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fordfixer
09-09-2010, 12:07 AM
Ward says Dixon should 'be Dennis'
By Mark Kaboly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, September 9, 2010

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 98610.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_698610.html)


Forget about pulling the ball down and running. Forget about reading defenses. Forget about possible protection breakdowns. Forget about living up to the formidable shadow cast by Ben Roethlisberger.

If Hines Ward could offer Dennis Dixon one piece of advice heading into Sunday's season-opener against Atlanta, he knows what he would tell the quarterback making just his second career start.

"Let Dennis be Dennis," Ward said. "That's all we ask for. We are not asking Dennis to be Ben or Byron (Leftwich) or Charlie (Batch). We want him to do what he does."

If that means scrambling for a first down, then that's fine, even though offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has said he would rather see Dixon use his arm than his legs.

Actually, Arians may be the only one who prefers Dixon stay in the pocket. While at the University of Oregon, Dixon rushed for 1,208 yards, including 583 his injury-shortened senior year.

In his only start last season, Dixon rushed for 27 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore. In this preseason, he accumulated 91 yards on the ground.

"He is a dual threat," receiver Mike Wallace said. "He can throw it, but you know at any time he can break a 40- or 50-yard run. His best asset will be his speed."

Ward added: "I want to see him run around making plays. If he gets outside the pocket, then it's OK to run the ball. Whatever it takes to get a positive play, that's what we are preaching around here. He brings another dimension."

Arians has been critical of Dixon's penchant for running. Arians would like to see more crispness out of Dixon reading routes, but he doesn't frown upon his quarterback for trying to make plays.

Neither does Ward.

"If protection breaks down, and he's unsure about coverage, then take off ... run," Ward said. "I like Dennis with the ball in his hands and running. Good things happen when he does that."

That's the approach Dixon is taking into Sunday's game.

"Whatever it takes for me to make first downs, I'll do it," Dixon said. "I'll run the ball or throw it. I think I'll have a little more freedom to do some things this time, but I still have to manage the game."

Atlanta isn't looking forward to facing off against Dixon. Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he would much rather have Charlie Batch under center.

"You hate playing against quarterbacks that can get out of the pocket," Robinson said. "That's one of the things that defenses hate the most."

Last year, Dixon had one day to prepare for the Ravens and was given a very limited playbook.

This time, Dixon has prepared since Leftwich's knee injury last Thursday night. That has afforded the Steelers to open up the playbook a little more.

"We ran the same play maybe six or seven times (against Baltimore)," Ward said. "I have never been around where we ran the same play six or seven times throughout the game. We were very limited in what we could call. Not this year."

Slapstick
09-09-2010, 10:50 AM
Atlanta isn't looking forward to facing off against Dixon. Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he would much rather have Charlie Batch under center.

"You hate playing against quarterbacks that can get out of the pocket," Robinson said. "That's one of the things that defenses hate the most."

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13025 (http://www.planetsteelers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13025)

Dee Dub
09-09-2010, 12:00 PM
Interesting how Hines wants Dennis Dixon to be Dennis Dixon and to what he does best but yet after Ben's rookie year he threw him under the bus through the media about not letting his receivers make plays down field. To be more patient in the pocket and and not just take off and run.

I'm willing to bet when Hines retires he either has a tell all book about his true feelings towards Ben or he just continues to run off at the mouth.

Crash...can you weigh in on this??? :P

Crash
09-09-2010, 12:02 PM
Simple, Hines doesn't like Ben because Plax and Ben were close when Ben showed up. Ward and his infamous paranoia took that as Plax and Ben were out to "get him".

Dee Dub
09-09-2010, 12:05 PM
Simple, Hines doesn't like Ben because Plax and Ben were close when Ben showed up. Ward and his infamous paranoia took that as Plax and Ben were out to "get him".

Crash...my man! Right on time. You are like clock work. :lol:

But I do think Hines does have some issues with Ben. No doubt.

Crash
09-09-2010, 12:18 PM
Just like last season. Hines said Ben should have lied to doctors and played at Baltimore even though he was having concussion headaches.

But earlier in the year, despite being cleared by doctors, Hines didn't want Ryan Clark to endanger his life by playing in Denver.

Only Hines Ward knows why he cared more about the well-being of Ryan Clark than he does about well-being of Ben Roethlisberger

Dee Dub
09-09-2010, 12:27 PM
Dee Dub = :stirpot


:lol:

feltdizz
09-09-2010, 01:01 PM
Just like last season. Hines said Ben should have lied to doctors and played at Baltimore even though he was having concussion headaches.

But earlier in the year, despite being cleared by doctors, Hines didn't want Ryan Clark to endanger his life by playing in Denver.

Only Hines Ward knows why he cared more about the well-being of Ryan Clark than he does about well-being of Ben Roethlisberger

you can't compare the 2... one was football related and the other was sickle cell trait related. But I guess that has to do with race too...

Once again a thread is hijacked....

Your obsession is hilarious.

Crash
09-09-2010, 01:12 PM
you can't compare the 2... one was football related and the other was sickle cell trait related.

One was cleared by doctors. One wasn't. Hines stuck up for the cleared guy, and bashed the uncleared guy for not lying to get on the field.


But I guess that has to do with race too...

You said that, I didn't.

RuthlessBurgher
09-09-2010, 01:32 PM
The decisions to sit Ben and to sit Clark have one thing in common...they were both made by the coach! It was Tomlin's call not to risk playing Clark at altitude or to risk playing Ben shortly after a concussion.

stlrz d
09-09-2010, 09:12 PM
The decisions to sit Ben and to sit Clark have one thing in common...they were both made by the coach! It was Tomlin's call not to risk playing Clark at altitude or to risk playing Ben shortly after a concussion.

True but Crash makes a good point. Ward supported Clark's decision despite him being cleared to play. Ben wasn't cleared and Ward basically took a shot at him.

fezziwig
09-09-2010, 09:27 PM
Interesting how Hines wants Dennis Dixon to be Dennis Dixon and to what he does best but yet after Ben's rookie year he threw him under the bus through the media about not letting his receivers make plays down field. To be more patient in the pocket and and not just take off and run.

I'm willing to bet when Hines retires he either has a tell all book about his true feelings towards Ben or he just continues to run off at the mouth.

Crash...can you weigh in on this??? :P


Wow ! you nailed it. Hines probably will do a lot of talking in his book. He does a lot now in my opinion and he will talk mega words if he ever does write a book.

I respect Hines and his type of play but I feel he likes being in charge, doesn't want to listen to Ben , or take a back seat to Ben. I bet Hines will be giving Dixon a lot of advice during the huddles, during the game and I mean, trying to control Dixon for what Hines wants.

hawaiiansteel
09-10-2010, 06:24 PM
Peter King - GAME PLAN

Steelers QB Dixon headlines Week 1 bill; 10 things to watch for


http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/2010/writers/peter_king/09/10/game.plan/dennis-dixon-king.jpg

In his second career start, Dennis Dixon looks to fill in admirably for suspended Steelers signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger.
AP

NEW ORLEANS -- Seen this week's slate of 16 games? It's as competitive a group as I've seen in a while. Maybe not the best slate of games, but the kind of schedule that makes me think: Glad I'm not in a knockout pool this year.

Atlanta-Pittsburgh. How do you pick that one? Atlanta, with a great summer and a lot of new defensive pieces in place to be a top-10 unit. Pittsburgh, with a controversial summer, with no Ben Roethlisberger, playing a kid quarterback in the opener. There are many subplots in a great opening weekend, and one that stands out in particular is Dennis Dixon's role with the Steelers.


Dixon's a great story, a mobile quarterback with a strong arm when he was at Oregon, where he was also a good outfielder with a seemingly bright baseball future. He was picked by the Braves in the fifth round of the 2007 MLB draft and selected in the fifth round (how coincidental) by the Steelers a year later.

Dixon failed at baseball, hitting .174 in a summer trial with a rookie league team.

Then he shredded his ACL in the 2007 football season and his draft stock plummeted. Though he wasn't 100 percent by NFL draft day, Dixon piqued the interest of a lot of teams, and the Steelers took a chance on him as a developmental player. Pittsburgh has always been willing to take draft chances with interesting prospects -- Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle-El (college quarterbacks, NFL receivers), Kordell Stewart (college quarterback, NFL slash). Now that Dixon's healthy and has a chance to play, I'm anxious to see if the Steelers' investment is a smart one.

He's started one game to this point -- a pressure-packed road game against Baltimore last season on a November Sunday night when Roethlisberger was out with headaches. Despite having practiced only about 30 percent of the plays on the Steelers' offensive playsheet that night, Dixon played well in spots and sparked the Steelers, who lost 20-17 in overtime. He won the players that night. Though he completed only 12 of 26 throws, he proved he wasn't intimidated by the crowd or the Ray Lewis-led D. "He really grew up a lot that night,'' Ward said, "and the guys on our side came out of the game with a lot of respect for him.''

Now it's chapter two. If Dixon fails to lead the team or play well, I'm sure Mike Tomlin won't hesitate to go to his Old Man River, Charlie Batch. Dixon doesn't think it will come to that.

"The difference between last year and this year,'' he told me this week, "is now I feel totally comfortable in this offense. I'd be a fool to say my head wasn't spinning at Baltimore last year. I didn't practice with the ones [the first team], never mind that I didn't have the playbook down either. But now, going into this year, I feel so much better. And I don't feel like it's all on me. Coach Tomlin told me, 'Just ride the bus. We don't expect you to go out and win the game. Just play.' ''

What's going to be fun Sunday at Heinz Field is that the Falcons have added speed to their defense, including first-round pick Sean Weatherspoon, who chased mobile quarterbacks in spread offenses in the Big 12 while at Missouri. Dixon is the rabbit with the strong arm on the other side of the ball. I love what we're about to see.

"It's going to be interesting,'' Dixon said. "Obviously, the [run-pass versatility] is a threat they've got to game plan for. But I'm not just a guy looking to run. I never have been. I really love throwing the ball. I want to be a complete quarterback.''

This week, I said to Dixon, it's going to be interesting to see not only him have his first real chance at taking control, but also Mike Wallace, who replaces former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes in the lineup. I've said this all summer: Wallace is going to approximate Holmes' impact, and soon. "The threat of the deep ball is going to be huge with Mike,'' Dixon said. "I can't overthrow him. I'm really looking forward to playing with him.''

Actually, Dixon's just looking forward to playing.

"Can't wait,'' he said. "I'm just looking forward to seize the moment and have fun.''

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/peter_king/09/10/game.plan/index.html?eref=twitter_feed#ixzz0z9HlwEfI

Shawn
09-11-2010, 03:39 AM
The decisions to sit Ben and to sit Clark have one thing in common...they were both made by the coach! It was Tomlin's call not to risk playing Clark at altitude or to risk playing Ben shortly after a concussion.

True but Crash makes a good point. Ward supported Clark's decision despite him being cleared to play. Ben wasn't cleared and Ward basically took a shot at him.

Yeah, I actually agree with Crash on this one. :shock:

grotonsteel
09-11-2010, 01:38 PM
The decisions to sit Ben and to sit Clark have one thing in common...they were both made by the coach! It was Tomlin's call not to risk playing Clark at altitude or to risk playing Ben shortly after a concussion.

True but Crash makes a good point. Ward supported Clark's decision despite him being cleared to play. Ben wasn't cleared and Ward basically took a shot at him.


+1

Crash
09-11-2010, 05:49 PM
And no one in the Pittsburgh media asked Ward why he didn't return to the AFC title game the season before if thats how he feels.

Because Ward gives them good copy, so they protect his ungrateful as$.