CLEVELAND, Ohio -- All last week Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had one message for his team: make things easy for 37-year-old third-string quarterback Charlie Batch.
He wasn't talking about making sure that Batch had his pipe, slippers and a glass of warm milk before bedtime. He meant it in a football sense, because Batch's start against the Browns on Sunday was his first of any kind since late December.
The Steelers' top two quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich, were not available because of injuries. So it was Batch or Brian Hoyer, signed last week just so the Steelers had somebody to fill out the depth chart.
Something must have gotten lost in the translation because instead of taking care of Batch, the Steelers never gave him a chance. Not only did they lose the ball five times on fumbles, but Batch threw three interceptions as the Browns beat the Steelers, 20-14, for just the second time in the last 18 meetings between the teams.