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Old 08-09-2008, 08:42 PM   #1
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Post Timmons, Dixon pass tests

Timmons, Dixon pass tests

By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted Aug 9, 2008
http://pit.scout.com/2/777565.html


It didn't take much to see that Lawrence Timmons and Dennis Dixon can help the Pittsburgh Steelers.

PITTSBURGH – Sometimes, preseason games are worthless. But other times, it takes just one play to reveal talent.

Let’s examine two telling plays turned in by two young Steelers during the 16-10 preseason win Friday over the Philadelphia Eagles.

First was a play made by second-year linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who showed off his speed in closing on a running back who took a short pass out in the flat.

Last week, 12,000 fans at Latrobe Memorial Stadium were treated to the suddenness and explosiveness of Timmons in the backs-on-backers blitz pickup drill. Willie Parker deserved kudos for at least getting in Timmons’ way and slowing him down. The rest, including busted-up rookie tight end Dezmond Sherrod, were simply run over.

A week later, Timmons, playing inside linebacker, showed that suddenness in holding a short pass to Correll Buckhalter in the open flat to a 3-yard gain. Timmons explained the burst the same way he did Friday night at the high school stadium: with a shrug of the shoulders.

“I was basically sitting in zone and came and made the play. That was all,” he said.

Timmons made a few more plays. He made the tackle on the Steelers’ first kickoff, and he covered wide receiver Jason Avant in the back of the end zone to prevent a touchdown. Timmons also stuffed Buckhalter on a run up the middle, showing he’ll stick his head in there at the point of attack. It’s the 22-year-old’s final question mark as he tries to wrest the mack linebacker job from veteran Larry Foote. Of course, Timmons doesn’t want to talk about that right now.

“We’re a team, a band of brothers,” he said. “I’m just trying to do anything to make this defense better in any way.”

The other telling play Friday night involved rookie quarterback Dennis Dixon. Rushed into the game a quarter ahead of schedule because of an injury to Charlie Batch, Dixon looked like anything but a rookie in his preseason opener. He completed 6 of 9 passes for 30 yards and had a 49-yarder called back because someone held a defensive tackle who wouldn’t have touched the elusive Dixon anyway.

The elusive Dixon – that’s the important phrase, and the play which showed he still has all of his mobility, in spite of tearing an ACL only nine months ago, occurred in the third quarter with the Steelers facing 3rd-and-20 from their own 10.

Rookie left tackle Tony Hills was beaten badly by former Eagles first-round draft pick Jerome McDougle, and McDougle closed in on Dixon, who was looking to pass from the end zone. But Dixon spun naturally to his right and circled back to his left. He evaded McDougle like a confident pro and re-set himself. He threw back right, a bit high and incomplete, but the rookie had averted a safety and showed that his knee is fine.

“I used my God-given talent to get out of the pocket and try to make a play,” he said, much like Timmons with a what’s-the-big-deal look. And then he realized his knee, his mobility, was back.

“I was totally healthy,” he said with a big smile. “I got hit a little bit today, too. That was my true challenge and I think I passed.”

Both of the young players – Dixon and Timmons – passed their tests. It only took one play to tell.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Timmons, Dixon pass tests

this is the same dixon i saw last night but reading the charlie batch thread, and people are convinced he is absolutely horrible. i was impressed with how quick his release was and how he took what was open instead of trying to play above himself and make a big play.

i always thought timmons was about 230 lbs but i swear he looked like about 245. he looked BIG and FAST. there are many rookies in this years class that are older than him. we could just be seeing the tip of the iceberg with him and woodley.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Timmons, Dixon pass tests

How many of you groaned the last time a young, nervous, rookie quarterback stepped onto the field for the first time as a Steelers starting quarterback and thought the world was going to end and the Steelers were doomed?????

Give the kid a chance to show us what he's got before we hang him out to dry. Hopefully, he'll never be in the position that Ben was thrust into, baptism by fire.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Timmons, Dixon pass tests

I agree Tony, people were slaying him in the other thread. Same banter ... wasted pick, inaccurate, etc ... But if you actually watched the whole game, especially that big throw called back, he looked very good, I mean ofcourse there are going to be jitters, but I think he played solid... Timmons was always around the ball too
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timmons, Dixon pass tests

It's sad when a Browns fan has done more on defending the pick than some of the Steelers fans have been. i thought he handled himself well for a rookie.

I think the biggest I flaw with him was the sack he took. Unfortunately, I can't go back and review it...but the impression I got when I saw the play was that he "felt" more pressure than actually existed. Not exactly uncommon with young QBs.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timmons, Dixon pass tests

I was AMAZED by his Dan Marino-like release
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Timmons, Dixon pass tests

thats y i don't see the harm of him just being our number 2 qb.. he showed he canplay so lets see what he can do w/ the 2nd string and some time w/ the 1st string
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timmons, Dixon pass tests

He will be a starter some day in the NFL, whether or not it is with us is uncertain.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Timmons, Dixon pass tests

I liked what I saw from both of them and especially Mendenhall
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Timmons, Dixon pass tests

Quote:
“I used my God-given talent to get out of the pocket and try to make a play,” he said, much like Timmons with a what’s-the-big-deal look. And then he realized his knee, his mobility, was back.
Quote:
“I was basically sitting in zone and came and made the play. That was all,” he said.
Quote:
“We’re a team, a band of brothers,” he said. “I’m just trying to do anything to make this defense better in any way.”
this is what I love about this guys, it's all about teamwork.

I like what I saw in dixon. hopefully he gets even better. and timmons....all I gotta say is Foote better watch out for his job
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