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An important history lesson for you TRUE Steelers fans!

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Old 08-16-2009, 11:55 AM   #1
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Default Harris: Dixon showing improvement

Harris: Dixon showing improvement
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_638548.html#
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reserve quarterback Dennis Dixon was impressive in the second half of the Steelers' preseason opener Thursday night.

To wit:

Despite underthrowing a couple of long passes he'd love to have back, he delivered the football to Shaun McDonald like the pair had been playing together for years.

He stayed in the pocket and did not display even a hint of "happy feet.''

He showed no ill-effects from the ACL injury suffered in college that impeded his development as a rookie last year.

Sharing the huddle with young receivers and offensive linemen with virtually no NFL experience, Dixon accepted a challenge from coach Mike Tomlin:

Move the offense.

In his first extended game action since last preseason, that's what Dixon did.

"We saw him make some good decisions,'' director of football operations Kevin Colbert said of Dixon's performance (10-of-19 for 112 yards). "He put the ball where it needed to be.

"In the second year, you want to see continued growth and understanding and grasping the offense and just not making plays on innate ability. He really seemed to do a nice job within the system, and that's encouraging.''

Colbert praised Dixon in a game where the quarterback intentionally made more plays with his arm than his feet.

"He really didn't get to utilize one of his great abilities and that's run,'' said Colbert, who selected Dixon in the fifth round of the 2008 draft. "Sometimes, the guys who can run get flushed out of there a little too quickly. He hung in there and made some nice plays.''

Said Dixon, who passed for more than 5,000 yards and 38 touchdowns at Oregon: "As a quarterback, you always want to pass first. My first reaction is to throw the ball.''

Some of Dixon's early throws against Arizona were delivered poorly and fell short of their target. It made me wonder if he was still compensating for his knee, and if that was preventing him from stepping into his throws.

But Dixon said that his left knee, which he injured twice during his final college season, is back to normal.

"I have no worries,'' he said.

Colbert said public expectations about Dixon being physically ready to play as a rookie were misguided.

"Last year still was not even one year post (operation) until the end of November,'' Colbert said. "So, really, a lot of what he was doing, he still wasn't 100 percent. In December and January, we started seeing him doing some good things.''

Some of which manifested themselves against Arizona on Thursday. As the third-team quarterback, Dixon is desirous of making big plays no matter who's on the field with him.

Dixon hooked up with McDonald, a veteran free agent vying to become the No. 3 receiver along with second-year wideout Limas Sweed and rookie Mike Wallace. McDonald caught six balls for 69 yards, including four receptions during a fourth-quarter touchdown drive in the Steelers' 20-10 victory.

"The personnel I was out there with, I told them we were going to have some ups and downs that's the nature of the game,'' Dixon said.

"Some of my deep balls weren't up to par because the ball was coming out of my hand wrong.

"All in all, I felt comfortable with our performance. It gives you a big confidence boost. Not only me, but our whole offense. It goes to show we can march down the field and make plays.''

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harris: Dixon showing improvement

I think Dixon looked great! I love the 3 top QBs we have in our system! A superstar, a vetran back up, and a wildcard young one.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Harris: Dixon showing improvement

As I've said in other threads, I was very impressed with Dixon's arm and poise on Thursday night against the Cards. If he continues to be as impressive throughout the preseason, I see no reason why Tomlin wouldn't anoint him the #2 and bounce Charlie down to the 3rd slot.
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harris: Dixon showing improvement

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
As I've said in other threads, I was very impressed with Dixon's arm and poise on Thursday night against the Cards. If he continues to be as impressive throughout the preseason, I see no reason why Tomlin wouldn't anoint him the #2 and bounce Charlie down to the 3rd slot.
2 more nice games in preseason, he will be #2, no reason not to.. hes a great talent.. lots of potential.

in a year he may even push ben to new levels.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Harris: Dixon showing improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
As I've said in other threads, I was very impressed with Dixon's arm and poise on Thursday night against the Cards. If he continues to be as impressive throughout the preseason, I see no reason why Tomlin wouldn't anoint him the #2 and bounce Charlie down to the 3rd slot.

Yes!!!!
And maybe we can finally get rid of the myth that Dixon will be a Wildcat QB as so many have suggested. I have said this guy was drafted to be a QB not a all-in-one runner, receiver, & thrower. His runs will be to make a pass or get out of trouble and not something that teams are set to defend first which makes him even more dangerous.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Harris: Dixon showing improvement

Thank God they don't want him to be a Kordell. Maybe he will actually read his progressions before taking off. The Kordell experiment failed miserably. We don't need a repeat. To those who think we will do a version of the wild cat, you better root for the Dolphins. We will never do it.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Harris: Dixon showing improvement

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
As I've said in other threads, I was very impressed with Dixon's arm and poise on Thursday night against the Cards. If he continues to be as impressive throughout the preseason, I see no reason why Tomlin wouldn't anoint him the #2 and bounce Charlie down to the 3rd slot.
I honestly do believe he will be the #2 QB by opening day. I mean QB, not some part time running back.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Harris: Dixon showing improvement

The one thing he is missing now is actual game time experience in speed and play. You don't get that except by actually playing, and preseason is a a good start, but that is all it is.

I would love to see him be put in the number 2 slot a few times, and then, if and when we are u by 2 or three TD.s at the end of a game, let him come in for a couple of drives in the fourth quarter. it is the only way to truly get him ready if Ben goes down. Batch is at the end of his career. Stick a whistle around his neck and give him the playbook to develop this kid.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harris: Dixon showing improvement

Wow I don't see the same thing in Dixon at all. From arm strengh to mechanics, I don't share the same opinion.

I want to see him play after Ben gets his 2 drives in this week. He was throwing mainly to a veteran receiver (McDonald) who was easily getting open against guys who will be cut soon.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Harris: Dixon showing improvement

Batch had a real strong day in camp on Saturday. This is a nice story developing. We have three capable QB's right now.
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