Steelers.com brings you the Ask the Steelers feature. Fans submitted the questions that were asked. Please understand that we receive an incredible number of questions for each player, with many of the questions being similar, and not all of the questions can be answered. We selected as many as possible, and took your questions to the current subject to get your answers.
Running Back Baron Batch
Jeff McDonald, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: You were injured before you even got to play a snap for the Steelers. At the time, how disappointing was that?
Batch: It was really disappointing with all of the work that I put in during the lockout back in Texas, and then came up here and was having a solid camp and got hurt. It was frustrating. But at the same time I am going into this camp in the same position as last year, but stronger and just as fast as I was and feeling good. I also had a year of being around the organization so it was a blessing in disguise for me.
Sally Morris, Seattle, Washington: What was the 2011 season like for you? Did you spend time at the practice facility and stay around the team?
Batch: When I was on injured reserve I was here every day, going to rehab, being around the guys, going to meetings, practice. I was around the guys as much as possible. I didn't distance myself from the team. I think that was important as far as developing while I was injured and not having any setbacks.
Kent Barnes, Lexington, Kentucky: You hear players who are on injured reserve say they feel like an outsider sometimes. Did you ever feel that way, especially being a young player?
Batch: This wasn't my first major injury so I knew how to handle it better than maybe someone who had their first injury. I know the rehab process, that there are ups and downs and that you have to stay strong mentally. That is the biggest thing. You have to come in every day, work hard and you will get through it.
Mark Eller, Houston, Texas: What teammates, or other people, really supported you and helped you get through the rehab and dealing with not playing?
Batch: Everybody. It would be hard to single out a certain guy, everyone from the coaches to the cafeteria staff. People would tell me keep your head up, things like that. It's a family atmosphere here and that helped, especially my first year, being far from home and going through this whole deal.
Tom Lawson, Wheeling, West Virginia: Did not playing last year help you as far as learning the playbook, allowing more time for that?
Batch: I started to get it down and then we got a new offensive coordinator so we are learning new stuff now. At any point when you play at this level you have to learn to adjust quickly and when you hear something once you have to pick up on it. I think I am pretty good at that and its going to pay off.
Joe Brock, Orlando, Florida: Where are you as far as you rehab?
Batch: I am good. My knee feels good. Now it's just doing football stuff. But my knee feels good.
Stephen M. Hollar, Brentwood, Pennsylvania: Do you feel you lost any speed or agility due to your injury?
Batch: I think that is something time will tell. I feel pretty good, but I think it will get better. People say you don't feel like your old self for about a year. The next few months are going to be crucial for me, but if I had to play, I could play and if I had to be effective, I would be effective.
Peter Topa, Old Forge, Pennsylvania: After your injury do you feel you are ready to contribute to the Steelers, or do you feel the injury will still hamper you?
Batch: I am ready to put my hand in the pile like Coach (Mike) Tomlin says and contribute whatever way they see fit. I am anxious to do it. I haven't played in a football game in over a year. I am anxious to get back out there and be with my teammates.
Nick Kelly from Minneapolis, Minnesota: What are your goals this football season?
Batch: Just get back on the field and contribute. I take it one step at a time and the first step is getting back on the field and starting to make a resume in the NFL and start building on my career and helping this team win games.
Rod Jones, Los Angeles, California: Do you have any fears of that first game action, testing it the first time full-speed with a defender coming at you?
Batch: By the time I get in a game situation I will have all of that out of the way because we had OTAs, mini-camp and offseason stuff and we will have training camp. By the time the game gets here I won't think about it. I don't think about it now.