PDA

View Full Version : Bires: Batch back, but Dixon could be the backup


mesaSteeler
04-17-2009, 08:33 PM
Bires: Batch back, but Dixon could be the backup

By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Friday, April 17, 2009 12:00 AM EDT
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2009/04/17/sports/steelers/doc49e7feaf67189989211109.txt

Starting Monday, an intriguing quarterback battle will begin to take shape at Steelers’ headquarters.

When the first of 14 organized team activities gets under way, Dennis Dixon will be out to prove he’s capable of backing up Ben Roethlisberger.

It’ll be the 24-year-old kid vs. a 34-year-old veteran.

The old guy, of course, is Charlie Batch, who just signed a one-year contract.

On the surface, it would appear Batch would be automatically penciled into the No. 2 spot behind Roethlisberger. After all, that was his role last year before breaking his collarbone in a preseason game. Byron Leftwich, the man who replaced Batch last year, is gone. He left town in search of a starting job in Tampa Bay.

But don’t bet the ranch on Batch just yet.

Batch may have a ton of experience, but coach Mike Tomlin and his offensive assistants are intrigued by Dixon’s potential.

Before Dixon suffered a knee injury late in his senior year at Oregon, there were some NFL draftniks who believed he could be taken as high as the second round of the 2008 draft. Dixon did finish fourth in The Associated Press Player of the Year voting and fifth in the Heisman Trophy vote.

But due to the severity of his knee injury, Dixon lasted until the fifth round.

Last season, the Steelers were patient with Dixon as he adapted from Oregon’s spread offense to the passing system used in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers were so fascinated by Dixon’s athleticism that they didn’t dare place him on the practice squad for fear another team might steal him away.

Instead, they kept him on the 53-man active roster, even though he didn’t play a down until the last game of the season. Finally, in a 31-0 rout of the Cleveland Browns, Dixon got to play two series. On his first series, he completed his first NFL pass, a short toss to wide receiver Hines Ward. On the game’s final possession, with the Steelers lined up in “victory” formation, Dixon took a knee twice.

With Roethlisberger firmly entrenched, Dixon knows he may never get a chance to start in Pittsburgh. But he believes he can play in the NFL.

His next step would be proving he can be a backup.

For Dixon, that process starts Monday.

Mike Bires can be reached online at mbires@timesonline.com

triphahn
04-17-2009, 09:02 PM
Knee injury or not I was amazed he was around in round 5 and management must have some faith in him considering how little effort they put into signing Leftwich. This was your Heisman winner without that injury.

tyler289
04-17-2009, 09:07 PM
I like Dixon's athleticism. Wouldn't mind grooming him into a long-term backup.

St33lersguy
04-17-2009, 09:10 PM
I must say Dixon is on the rise & Batch is up there in age, not to mention the collar bone injury that knocked him out for 08

lilyoder6
04-17-2009, 10:19 PM
but the dixon pick was HORRIBLE,,, it was a WASTE of a pick

the man is an athlete.. when he does take over for the number 2 qb.. they can use him in some packages

BehindSteelCurtain
04-17-2009, 11:40 PM
Most people don't think of it but I think that one of the most important spots on a team is a backup QB.

BehindSteelCurtain
04-17-2009, 11:43 PM
but the dixon pick was HORRIBLE,,, it was a WASTE of a pick

the man is an athlete.. when he does take over for the number 2 qb.. they can use him in some packages

Yea I realized that too. I mean the Steelers didn't draft him to be a starting QB because they were well aware that Roethlisberger was their guy. Which makes me think that they transition him into a WR which makes good timing beacause we are looking to see who will be our #3 and #4 guys. I think he could play RB also. Obviously not a every down RB but a guy who can change the pace. KR and PR too. i think they drafted him based on his athleticism and his potential at all of the other posistions.

steelwall
04-17-2009, 11:46 PM
but the dixon pick was HORRIBLE,,, it was a WASTE of a pick

the man is an athlete.. when he does take over for the number 2 qb.. they can use him in some packages

I also questioned why we picked him then, but we have him now so we might as well do something with him. Either #2...which he has to prove he's better than Batch, or getting him in on some plays.

Hopefully it will be we are blowing teams out and he can come in at the end of the game and get some experience..:thumbsup:

BehindSteelCurtain
04-17-2009, 11:47 PM
I also questioned why we picked him then, but we have him now so we might as well do something with him. Either #2...which he has to prove he's better than Batch, or getting him in on some plays.

Hopefully it will be we are blowing teams out and he can come in at the end of the game and get some experience..:thumbsup:

The Steelers do have a history of taking athletic college QBs and making them WRs. So it makes sense. Ward was a QB at Georgia and Randle El was a QB at Indiana if you didnt know.

X-Terminator
04-17-2009, 11:50 PM
Still don't see the fascination with a WR/RB playing QB, not to mention a young and unproven WR/RB playing QB.

Sorry, I'd rather have a veteran backup, not a 2nd year guy who really isn't a QB.

steelwall
04-18-2009, 12:12 AM
The Steelers do have a history of taking athletic college QBs and making them WRs. So it makes sense. Ward was a QB at Georgia and Randle El was a QB at Indiana if you didnt know.

Yes I know, but those picks were also at a time when we didnt have our franchise QB. I thought at the time of the Dixon pick we were good at QB.

All that being said, and like I said we have him now so we need to do something with the guy. If he's gonna be a WR which ain't gonna happen now IMO, then put him in coach, see what he's got.

BehindSteelCurtain
04-18-2009, 12:18 AM
Yes I know, but those picks were also at a time when we didnt have our franchise QB. I thought at the time of the Dixon pick we were good at QB.

All that being said, and like I said we have him now so we need to do something with the guy. If he's gonna be a WR which ain't gonna happen now IMO, then put him in coach, see what he's got.

I think the Steelers drafted him planning on making him a WR. Like I stated (I think) that now is the perfect oppurtunity with us not having our WRs set in stone.

steelwall
04-18-2009, 12:28 AM
I think the Steelers drafted him planning on making him a WR. Like I stated (I think) that now is the perfect oppurtunity with us not having our WRs set in stone.


I hope he is utilized in some way, but with Lefty gone I don't see them putting in Dixon at WR, unless another QB is brought in.

BehindSteelCurtain
04-18-2009, 12:41 AM
I hope he is utilized in some way, but with Lefty gone I don't see them putting in Dixon at WR, unless another QB is brought in.

I mean it's not like they couldn't use him at QB too if they were in a desperate situation.

Fire Haley
04-18-2009, 12:45 AM
Get the bubblewrap out for Ben.

Play him maybe one or two series in preseason.

steelwall
04-18-2009, 12:47 AM
Get the bubblewrap out for Ben.

Play him maybe one or two series in preseason.

:chuckle:

The Duke
04-18-2009, 05:17 AM
Keep dixon at QB. No need for another kordell

I mean,has he ever even played WR? stick with what we know he can do, and I already have my doubts about him at QB

Galax Steeler
04-18-2009, 06:44 AM
I would like to see more out of Dixon this year before I would pencil him in at no.2. I think he would be a good backup to Ben if giving the oppertunity.

Kaeg
04-20-2009, 09:29 PM
I'm just very curious as to what he can do, or what the FO sees in him. I guess considering batch's age, I'd like to see Dixon move up to QB2. Nothing against Charlie. I think he was very serviceable each time he was in for Ben, but if he can hold No.2 against Dixon, then he still must have something.

Rek
04-20-2009, 10:04 PM
I've been saying this forever now. Let Dixon be the backup. How the hell will he ever develop if he's never given a chance? He's a back-up, he's not going to come in and be an all-star and no one is asking him to. A back-up comes in and a) runs the ball if they have a lead or b) safe quick passes to keep the score close. Dixon can do it just fine. He sure ain't going to get the experience standing on the sideline year after year until he goes somewhere that will actually use his talent and skill.

Batch is a great vet. For the love of God, use him as a coach and mentor and let Dixon be the #2 guy.

revefsreleets
04-21-2009, 01:00 PM
I don't understand why everyone thinks Dixon is Kordell II. Have you ever seen him play? The kid can play QB. He actually looks and acts like a QB. He reads defenses and actually goes through progressions.

His main knock is he has poor mechanics, which leads to him trying to "aim" passes. The only reason he fell into Rd 5 was his knee injury. He's EXACTLY the kind of QB who can play the game on Sunday's with some tutoring and sitting for a year or two.

I still maintain we should have utilized him some as a slash last year...otherwise he just eats a roster spot.

lilyoder6
04-21-2009, 01:58 PM
i'm hoping dixon wins the #2 spot this yr in TC.. the man can play and then BA can throw in some wrinkles for him to come in

truesteelerfan
04-21-2009, 05:21 PM
I'd love to see Dixon be our leading passer in the preseason. How many reps do Charlie and Ben really need to get ready?

Steel Head
04-21-2009, 05:46 PM
I'd love to see Dixon be our leading passer in the preseason. How many reps do Charlie and Ben really need to get ready?

exactly

remember Batch got hurt in the preseason last year

give Dixon a ton of reps this coming preseason

scsteeler
04-21-2009, 07:53 PM
I don't understand why everyone thinks Dixon is Kordell II. Have you ever seen him play? The kid can play QB. He actually looks and acts like a QB. He reads defenses and actually goes through progressions.

His main knock is he has poor mechanics, which leads to him trying to "aim" passes. The only reason he fell into Rd 5 was his knee injury. He's EXACTLY the kind of QB who can play the game on Sunday's with some tutoring and sitting for a year or two.

I still maintain we should have utilized him some as a slash last year...otherwise he just eats a roster spot.

Well put you can work on mechanics and right now we don't need a starting QB but someone that can be groomed to be a starting QB in Waiting. I think Dixon can be a starting QB because he has a head coach that will make sure that if he stays on this team he can be a starter. Some QB's need to be groomed like Leinert, & Quinn neither one of these guys has shown me any signs of greatness in the NFL but the difference is what is being said about them and Dixon potential!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steeldude
04-21-2009, 08:39 PM
a WR for a backup QB is a scary thing.

I don't understand why everyone thinks Dixon is Kordell II. Have you ever seen him play? The kid can play QB. He actually looks and acts like a QB. He reads defenses and actually goes through progressions

i have seen him play. he played in a spread option. IMO, he is nothing more than another running/gimmick/product of the system-QB ala kordell, vick, bishop, white, dowis, young etc...