Note: Recently, our very own LLT was afforded the opportunity to interview Baron Batch, the Steelers' 2011 7th round draft pick! The following is a transcript of their interview. Steelers Universe would like to extend a hearty thank you to Baron for graciously taking the time to talk to us, Kim Tarby, Director of Player Relations with Willis & Woy Sports Group, LLC, and Nina Zavala, Public Relations Coordinator, also of Willis & Woy for coordinating our interview with Baron.
SU: Being a 7th round pick, do you feel the lockout situation will ultimately help or hurt your chances to make the team?
BB: I have zero control over the lockout and won't worry about something I have no control over, with that being said I will work harder than ever to make the final roster.
SU: You seem to possess incredible route running skills. Would you be willing to line up occasionally as a slot receiver if needed?
BB: I would line up as a fullback if they asked me to do so. I am just excited about the opportunity that has been given to me and I want to make the most of it. I will do whatever they ask me to do if I can help the team.
SU: Go through the moment you were drafted by the Steelers. What were the emotions?
BB: It was pure joy being drafted to the team that I really wanted to end up going to, it was also a major relief knowing where I would be going.
SU: I know you don’t personally define yourself as a running back, or even an athlete. Tell us how Baron Batch defines himself.
BB: I define myself as someone who tries their best, its important to me to do the best I can at anything and everything that I am able to do. I am a normal flawed person that screws up often just like everyone else, but I'm trying.
SU: What is the next step for you? What are you going to do until the lockout is lifted?
BB: I will continue to stay in shape and get in the best shape I can possibly be in so when the lockout ends I am ready to help the team in whatever capacity I am asked.
SU: I see that the front office was instigating a little friendly rivalry between you and Curtis Brown. Did you get the chance to talk with him personally while you were in Pittsburgh?
BB: Yeah, first off, Curtis is a tremendous player. Having to compete against him for the past few years I have seen him make many plays and am excited to get to play with him now. We spoke briefly on our visit before the draft and he seemed like a real down to earth and cool guy.
SU: Why is it that no one knew that you were in Pittsburgh for a visit prior to the draft? Was the front office trying to keep you a secret from the other teams?
BB: Yeah, I'm not really sure about that. I didn't know that it was a huge deal so I told a few people and then obviously wrote about it in one of my columns, but I really never thought much in to it. I'm not the type of person to flaunt something like that.
SU: What role on the team do you foresee for yourself the first year? Are you willing to play special teams?
BB: I will do whatever is asked of me. I envision myself making the roster as a special teams guy but will be ready to do anything that will help the team.
SU: Most of us know that you have incredible receiving skills as a RB, but can you take it up the middle if asked?
SU: What are you most looking forward to as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization?
BB: Well, for starters I have already seen in the short time after the draft how amazing the fans are. I am really excited about having a new fan base and an entire new group of people to meet and hopefully get to influence in a positive way. I am also thrilled to be part of the best organization in the NFL....doesn't get any better!
SU: You will be wearing jersey number 35, the same number worn by Hall of Famer John Henry Johnson. Coincidentally, Johnson also had great receiving skills. How does it feel to be wearing the same number as such a great player?
BB: It's definitely cool to get to wear the same number as such a great player but in the end I still have to make the roster.
SU: Tell us about http://2ndhandimages.com, and would it be okay for us to add your link to SteelersUniverse.com?
BB: 2ndhandimages is a charity that I created to help people in need through a creative way. The site should be up and running soon and I would love for you to share the link.
SU: My son and I are leaving for a mission trip to Costa Rica next month. I have read about your experiences in Haiti and wonder if you have any advice for us, and if you have any future mission plans?
BB: I am sending a photographer for 2ndhandimages back to Haiti on June 19. I am not sure if I will be able to go on this trip because of football yet, but hopefully it works out. As far as advice to you and your son I would tell you several things. First off just be prepared to serve in any capacity or way that is needed and try your best to remove your own intentions or preconceptions about a place or people. Understand that things will more than likely at some point not go as planned so be prepared to be flexible. Love everyone you meet.
SU: Is there a player that you pattern your game after?
BB: I love the way that Frank Gore plays because of how physical he is but I would probably say I try to take the best of everyone and attempt to incorporate it into my game.
SU: Do you have a favorite Steeler player that you watched growing up?
BB: Honestly, when I was growing up I never watched TV that much. For a long time we didn't have a TV and once we did it only had like two channels.
© 2011 Steelers Universe