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mesaSteeler
12-05-2009, 12:03 AM
Steelers' Dixon earns teammates' respect
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_656322.html#
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, December 5, 2009

If the Steelers realized what they had in second-year quarterback Dennis Dixon before last Sunday night's game at Baltimore, maybe wide receiver Hines Ward would have felt differently about Ben Roethlisberger sitting out with a concussion.

"He won over a lot of guys in this locker room,'' Ward said after Dixon played admirably in the Steelers' 20-17 overtime loss.

Dixon got rid of the ball quickly and wasn't sacked. Later in the game, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians opened up more of the playbook for Dixon, whose performance relieved concerns about his ability to be the backup with Charlie Batch sidelined with a wrist injury.

"I remember saying in the first quarter, (Florida quarterback) Tim Tebow probably doesn't have a Heisman Trophy right now if Dennis Dixon doesn't get hurt,'' Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said. "Oregon maybe has a national championship, and I would venture to say we don't have Dennis Dixon on this team if he doesn't suffer that injury.''

Dixon, a Heisman frontrunner until he was sidelined with a knee injury in his final college season, slipped to the fifth round in the 2008 draft.

'It's all about going out there and getting it done,'' said Dixon, who returns to the bench for tomorrow's 1 p.m. contest against Oakland at Heinz Field with Roethlisberger back in the lineup. "I always envisioned myself in that situation.''

Dixon tossed his first pro touchdown pass and his first interception against the Ravens. He also ran for his first touchdown, a 24-yard gallop around right end that provided a glimpse of his speed.

The Steelers wanted to call more runs for Dixon, but the Ravens adjusted their defense with linebacker Ray Lewis assigned to shadow the quarterback.

"They understood the talent of his skill-set," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of Dixon. "They know he can run.''

How fast? Dixon said he ran a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash his junior year at Oregon.

"I'm long-legged," he said. "It doesn't take me as long to get downfield.''

Of his touchdown run, Dixon said: "I felt like a K-9 dog was behind me.''

Dixon impressed his teammates with his composure after learning he would replace Roethlisberger the day before the game.

"For a young guy to get his first start in a hostile environment like that, with so much responsibility, it's a testament to how well he prepared and how well he played,'' center Justin Hartwig said. "Dennis is kind of a quiet guy, but I thought he did a good job of managing the game and managing the huddle.''

Added Clark: "He's an incredible athlete, a guy we feel can be quality if something does happen to Ben.''

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432

Bluedust
12-05-2009, 01:19 AM
I thought Dixon played extremely well, WAY above my expectations, I really hope Batch retires and is a QB coach for us, Ben obviously looks up to him, he is always the first person he goes to after every play. He grew up in our system with Batch right there at every turn to help him.

Sure he may have a few more years in him, but the injuries are hurting him, and denying the inevitable may hurt the team in the long run.

sharkweek
12-05-2009, 02:36 AM
he did exactly what I thought he was capable of. Unfortunately he didn't attempt to run more...not that I wanted him to run more, but at least threaten to run more to help open up his vertical game which suffered whenever they tried to get pass happy against the zone.

BigBen'sSwagger
12-05-2009, 06:33 AM
he did exactly what I thought he was capable of. Unfortunately he didn't attempt to run more...not that I wanted him to run more, but at least threaten to run more to help open up his vertical game which suffered whenever they tried to get pass happy against the zone.

I agree but I will say I did want to see him run more, not a lot more but a few more times than he did. His first run was huge if not for the holding penalty and his 2nd was for a score. I don't buy that he couldn't run on the ratbirds he did it twice and was successful. The ratbirds d is not the same d it was last year I think Dixon could have exploited that and like you say open things up down field.

HometownGal
12-05-2009, 09:18 AM
I don't want to be a kill joy, but how many more Dixon threads are we going to have around here this week? :banging: I think everything that has been said in this article has been said in the numerous other threads that have been posted.

Please perform a search before posting threads on basically the same topic. Thanks. :drink:

supa_fly_steeler
12-05-2009, 09:52 AM
if mewelde didnt hold, dixon would of put up 50 yard, 200 yards overall v ravens:(

markymarc
12-05-2009, 12:46 PM
I like DD just as much as I did in the other threads on him :chuckle: