday is how confused and tentative Batch looked yesterday in the pocket. Batch’s experience at this point is his biggest asset as a backup, but he looked like a rookie yesterday in his reads, continually missing open receivers. Even last week against the Bucs, Batch was fortunate he didn’t have 3 or 4 INT’s instead of just 2. Both his deep TD passes could’ve easily been intercepted. I think everyone simply overlooked that due to the win and the points the Steelers scored in the game. I love Batch but the Steelers will have to look hard at the backup QB position in the offseason.

– Is Heath Miller ever going to be the go-to guy for the Steelers offense? Miller has shown time and again that he has some of the best hands of any TE in the league but he continually seems to be an afterthought at times. I’m not saying Miller should be the #1 WR obviously, but yesterday he should’ve been the go-to guy for the Steelers considering a few things –

– The Ravens were continually playing deep with the safeties to take away the threat of Wallace.

– Batch obviously has a weak arm at this point and struggles with passes over 20 yards.

– Miller was finding holes in the Ravens secondary and was open a number of times.

– Miller could’ve been used as a safety valve to pick up 5-10 yards to help keep drives going.

– Instead Miller ended the game with just 2 catches, when he should’ve probably had at least a few more grabs.

– There were definitely some eerie similarities between yesterday’s loss to the Ravens and some of the losses from last year, right down to the last-second, 4th quarter collapse. From start to finish the Steelers didn’t look prepared, disciplined (12 penalties) or possessed any sort of intensity to win the game. Which, coincidentally, was a staple of most of the losses from last year. That is obviously a concern. Last year, the excuse was Troy and Aaron Smith were both missing from the defense. No doubt both are huge components of the defense but both were playing yesterday, it didn’t matter. It all starts with Tomlin and the coaching staff. They need to do a better job of preparing the team, gameplanning better and keeping players accountable for on-field performance.

– It’s impossible but it’d be nice if Tomlin could somehow impose a media blackout for all players on this team. Media praise (which preceded this week’s game) seems to be this teams kryptonite, for whatever reason. I guess this team thrives with the “us-against-the-world” mentality. That’s nice and all I guess but these guys are NFL players, there shouldn’t be more any more motivation needed to play well other than you are getting paid millions of dollars to play football and win games.

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