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View Full Version : **GULP** Dennis Dixon Article



Jooser
11-26-2009, 01:28 PM
Per PPG, they aren't making him sound too hot. Is it smoke and mirrors? -or the truth about our inexperienced new number 2?


Dixon dicey as Steelers' No. 2 quarterback
Thursday, November 26, 2009
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Spitting black clouds shrouded the back half of Steelers practice yesterday, but the potential change in Pittsburgh's atmospherics to something cold and nasty seemed completely separate from meteorology.

It wasn't just the discomfiting knowledge that the desperate Ravens lie in wait near Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and it wasn't just that Ben Roethlisberger keeps getting his name in sentences that include "asymptomatic," it was more what everyone saw as Wednesday's practice wore on.

Something no one wanted to see.

Dennis Dixon running the first-team offense.

Nothing against Dixon, whose professional resume would fit on a post-it note through no fault of his own. That whirring sound you've been hearing since Monday is the collective memory of Steelers Nation straining to come up with the name beneath Charlie Batch on Mike Tomlin's depth chart.

Norm Nixon? Donna Dixon? Dan Hicks and his Hot Vixens?

Somethin' like that.

Batch came in for Roethlisberger during the overtime of the great Kansas City flameout and promptly ran his total of broken bones parallel to the number of times he has ventured off the sidelines since August 2008 -- two.

Now the high-wire act begins, and this time, no net.

Few teams operate in this league, and none in this division, without a game-experienced backup quarterback, but the Steelers will head for Baltimore the day after tomorrow without a backup who has started a single game. Even the Ravens, who are in more trouble than the Steelers, all things considered, have Troy Smith, who has at least started twice.

If something happened to Roethlisberger Sunday night, something that dislodged the 'a' from "asymptomatic," Dennis Lee Dixon, Jr. would be running an offense that already has lost four times with its $100 million franchise player fully functional.

"From a mental aspect, the game has slowed down a little bit for me, but not all the way down," Dixon said yesterday. "To be in a real game, a real regular-season game, that's gonna be different."

Funny, when Batch got hurt last August, veteran NFL passer Byron Leftwich appeared in a Steelers uniform as though he'd been teleported by football operations chief Kevin Colbert. This time, the same personnel department zeroed in on the practice squad of the Montreal Alouettes to engineer a Tyler Palko homecoming.

Circumstances were hardly identical; I get that. Batch was out for the year in the previous instance. Dixon was a rookie. An entire season lay ahead. This time, Batch could return in a couple of weeks and Dixon has had a year of video channeled into his head.

Likewise, nothing against the former Pitt gunslinger Palko, who will be the backup to the backup to Big Asymptomatic, but where's this team's Bruce Gradkowski, its J.T. O'Sullivan, its Rex Grossman, its Chris Simms, its Ryan Fitzpatrick, or is it Patrick Fitzryan?

There isn't even a Jim Sorgi in the house. Sorgi has never made a start behind Peyton Manning for Indianapolis either, but he has been around for five years and thrown 150 passes, meaning he has at least seen what it's like in what Max Starks referred to eloquently yesterday as the fire.

"Nothing replaces experience," Starks said. "Being on the field and seeing the defense, feeling the fire around you, there's no substitute for that. But I think Dennis will be an asset. He'll definitely be helping us. When you have the opportunity to learn from Charlie Batch and Ben, you learn a lot, and he's a quick decision-maker."

The Steelers quickly decided Monday that Dixon was far enough along that they would roll the dice with Dixon until Batch returns, which I'd understand more fully if they were 9-1 and leading the division by two games. With their margin for AFC error disappearing faster than November twilight, it's a significant gamble, unless you're OK with Dixon staring across at Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, et al. with a chance to be 6-5.

"We'll just really have to put it our backs along the offensive line [if Dixon were to be forced off the sidelines]," said Willie Colon. "We'd have to keep him clean. We'd have to run the ball more. We'd have to keep him in the bubble."

Sounds like good advice any time, actually.

It's hard to know what Dixon might bring to Sunday prime time, although the assumption is his running ability is an asset, and while that was certainly true as a collegian at Oregon against Cal-Poly San Luis Abysmal, the number of pages in the Bruce Arians playbook devoted to the quarterback running on purpose remain at or near zero.

"You try to embrace any opportunity," Dixon said. "It'll be a hostile environment, a big game, a playoff atmosphere. I'm confident. If someone needs me to take that test, then I'm going to have to answer the questions."

OK here's question No. 1: Where's Jeff Garcia?

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09330/10 ... z0XzHmYdVW (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09330/1016545-150.stm#ixzz0XzHmYdVW)

SteelCrazy
11-26-2009, 02:07 PM
Where's Jeff Garcia? Jeff Garcia does not know the plays. He has no work with these receivers. As another reporter pointed out, Jeff wouldn't even play until at least a few weeks........by then Batch will be back

RuthlessBurgher
11-26-2009, 03:18 PM
Where's Jeff Garcia? Jeff Garcia does not know the plays. He has no work with these receivers. As another reporter pointed out, Jeff wouldn't even play until at least a few weeks........by then Batch will be back

Jeff Garcia has run the West Coast offense forever. Short, quick passes. The exact opposite of the offense Ben runs.

Steel Life
11-26-2009, 10:23 PM
A panic-button article if I've ever read one...Collier needs to have more faith in the coaches in developing Dixon than wring his hands about bringing in a guy with "some" starts under his belt but doesn't know the players or the plays - pointless.

pfelix73
11-27-2009, 01:30 PM
I mentioned this earlier. He sukks. It was reported elsewhere that he's clueless on some of BA's stuff, and one reporter who gets to visit practices has nothing good to say about him. He's a wasted spot on the roster. IMO and others.

Mel Blount's G
11-27-2009, 02:19 PM
A panic-button article if I've ever read one...Collier needs to have more faith in the coaches in developing Dixon than wring his hands about bringing in a guy with "some" starts under his belt but doesn't know the players or the plays - pointless.
Agreed

Shoe
11-27-2009, 03:39 PM
I agree that it's a panic button reaction (i.e. Charlie Batch is our JT Sullivan, our Bruce Gradkowski, our Sorgi... as if these guys are anything anyway???)

However, Jeff Garcia wouldn't take "weeks" to get ready as you guys say. I'm sure most NFL offenses are similar in more ways than not. Granted, he's not going to have the nuances of the offense down. Nor will he have work with WR's in. BUT--if this had to be a Dennis Dixon or Jeff Garcia decision for the balance of our season, I'd take Garcia in a heartbeat!

I would much rather break Dixon in against say the Chiefs than I would the Ravens. It could be career suicide.

Steel Life
11-27-2009, 05:40 PM
Flacco turned out okay despite having to face us as a rookie & Ben came in for an injured Maddox & never looked back - why would it be any different for Dixon? He's got to show us something at some point & regardless of the team you face, they are all going to try to confuse the QB, so what does that matter? Not to mention that the Ravens really haven't gotten the QB all that much this season (21 sacks I think).

Besides, as mentioned before - Garcia is a West-Coast QB & our offense is not set-up for that & a bit of a pill too.

pfelix73
11-27-2009, 05:55 PM
If the guy was any good with any possibility of playing in the NFL, he would've beaten out Batch by now.

Hope he'll be let go after the season is over.

RuthlessBurgher
11-27-2009, 06:44 PM
I mentioned this earlier. He sukks. It was reported elsewhere that he's clueless on some of BA's stuff, and one reporter who gets to visit practices has nothing good to say about him. He's a wasted spot on the roster. IMO and others.

Was that reporter named Gene Collier by any chance?

RuthlessBurgher
11-27-2009, 06:50 PM
I agree that it's a panic button reaction (i.e. Charlie Batch is our JT Sullivan, our Bruce Gradkowski, our Sorgi... as if these guys are anything anyway???)

However, Jeff Garcia wouldn't take "weeks" to get ready as you guys say. I'm sure most NFL offenses are similar in more ways than not. Granted, he's not going to have the nuances of the offense down. Nor will he have work with WR's in. BUT--if this had to be a Dennis Dixon or Jeff Garcia decision for the balance of our season, I'd take Garcia in a heartbeat!

I would much rather break Dixon in against say the Chiefs than I would the Ravens. It could be career suicide.

Ben's first game action was against Baltimore. After Maddox dug a big hole and eventually got hurt, rookie Ben at least was able to throw 2 TD passes in the 4th quarter of that game. After that experience, he was able to win his first 13 starts. I'm not saying that Dixon is another Ben by any means, but you play when they need you, and the Ravens are next on the schedule. So be it. Unfortunately, we can't pick and choose the best situation to play the young kid.