August 19, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Baron Batch (20) on the sidelines against the Indianapolis Colts during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Probably the most popular fringe-roster player in recent Steelers memory, Friday's final roster cuts confirmed RB Baron Batch, a second-year man out of Texas Tech, has made the 53-man roster.
He looked on the outside of a very talented four halfbacks and one fullback, and a team a fullback typically would only keep four halfbacks. It's a chicken vs. the egg argument, but was Batch kept on the roster because the Steelers only saw four wide receivers they felt worthy of inclusion, or did the Steelers decide only to keep four wide receivers because they wanted to keep Batch?
My guess would be the latter. Ignoring positions and evaluating each wide receiver after Jerricho Cotchery, and comparing them as productive football players to Batch, it seemed Batch stood a bit taller (no pun intended) than Derrick Williams, Tyler Beiler, Marquis Maze, Toney Clemons and David Gilreath.
Batch has a functional use on game days as the running back in a single-back set in the Steelers' hurry-up offense - or at least it appears he'd be capable of handling that role. A strong blocker and a good pass receiver, he's also able to carry the ball, making him a unique running back, and well-fit for a no-huddle offensive series.
While it doesn't seem likely now Batch will get a helmet on game day, he's got some time to work on that. He went from 7th round pick to torn ACL to outside-looking-in to making the roster. Why doubt him now?