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mesaSteeler
08-22-2009, 09:55 AM
Dixon to get more time on the field
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/Story/8-22-Steelers-Redskins-pre2009-08-22T00-33-38

By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer

dlolley@observer-reporter.com

Even before Ben Roethlisberger went down with a foot injury during Thursday's final training camp practice at Saint Vincent College, the Steelers had planned to get second-year quarterback Dennis Dixon plenty of snaps in tonight's preseason game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

Roethlisberger made the trip to Washington, but veteran Charlie Batch will likely start with Dixon playing at least two quarters.

The Steelers like Dixon's athleticism and arm and want to get him as many playing time in the preseason as possible to find out if the 2008 fifth-round draft pick can be their No. 2 quarterback.

"His physical skill, of course, is obvious. He is a talented guy," said head coach Mike Tomlin. "I'm more concerned about the things you get from playing and from standing in the huddle in front of people and having to raise up and rise up in moments. I like what he is doing in regards to that. We are just going to continue working with him."

Dixon got the majority of snaps in the preseason opener, a 20-10 victory over Arizona, completing 10 of 19 passes for 112 yards after entering the game in the second quarter.

He also got better as the game went on. After missing on his first three pass attempts, Dixon moved the team, albeit against Arizona's backups.

Dixon, who threw one pass during the regular season in 2008, is looking forward to the increased opportunity.

"I think it starts with every quarterback, as far as a big splash play, a big third-down conversion or something like that, just to get you into a rhythm," he said. "Maybe it's that first completion and then you go from there. The game slows down after that."

That's what the Steelers are hoping for out of a player who was a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2007 at Oregon before suffering a torn ACL. Despite missing the Ducks' final three games, Dixon was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. He finished his career with 6,337 yards passing and 1,208 yards rushing, a school-record for quarterbacks.

That ability makes him a very confident player, even if that confidence was sometimes shaken in 2008.

"As a quarterback, no one says it, but it's the norm that you are first and foremost a leader in everyone's eyes," Dixon said. "Everyone's performance is based on you. If you're slouching, everybody else is going to be slouching. If you're up and ready to go, I think the players are going to follow you as well. As a quarterback, your body language is going to go a long way."

Dixon admits to not always knowing what he was doing in the 2008 preseason, recalling one time when fullback Carey Davis had to help him in the huddle with a formation.

"It was kind of embarrassing. But I guess everybody goes through it and you get better," Dixon said. "I think last year, it was more thinking. Going into this year, I'm reacting. I'm just going out there and having fun making plays."

That is what the coaching staff is looking for from Dixon this preseason.

"I'd say overall, (they want to see) me learn to be a quarterback in this league, how to take the process, how to take the criticism and all of that and just keep a level head," Dixon said. "There's a whole lot of things that go into the game that people don't see that the coaches analyze."

Odds and end zones

Wide receiver-running back Stefan Logan will get the first opportunity to handle kickoff and punt return duties against the Redskins. ... Washington leads the preseason series, 12-5-1, though the Steelers won the last meeting, 12-10, in 2007.

AllD
08-22-2009, 12:13 PM
Dixon needs to put on more weight if he wants to ever be more than a backup.

Steelboy84
08-22-2009, 02:03 PM
I hope Arians puts him into the gameplan more this season.

tony hipchest
08-22-2009, 02:58 PM
Dixon needs to put on more weight if he wants to ever be more than a backup.having birdie legs is one of the reasons joe montana slipped into the 3rd round.

being a baby fat covered slob saw tom brady fall to the 5th.

dixon just needs to be able to read the defense, make the throws, and avoid the rush and he should be fine as a number 2 and potential starter elsewhere.

HometownGal
08-22-2009, 03:05 PM
Dixon needs to put on more weight if he wants to ever be more than a backup.

I'd much rather have a QB who is a little underweight than a QB who is a lot overweight. :thumbsup:

I hope Arians puts him into the gameplan more this season.

IF Ben is injured (God forbid) and he has to replace him - yes. Though Dixon is still basically unproven against the big dogs, I would still feel more confident in him than in Batch if he had to replace Ben for any length of time. We have enough offensive weapons this season that we don't need to put a Vick mini-me on the field. :banging: I think both Tomlin and Arians are more interested in developing him into a pure QB, which I think is the right decision.

I'm looking forward to watching Dixon again tonight. :tt03:

MasterOfPuppets
08-22-2009, 03:07 PM
having birdie legs is one of the reasons joe montana slipped into the 3rd round.

being a baby fat covered slob saw tom brady fall to the 5th.

dixon just needs to be able to read the defense, make the throws, and avoid the rush and he should be fine as a number 2 and potential starter elsewhere.and he's pretty much the same size that randall cunningham was.

Psyychoward86
08-22-2009, 03:42 PM
Where can i watch online?