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Charlie Batch: Landry Jones to replace Big Ben in time

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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The Pittsburgh Steelers' selection of quarterback Landry Jones in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft signified the end for veteran backup Charlie Batch.

Batch, who has been with the Steelers for Ben Roethlisberger's entire career, felt there were other underlying motivations for the team's decision to draft a young quarterback.

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"Ultimately, I think this isn't about replacing me," Batch told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday. "Big picture, maybe they're thinking, 'Can we develop Landry Jones to be the starter? Maybe two years from now, he could be our guy for the next 10 years.' We don't know. But with the contracts for quarterbacks these days, he'd certainly be a heck of a lot cheaper than Ben at age 34 or 35 or 36."

Batch is jumping the gun a bit with his assessment. While there is a chance it might play out in the future, the truth is the Steelers needed to solidify the position now. Signing Bruce Gradkowski was just the start; Jones provides a less expensive alternate in case Big Ben gets hurt again this season.

Developing a young quarterback is the responsible move for any team. However, we are several seasons -- and a whole lot of development -- away from Jones even sniffing a chance to overtake Roethlisberger.

Barring major injury -- and when has that stopped him in the past? -- the way he plays will allow Big Ben to age as well as the Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings of the NFL.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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