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fordfixer
08-24-2010, 12:12 AM
Observations from game vs. Giants

By Bob Labriola – Steelers Digest
http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... f3b23fb311 (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Observations-from-game-vs-Giants/1d1a601b-4358-4f26-9b31-8ff3b23fb311)

Some non-expert observations and unsolicited opinions following the Steelers 24-17 win over the New York Giants last Saturday night at the New Meadowlands Stadium:

* I’m telling you, this Tony Hills situation is getting interesting. After the preseason opener, when word trickled out that Hills distinguished himself against the Lions, it was a curiosity. After inconsistency plagued him through his first two training camps, it was tough to get overly excited about a third-year player who put together a decent performance in a preseason opener. But then came last Saturday night against the Giants, and now Tony Hills has posted good games back-to-back, and this time he was going against Mathias Kiwanuka, a considerable up-tick in the degree of difficulty. Apparently, some time during the offseason, Tony Hills became a finisher, because he buried Kiwanuka on a few different plays, and he did it without any of those other moments that give fits to coaches. If Hills keeps it up, well, there’s nothing wrong with having another option at tackle.

* Ben Roethlisberger took another step by seeing his first action of the preseason, and for the casual fan, this was the game’s primary interest. Especially so for the New York media, with five of the first six questions posed to Mike Tomlin in the postgame being about Roethlisberger. But there was nothing about it that was big news to the Steelers players and coaches, and anyone who traveled to Saint Vincent College to watch a training camp practice or two knows how well he had looked on those practice fields.

* It’s not even fair to refer to it as a rookie mistake, because no rookie with any serious designs on making an NFL team would do something so foolish. On the fourth play of the game, a rather mundane 4-yard gain by D.J. Ware around midfield, Ike Taylor and Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks got into a scuffle that escalated to an exchange of punches. Both players were ejected, with 13:14 to play in the first quarter. Of a preseason game. “I should know better,” said Taylor. “I apologize to my teammates, I apologize to the fans. I lost my cool, but it won’t happen again.”

* There are times every preseason when the veteran role players take it to the next level and do what’s needed to make the roster. Nick Eason is one of those veterans, and his push to keep his spot was in high gear against the Giants. Eason has had an uphill fight this year, first because of the presence of Sunny Harris, but also because in late May an infected appendix along with an allergic reaction to medication plus enflamed bowels almost killed him. Literally, he almost died. He lost 30 pounds, and with it a lot of his strength and endurance. But Eason came to camp, passed the conditioning test and didn’t miss a practice. Against the Giants, Eason had two tackles, including one for a loss, and he was looking like his old self, which is like a guy who’s going to make the team.

* Mike Tomlin praised his players for rather penalty-free football in the preseason opener against the Lions, but he couldn’t have done the same after last Saturday. Seven penalties for 53 yards doesn’t sound like much, but a couple of the infractions happened at a part of the field where half-the-distance doesn’t amount to much. Of more significance were what the penalties were: two personal fouls – one of which led to an ejection – a roughing the passer, two holds on returns and a pass interference in the end zone.

* The offensive line that included Hills, Jonathan Scott, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey and Doug Legursky was on the field for back-to-back touchdown drives to open the second half. Those drives went for 78 yards and then 82 yards for a combined 17 plays. Of those 17, 11 were runs that gained 83 yards and accounted for both touchdowns.

* Byron Leftwich’s pass to Mike Wallace – a 68-yard touchdown but probably 60-plus yards in the air and right on the money – was a thing of beauty, and it shows what can happen if Leftwich has a pocket from which to operate.

* This was the situation: With one timeout left, the Steelers had a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line, but the clock was moving inside 25 seconds. Instead of spiking the ball, Leftwich tried a sneak but didn’t get into the end zone. The Steelers called their final timeout. Then when a running play failed on third-and-1, there wasn’t enough time to get the field goal team onto the field and so they ended up with nothing. After the game, Leftwich took complete responsibility for the sequence, but those are the kinds of things veteran quarterbacks should not do.

* Justin Vincent had himself a nice evening. He led the team in rushing with 37 yards on six carries (6.2 average), and he also made a nice block to spring Dennis Dixon around the end on a play that gained 22 more yards.

* Tomlin said he wanted to see better tackling in the second preseason game, and that really didn’t happen. On a 75-yard touchdown drive early in the second quarter, Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 21 yards, including a 9-yard score in which he appeared to be cornered only to bounce outside the containment. Later in the quarter, Andre Brown used a similar tactic on a 21-yard gain but that drive was ended by an interception by Joe Burnett. The Giants finished with 129 yards rushing, for a 4.3 average.

* On consecutive plays in the fourth quarter with the Steelers leading, 24-14, rookie inside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester sacked Rhett Bomar and then disrupted an attempted screen pass to force the Giants to attempt a field goal.

* The Ike Taylor ejection was inexcusable, and Taylor never shied away from his culpability in the matter. But also noteworthy was James Farrior’s reaction when asked about it after the game. “That’s a selfish play. You’ve got to think about more than just yourself. We need him out there. He understands that, but this one doesn’t count. That’s the good thing.” This is why Farrior is a team captain.

papillon
08-24-2010, 07:32 AM
Observations from game vs. Giants

By Bob Labriola – Steelers Digest
http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... f3b23fb311 (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Observations-from-game-vs-Giants/1d1a601b-4358-4f26-9b31-8ff3b23fb311)

Some non-expert observations and unsolicited opinions following the Steelers 24-17 win over the New York Giants last Saturday night at the New Meadowlands Stadium:

* I’m telling you, this Tony Hills situation is getting interesting. After the preseason opener, when word trickled out that Hills distinguished himself against the Lions, it was a curiosity. After inconsistency plagued him through his first two training camps, it was tough to get overly excited about a third-year player who put together a decent performance in a preseason opener. But then came last Saturday night against the Giants, and now Tony Hills has posted good games back-to-back, and this time he was going against Mathias Kiwanuka, a considerable up-tick in the degree of difficulty. Apparently, some time during the offseason, Tony Hills became a finisher, because he buried Kiwanuka on a few different plays, and he did it without any of those other moments that give fits to coaches. If Hills keeps it up, well, there’s nothing wrong with having another option at tackle.

* Ben Roethlisberger took another step by seeing his first action of the preseason, and for the casual fan, this was the game’s primary interest. Especially so for the New York media, with five of the first six questions posed to Mike Tomlin in the postgame being about Roethlisberger. But there was nothing about it that was big news to the Steelers players and coaches, and anyone who traveled to Saint Vincent College to watch a training camp practice or two knows how well he had looked on those practice fields.

* It’s not even fair to refer to it as a rookie mistake, because no rookie with any serious designs on making an NFL team would do something so foolish. On the fourth play of the game, a rather mundane 4-yard gain by D.J. Ware around midfield, Ike Taylor and Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks got into a scuffle that escalated to an exchange of punches. Both players were ejected, with 13:14 to play in the first quarter. Of a preseason game. “I should know better,” said Taylor. “I apologize to my teammates, I apologize to the fans. I lost my cool, but it won’t happen again.”

* There are times every preseason when the veteran role players take it to the next level and do what’s needed to make the roster. Nick Eason is one of those veterans, and his push to keep his spot was in high gear against the Giants. Eason has had an uphill fight this year, first because of the presence of Sunny Harris, but also because in late May an infected appendix along with an allergic reaction to medication plus enflamed bowels almost killed him. Literally, he almost died. He lost 30 pounds, and with it a lot of his strength and endurance. But Eason came to camp, passed the conditioning test and didn’t miss a practice. Against the Giants, Eason had two tackles, including one for a loss, and he was looking like his old self, which is like a guy who’s going to make the team.

* Mike Tomlin praised his players for rather penalty-free football in the preseason opener against the Lions, but he couldn’t have done the same after last Saturday. Seven penalties for 53 yards doesn’t sound like much, but a couple of the infractions happened at a part of the field where half-the-distance doesn’t amount to much. Of more significance were what the penalties were: two personal fouls – one of which led to an ejection – a roughing the passer, two holds on returns and a pass interference in the end zone.

* The offensive line that included Hills, Jonathan Scott, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey and Doug Legursky was on the field for back-to-back touchdown drives to open the second half. Those drives went for 78 yards and then 82 yards for a combined 17 plays. Of those 17, 11 were runs that gained 83 yards and accounted for both touchdowns.

* Byron Leftwich’s pass to Mike Wallace – a 68-yard touchdown but probably 60-plus yards in the air and right on the money – was a thing of beauty, and it shows what can happen if Leftwich has a pocket from which to operate.

* This was the situation: With one timeout left, the Steelers had a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line, but the clock was moving inside 25 seconds. Instead of spiking the ball, Leftwich tried a sneak but didn’t get into the end zone. The Steelers called their final timeout. Then when a running play failed on third-and-1, there wasn’t enough time to get the field goal team onto the field and so they ended up with nothing. After the game, Leftwich took complete responsibility for the sequence, but those are the kinds of things veteran quarterbacks should not do.

* Justin Vincent had himself a nice evening. He led the team in rushing with 37 yards on six carries (6.2 average), and he also made a nice block to spring Dennis Dixon around the end on a play that gained 22 more yards.

* Tomlin said he wanted to see better tackling in the second preseason game, and that really didn’t happen. On a 75-yard touchdown drive early in the second quarter, Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 21 yards, including a 9-yard score in which he appeared to be cornered only to bounce outside the containment. Later in the quarter, Andre Brown used a similar tactic on a 21-yard gain but that drive was ended by an interception by Joe Burnett. The Giants finished with 129 yards rushing, for a 4.3 average.

* On consecutive plays in the fourth quarter with the Steelers leading, 24-14, rookie inside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester sacked Rhett Bomar and then disrupted an attempted screen pass to force the Giants to attempt a field goal.

* The Ike Taylor ejection was inexcusable, and Taylor never shied away from his culpability in the matter. But also noteworthy was James Farrior’s reaction when asked about it after the game. “That’s a selfish play. You’ve got to think about more than just yourself. We need him out there. He understands that, but this one doesn’t count. That’s the good thing.” This is why Farrior is a team captain.


If Hills keeps it up, well, there’s nothing wrong with having another option at tackle.

Why does good play only make him an option? It should give him a chance with the first team in the third game. Kiwanuka is a very good player and Hills did better than hold his own. It's time to start letting performance dictate who plays and not tenure or former status.

Pappy

rpmpit
08-24-2010, 07:40 AM
If Hills keeps it up, well, there’s nothing wrong with having another option at tackle.

Why does good play only make him an option? It should give him a chance with the first team in the third game. Kiwanuka is a very good player and Hills did better than hold his own. It's time to start letting performance dictate who plays and not tenure or former status.

Pappy

:Clap :Clap :Clap

I honestly thought that crap left with Cowher. If Hills doesn't get a shot and Dixon isn't the starter Week 1, it'll prove that its the same old story in Pittsburgh :evil:

stlrz d
08-24-2010, 08:13 AM
:Clap :Clap :Clap

I honestly thought that crap left with Cowher. If Hills doesn't get a shot and Dixon isn't the starter Week 1, it'll prove that its the same old story in Pittsburgh :evil:

I disagree. The coaches see Dixon EVERY DAY in practice, in meetings, in the film room, etc. If they felt he deserved first team reps he'd be getting them.

And keep in mind the word "option" with regards to Hills is the author's word, not the coach's word.

Oviedo
08-24-2010, 08:18 AM
:Clap :Clap :Clap

I honestly thought that crap left with Cowher. If Hills doesn't get a shot and Dixon isn't the starter Week 1, it'll prove that its the same old story in Pittsburgh :evil:

I disagree. The coaches see Dixon EVERY DAY in practice, in meetings, in the film room, etc. If they felt he deserved first team reps he'd be getting them.

And keep in mind the word "option" with regards to Hills is the author's word, not the coach's word.

You speak the truth. Too many fans and media think what they see in a 3 hour game is the whole story. No one knows if Dixon can't recognize things in film work except the coaches. If the people who know the most saw the complete package Dixon would be on the field.

It is the height of arrogance and delusion to think watching a game one day a week from a La-Z-Boy makes you an expert at NFL talent evaluation.

rpmpit
08-24-2010, 08:35 AM
:Clap :Clap :Clap

I honestly thought that crap left with Cowher. If Hills doesn't get a shot and Dixon isn't the starter Week 1, it'll prove that its the same old story in Pittsburgh :evil:

I disagree. The coaches see Dixon EVERY DAY in practice, in meetings, in the film room, etc. If they felt he deserved first team reps he'd be getting them.

And keep in mind the word "option" with regards to Hills is the author's word, not the coach's word.

You speak the truth. Too many fans and media think what they see in a 3 hour game is the whole story. No one knows if Dixon can't recognize things in film work except the coaches. If the people who know the most saw the complete package Dixon would be on the field.

It is the height of arrogance and delusion to think watching a game one day a week from a La-Z-Boy makes you an expert at NFL talent evaluation.

Come on, boys. Anyone with functional eyes and even an average football IQ can see that Dixon has outperformed Byron. And you can't argue that its only preseason. He did well against a good Raven's D last year. We all saw that. And what's more important than your play on Sunday?? Leftwich was the training camp starter last year in Tampa and was demoted to 3rd string after week 3.

I don't think Leftwich is terrible. Just that Dixon is better.

And btw, I don't own a La-Z-Boy :twisted:

frankthetank1
08-24-2010, 08:36 AM
:Clap :Clap :Clap

I honestly thought that crap left with Cowher. If Hills doesn't get a shot and Dixon isn't the starter Week 1, it'll prove that its the same old story in Pittsburgh :evil:

I disagree. The coaches see Dixon EVERY DAY in practice, in meetings, in the film room, etc. If they felt he deserved first team reps he'd be getting them.

And keep in mind the word "option" with regards to Hills is the author's word, not the coach's word.

You speak the truth. Too many fans and media think what they see in a 3 hour game is the whole story. No one knows if Dixon can't recognize things in film work except the coaches. If the people who know the most saw the complete package Dixon would be on the field.

It is the height of arrogance and delusion to think watching a game one day a week from a La-Z-Boy makes you an expert at NFL talent evaluation.

you are right we do not know the whole story, but if dixon cant recognize things in film work or isnt getting it done in drills, etc etc wouldnt that carry over to games? i would think it would. he has been almost perfect going back from last preseason, the ravens game and now this preseason. he deserves a legit shot to start. if dixon's competition was a vet qb who is a winner that would be one thing but his competition is byron leftwich.

what more does dixon have to do to get some playing time? he never gets a shot to play against first string defenses but that is the tomlin's decision, not dixon's.

ramblinjim
08-24-2010, 09:04 AM
I wish I had a lazy boy!

I just want the best guys out on the field and for the most part, I'll take the coaches word for it.

Ghost
08-24-2010, 09:40 AM
I'm not claiming to be a coach or watch what happens every day at practice but Tomlin stated before the preseason started that Leftwich was the starter and it's been well documented by the press (and players) that he's not given Dixon a fair shot with the first team. It appears to be Tomlin not wanting to change his mind for some odd reason. To me that's where the questioning is coming from. If they had been splitting reps and Dixon was a bust I don't beleive you'd hear any complaints.

Leftwich was downright horrible in Atlanta and lost the starters gig after a couple of games last year in tampa to a no-name. There is NO future with him.

phillyesq
08-24-2010, 09:44 AM
Come on, boys. Anyone with functional eyes and even an average football IQ can see that Dixon has outperformed Byron. And you can't argue that its only preseason. He did well against a good Raven's D last year. We all saw that. And what's more important than your play on Sunday?? Leftwich was the training camp starter last year in Tampa and was demoted to 3rd string after week 3.

I don't think Leftwich is terrible. Just that Dixon is better.

And btw, I don't own a La-Z-Boy :twisted:

I disagree re: Dixon. Did he really perform that well in the Ravens game last year? The game plan was incredibly conservative, built 100% to protect him. I believe that I remember reading that the playbook was chopped down, and that Dixon essentially picked 10 or 15 plays he was comfortable with.

Late in the game, when the Ravens went to a simple cover 2, Dixon was dumbfounded. He couldn't attack it at all, and ended up throwing a pick.

Dixon is a good athlete, and has performed well against third stringers. Incorporating a few packages for him is one thing, but things will get ugly quickly if he is the starter, especially for an extended period.

phillyesq
08-24-2010, 09:47 AM
Why does good play only make him an option? It should give him a chance with the first team in the third game. Kiwanuka is a very good player and Hills did better than hold his own. It's time to start letting performance dictate who plays and not tenure or former status.
Pappy

I don't think you can ignore track record. Starks has proven that he can get the job done at left tackle. He's never going to be the best, but he should be ok. If you put Hills in the lineup, you either have him at LT and Starks flipping back to RT, upsetting continuity, or two first time starters blanketing Essex.

It is a difficult situation, and right now, I'm happy with Hills proving that he is an option.

papillon
08-24-2010, 10:02 AM
Why does good play only make him an option? It should give him a chance with the first team in the third game. Kiwanuka is a very good player and Hills did better than hold his own. It's time to start letting performance dictate who plays and not tenure or former status.
Pappy

I don't think you can ignore track record. Starks has proven that he can get the job done at left tackle. He's never going to be the best, but he should be ok. If you put Hills in the lineup, you either have him at LT and Starks flipping back to RT, upsetting continuity, or two first time starters blanketing Essex.

It is a difficult situation, and right now, I'm happy with Hills proving that he is an option.

Waiting until after the season starts to make changes because Adams is getting smoked (like he has in the last two games) is too late. Preseason is the time to find out who your best 22 football players are and get them in the game. We've watched the center of of O-line get pushed around for 2 or 3 years now, including the Super bowl year. Pouncey is the best interior linemen the Steelers have based only on what Iread from the coaches and what I've seen in two preseason games.

Hills is outplaying both Starks and Adams, he deserves a shot somewhere.

To make a good omelet you have to crack some eggs and make a mess, the Steeler way has worked and will continue to work, but when players deserve a shot they should get it.

It's difficult to tell about Dixon and Leftwich, but you have to admit that Dixon has outplayed him in games. Regardless, of what happens in practice, isn't the game the ultimate indicator? Leftwich may play flawlessly in practice, but he hasn't transl;ated that to the field consistently. In two games I'd say Dixon has outplayed him.

Just my opinion and I'd hate to miss the playoffs again and not get young players any playing time or experience because you have veterans playing well in practice, but under performing in games.

Pappy

Oviedo
08-24-2010, 10:04 AM
Come on, boys. Anyone with functional eyes and even an average football IQ can see that Dixon has outperformed Byron. And you can't argue that its only preseason. He did well against a good Raven's D last year. We all saw that. And what's more important than your play on Sunday?? Leftwich was the training camp starter last year in Tampa and was demoted to 3rd string after week 3.

I don't think Leftwich is terrible. Just that Dixon is better.

And btw, I don't own a La-Z-Boy :twisted:

I disagree re: Dixon. Did he really perform that well in the Ravens game last year? The game plan was incredibly conservative, built 100% to protect him. I believe that I remember reading that the playbook was chopped down, and that Dixon essentially picked 10 or 15 plays he was comfortable with.

Late in the game, when the Ravens went to a simple cover 2, Dixon was dumbfounded. He couldn't attack it at all, and ended up throwing a pick.

Dixon is a good athlete, and has performed well against third stringers. Incorporating a few packages for him is one thing, but things will get ugly quickly if he is the starter, especially for an extended period.

Even with the greatly reduced gameplan to protect him Dixon was not that effective in his only NFL start. He completed less than 50% of his passes (12 for 26), threw one TD and one INT, and had a QB rating of 60.6.

Dixon is showing against vanilla preseason defenses manned by third stringers and players soon to be out of the NFL forever.

I totally agree that if you put him in as the starter against an opponents #1 defense who has gameplanned a full week for him they will attack him and his first instinct is going to be pull the down the ball and run versus taking the hit. He is probably much more effective as someone you have a few packages designed for and force the other team to gameplan both for Lefty and worry about him too.

rpmpit
08-24-2010, 10:17 AM
I still think you guys are ignoring the fact that Leftwich was benched in Jacksonville and then (just last year) was dropped to 3rd string in Tampa.

And what's wrong with simplifying the playbook for a new starter? Seemed to have worked out pretty well for us with Ben in his rookie year.

Don't want to argue guys, just my opinion. But let's say we were picking teams for a game at 5th St. Field (my old stomping grounds :D ). You had first pick and Dixon and Lefty were both available. Who do you pick??

feltdizz
08-24-2010, 10:19 AM
Come on, boys. Anyone with functional eyes and even an average football IQ can see that Dixon has outperformed Byron. And you can't argue that its only preseason. He did well against a good Raven's D last year. We all saw that. And what's more important than your play on Sunday?? Leftwich was the training camp starter last year in Tampa and was demoted to 3rd string after week 3.

I don't think Leftwich is terrible. Just that Dixon is better.

And btw, I don't own a La-Z-Boy :twisted:

I disagree re: Dixon. Did he really perform that well in the Ravens game last year? The game plan was incredibly conservative, built 100% to protect him. I believe that I remember reading that the playbook was chopped down, and that Dixon essentially picked 10 or 15 plays he was comfortable with.

Late in the game, when the Ravens went to a simple cover 2, Dixon was dumbfounded. He couldn't attack it at all, and ended up throwing a pick.

Dixon is a good athlete, and has performed well against third stringers. Incorporating a few packages for him is one thing, but things will get ugly quickly if he is the starter, especially for an extended period.

A conservative game plan for a 3rd string QB who never started an NFL game before and found out he was starting 1 day before the game? The guy didn't even get to practice with the first team and he had to play against one of the best D's on their home field and we had no one to replace him(of value) if injured. Oh the horror of conservative play calling. That is all the proof we need to show Dixon can't get it done. :shock:

There is no proof with Dixon things would get ugly... he wasn't the first QB to get confused against a zone blitz and throw a pick against the Ravens. Funny how throwing a pick against the Ravens is proof the guy can't hack it. I disagree.

Now for all the Dixon non believers...

Sometimes I really wonder about these excuses. So he has only tore it up against the second string because that's all he has had a chance to play against this pre season. Why is that a sign of inexperience?

It's no different than Redman.. "lets see what he can do against the starters" He can do the same thing as Mendenhall on half his runs thus far in the preseasons. get 1 or 2 yard because the OL sucks or get 4 to 5 IF there is a hole.

While QB is a much harder position Dixon is making all the throws and leading us to TD's.. not FG's or INT's but TD's... he is getting a bum rap because the old way of thinking still trumps the new way. Play it safe and go with the vet even if the other kid has all the talent and can actually do a little more than the vet.

Practice? Are we really talking about practice? Ben got the name "Big Ben" because he was horrible (not really but he was said to be ehhh) in practice but was Big in games. I can't buy what some are selling. Dixon should be given a fair shot with the starters to see what he can do.

We are lucky Dixon threw an INT and lost to the Ravens in OT on their home field. Imagine if he won? He would be in the HOF and Ben would have been traded because one game surely defines a QB's future.

RANT OFF! :wink:

ikestops85
08-24-2010, 10:32 AM
I still think you guys are ignoring the fact that Leftwich was benched in Jacksonville and then (just last year) was dropped to 3rd string in Tampa.

And what's wrong with simplifying the playbook for a new starter? Seemed to have worked out pretty well for us with Ben in his rookie year.

Don't want to argue guys, just my opinion. But let's say we were picking teams for a game at 5th St. Field (my old stomping grounds :D ). You had first pick and Dixon and Lefty were both available. Who do you pick??

I pick Ben ... but that's just me :twisted:

I think Dixon has earned a chance to get some time against 1st stringers in the next game. If we have a decent offensive coordinator I would think several packages would already be designed to take advantage of Dixons unique talents. Alas, we have Arians so I don't know about that. For some reason he thinks Dixon is too fragile to run with the ball. :roll:

rpmpit
08-24-2010, 10:51 AM
I still think you guys are ignoring the fact that Leftwich was benched in Jacksonville and then (just last year) was dropped to 3rd string in Tampa.

And what's wrong with simplifying the playbook for a new starter? Seemed to have worked out pretty well for us with Ben in his rookie year.

Don't want to argue guys, just my opinion. But let's say we were picking teams for a game at 5th St. Field (my old stomping grounds :D ). You had first pick and Dixon and Lefty were both available. Who do you pick??

I pick Ben ... but that's just me :twisted:

I think Dixon has earned a chance to get some time against 1st stringers in the next game. If we have a decent offensive coordinator I would think several packages would already be designed to take advantage of Dixons unique talents. Alas, we have Arians so I don't know about that. For some reason he thinks Dixon is too fragile to run with the ball. :roll:


Ben sprained his ankle hopping the fence to get into 5th St Field :P


I could really do without all of Arian's outside runs and triple reverses. We simply don't have the o-line for this stuff. Simplifying the game plan would benefit anyone who is under center for us.

feltdizz
08-24-2010, 11:20 AM
Come on, boys. Anyone with functional eyes and even an average football IQ can see that Dixon has outperformed Byron. And you can't argue that its only preseason. He did well against a good Raven's D last year. We all saw that. And what's more important than your play on Sunday?? Leftwich was the training camp starter last year in Tampa and was demoted to 3rd string after week 3.

I don't think Leftwich is terrible. Just that Dixon is better.

And btw, I don't own a La-Z-Boy :twisted:

I disagree re: Dixon. Did he really perform that well in the Ravens game last year? The game plan was incredibly conservative, built 100% to protect him. I believe that I remember reading that the playbook was chopped down, and that Dixon essentially picked 10 or 15 plays he was comfortable with.

Late in the game, when the Ravens went to a simple cover 2, Dixon was dumbfounded. He couldn't attack it at all, and ended up throwing a pick.

Dixon is a good athlete, and has performed well against third stringers. Incorporating a few packages for him is one thing, but things will get ugly quickly if he is the starter, especially for an extended period.

Even with the greatly reduced gameplan to protect him Dixon was not that effective in his only NFL start. He completed less than 50% of his passes (12 for 26), threw one TD and one INT, and had a QB rating of 60.6.

Dixon is showing against vanilla preseason defenses manned by third stringers and players soon to be out of the NFL forever.

I totally agree that if you put him in as the starter against an opponents #1 defense who has gameplanned a full week for him they will attack him and his first instinct is going to be pull the down the ball and run versus taking the hit. He is probably much more effective as someone you have a few packages designed for and force the other team to gameplan both for Lefty and worry about him too.

:nono

what about Dixon having a week to gameplan for the D? Dixon didn't get a chance to prepare for the Ravens D all week because Ben took all the snaps then was told he couldn't play. Hmmm.... who knows what Dixon can do with a gameplan and prep time.

Can Dixon fans use the BA excuse of situational playcalling and a lack of in game adjustments for the Ravens game or ANY game for that matter? :stirpot

cruzer8
08-24-2010, 12:22 PM
The Ravens pressured Dixon and he did ok. Then they adjusted, sat back in coverage and he threw a pick. Why couldn't he adapt to the zone coverage?

This whole thing can keep going around in circles. The bottom line is the coaches are seeing something that has brought them to their decision to run Lefty with the #1s and Dixon with the #2s.

RuthlessBurgher
08-24-2010, 12:40 PM
I still think you guys are ignoring the fact that Leftwich was benched in Jacksonville and then (just last year) was dropped to 3rd string in Tampa.

And what's wrong with simplifying the playbook for a new starter? Seemed to have worked out pretty well for us with Ben in his rookie year.

Don't want to argue guys, just my opinion. But let's say we were picking teams for a game at 5th St. Field (my old stomping grounds :D ). You had first pick and Dixon and Lefty were both available. Who do you pick??

I pick Ben ... but that's just me :twisted:

I think Dixon has earned a chance to get some time against 1st stringers in the next game. If we have a decent offensive coordinator I would think several packages would already be designed to take advantage of Dixons unique talents. Alas, we have Arians so I don't know about that. For some reason he thinks Dixon is too fragile to run with the ball. :roll:

There was too much of a risk of having Dixon run the ball a lot in the Raven game last year because with both Ben and Batch on the shelf (and Byron in Tampa), the only option we had other than Dixon was Tyler Palko, who we signed off the street that very week. I don't blame Arians for that decision. It was prudent at that time.

However, now, the circumstances are different. I believe that Leftwich will start in Ben's absence, but Dixon will be used plenty in special packages. He has been allowed to run wild in the preseason, and that should continue into the first month of the regular season. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Dixon got maybe a third of the snaps during the first month of the season (some of it may be wildcat type, but I wouldn't be surprised if we gave him some spread formations to work out of like he used to at Oregon).

Typically, a QB-by-committee approach does not work, because you need to have one QB step up and be a leader. However, we already know that Ben is our leader at QB. So we can force defenses to have to plan for trying to stop two fundamentally different types of QB's each week until we get our franchise QB back.

Steelerphile
08-24-2010, 04:42 PM
Coaches can't tell everything by looking at players in practice, if they could they would all be in favor of eliminating the preseason. And of course they are not, because game situations help them evaluate players.

Dixon has performed very well in the games. He showed how well he could move in game number one, then tried to silence the doubters who said that is all he could do by showing good pocket presence and hitting some nice passes in game two. I think he is developing before our eyes.

I think the crowd that is anti-Dixon makes a little too much of the late interception that lost the game in Baltimore. It was his first game he ever started, with not a lot of forewarning. I think he did well by keeping it close against what is one of the NFL's top defenses. Some doomsayers were predicting the Steelers would get stomped. He couldn't complete the fairy tale ending but I think he gave many hope for the future.
I think Dixon is better now than he was last year and is ready to go as the starter. I also don't think Tomlin's mind is entirely made up. I am anticipating that Dixon will finally get in a little sooner this week or before the regular season. If he is passes well and moves the team like he has done the first two weeks, again, it will be continually tougher for them to ignore.

Sugar
08-24-2010, 04:50 PM
I've said many times that I would have no problem with playing both Lefty and Dixon. Ben is our QB so there's no controversy. Just play whoever works best in the situation.