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View Full Version : Dixon vs. The Titans D - "He won't get blitzed a lot"



SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-15-2010, 09:18 PM
Very interesting thoughts, with great pics, by Dagger. The text below isn't as meaningful without the pics found at the link:

http://www.postgameheroes.com/?p=10009# ... nt99027323 (http://www.postgameheroes.com/?p=10009#IDComment99027323)




Dixon not likely to be blitzed on Sunday
By Dagger, on September 15th, 2010
Typically a young, inexperienced QB comes in to replace a starter and he gets blitzed to death. Confuse him, blitz him, knock him around, make him get rid of the ball too quickly, speed up his decision making process, and force turnovers. The Falcons actually tried a bit of this to start the game this past weekend but quickly learned that Dixon handled blitzes pretty well and was actually more shaky when trying to squeeze the ball into zones and find WRs down field.

I would expect to see more of these 3 and 4 man rushes from the Titans this Sunday. When Dixon faces 3rd and Long I don’t expect him to be blitzed, the defense will drop LBs into coverage and contain Dixon’s running ability (if he should ever decide to use his legs). Our OL will once again look good in pass protection because they’ll be facing 3 or 4 rushers.

Dixon will have time in the pocket just like Week 1 and he will need to read the defense, find a hole in the zone, and throw a pass on target. He actually did a pretty nice job reading pressure last week and finding his WRs when blitzed……his main issue vs the Falcons was his inability to throw the ball accurately. There were many occasions where he made the right read, found his man, and tossed the ball into the ground. A number of times this cost the offense 1st downs and big plays. Take a look:


1st 3rd and Long of the game. Atlanta drops their LBs into coverage, forcing Dixon to stay in the pocket and find a WR. This is the scenario where he typically had the most trouble. His 1 INT and his other near picks came from this type of defensive look.

You can see the gameplan here. Not a bad idea if you're Atlanta. Dixon is at his best when using his legs and running. Rush 3 guys, drop some LBs, and he can't take off an run with any success. In fact, Dixon tried to scramble up the middle on this play and was stopped at the line of scrimmage.

Atlanta shows blitz and actually does bring pressure on this play. The Steelers have a perfect play call (quick slant-top of your screen) here but Dixon's pass is off target. If he hits his WR in stride, he undoubtedly has a huge play.

Here he gets blitzed but finds his man immediately. Again, if this pass is on target, it's a huge gain. Unfortunately he made an awful throw and the result was an incomplete pass. This might, however, be enough to deter Tennessee from blitzing Dixon. Blitz him and run the risk of giving up a big scramble or perhaps he hits his WR in stride next time and burns you.

3rd and Long....very similar to the last 3rd and Long situation. Atlanta decides to bring pressure, Dixon finds his man immediately but misses an easy throw. This should have been an easy 1st down but the result is an incomplete pass and a punt.




Again, the trend we are seeing is when blitzed, Dixon quickly recognizes the defense, finds his man, and delivers. Unfortunately this past Sunday he was delivering balls into the ground and killing drives. This upcoming Sunday I doubt he struggles as much with his accuracy, he's proven to be a pretty accurate passer in his time in Pittsburgh so I'll go glass-half-full and say what we saw last weekend was an anomaly. He'll be more accurate in Week 2.




The Falcons only bring 3 this time, as you can see Dixon tries to scramble right but runs out of room and is forced to dump the ball short of the 1st down marker. So far we have not seen a single deep ball on any 3rd down plays. You would think without getting pressured, the offense would be able to set something up deep or find a hole deep in the zone coverage somewhere. Usually you dump the ball off and hit short passes when you're getting blitzed and pressured to make quick decisions. Against Atlanta we were dumping the ball short and hitting WRs quickly even on plays where we were not being pressured. Was Dixon afraid to go deep? Was Arians handcuffing Dixon a little too much? Who knows.

For some reason Atlanta tried to bring pressure again.

Dixon hangs cool in the pocket and delivers what should be an easy 1st down completion to Randle El. Unfortunately he throws another ball into the dirt and kills the drive. So far none of his incompletion's have been due to the blitz or Atlanta's pressure....he's simply aiming the ball. If the Titans try to blitz Dixon on Sunday and his arm is accurate, he will slice them up. If he wasn't so "off" last weekend the Steelers would have piled up some impressive offensive numbers and strung some nice drives together.




Complete this easy ball and maybe Jeff Reed connects on his FG attempt a few seconds later?




Another open WR missed. Ugh. Complete this ball and certainly the Falcons don't get the ball back before halftime and they don't get their last second FG to tie the game. All the focus went on Reed for missing and Tomlin for calling for the kick. The entire thing actually begins right here with Dixon failing to complete a routine pass.

OK, that was fun. Now to wrap up, the odd thing here is that Dixon’s interception came on a play in which the Falcons dropped back into coverage and only rushed 3/4 men (think James Harrison in the Arizona vs Steelers Super Bowl). Dixon’s 2 other near-interceptions came against the same defensive scheme. Usually a guy throws picks when blitzed and forced to make a bad decision….it’s weird that Dixon was throwing the ball directly at Falcons when he was facing a 3 or 4 man rush and wasn’t being pressured at all.

We saw this past Sunday that when blitzed Dixon doesn’t have any problems finding his man and delivering a pass to the right man. Unfortunately his aim was bit off and he wasn’t able to take advantage and make the defense pay the price for bringing pressure.

If I’m breaking down film in Nashville right now I don’t plan on Dixon missing his target as much this week. A few inches on each of his missed 3rd down passes and those incompletion’s are first downs or touchdowns. What are the chances that he is going to be that “off” 2 weeks in a row? I don’t expect the Titans to take that gamble…..I fully expect them to drop LBs into coverage, rush 3 or 4 DL, and make Dixon rely on his arm strength and arm accuracy to hit WRs/TEs/RBs for short gains. Maybe they will get a ball thrown directly at a dropping LB like Dixon did with Atlanta once or twice. Dropping so many defenders back into coverage will also keep Dixon from being able to scramble for any significant yardage.

We’ll see what unfolds this weekend, it should be a big test for our O and D. As a Steeler fan I’m hoping the Titans blitz Dixon. I don’t think they will, but I’d love to see it. He would have open WRs to hit, he would scramble at every given opportunity and would keep the chains moving all day long. The thought of Dixon dropping back, only getting rushed with 3 or 4 guys, and trying to squeeze passes into tight windows downfield is a much scarier proposition.

Northern_Blitz
09-15-2010, 09:47 PM
Sounds like a good plan. Dixon seemed to not see LBs sitting in zone a couple times last week. Lucky for us, guys on D don't have the best hands. I think teams started to do this to Ben in his first year once they realized that he was keeping plays alive and burning them.

I was impressed that Dixon seemed to pick out the correct WR most times, just his throws were off (also mentioned in the article). Hopefully, his accuracy is better on Sunday. I'd also like to see us take some more deep shots. Even if they're incomplete, it gives the D more to think about.

papillon
09-15-2010, 10:00 PM
The same thing happened last year against Baltimore. The Ravens went to the zone and Dixon became inaccurate and erratic.

I think he'll still see a lot of blitzing from the Titans. Maybe his throws were off the mark because of the blitzes that were coming. He over reacted and threw balls into the ground for incomplete passes.

If I were the Titans I'd a few wrinkles of my own, but I think I'd use the blueprint the Falcons used, they only gave 9 points 4 quarters and the play that won the game was a run.

The Titans aren't fearing Dennis Dixon this weekend, IMO.

Pappy

Shawn
09-15-2010, 11:39 PM
And this is where Arians needs to overload one side of the field in tight trip sets...zone breakers. And Dixon will need to get better at reading who will be open in those zones before they get open. This will take time. He won't get it in 4 games.

ANPSTEEL
09-16-2010, 05:48 AM
And this is where Arians needs to overload one side of the field in tight trip sets...zone breakers. And Dixon will need to get better at reading who will be open in those zones before they get open. This will take time. He won't get it in 4 games.

Yeah, and friking designed roll outs.



I am Bruce Arians.

I have the most athletic QB in the league, second only to Michael Vick.

I am going to force him to sit in the pocket, and be something he is not.

All to the betterment of my ego, and the detriment of the team.

Efff ewe.

Slapstick
09-16-2010, 08:40 AM
Perhaps the Titans should be a bit afraid of Dennis Dixon...

1st Half: 16 Att./10 Comp. - 62.5% - 5.7 YpA - 1 INT - Passer Rating = 51.8

2nd Half: 10 Att./8 Comp. - 80% - 14.5 YpA - 0 INT - Passer Rating = 118.8

Personally, I think that Dennis was a bit amped up in the first half...this week is a third start for him (2nd on the road) and another full week working with the 1st string...also, the Steelers won last week, which should do nothing but build confidence...

I'm not saying that he's going to take the team upon his back and carry them to victory, but I fully expect him to perform more like he did in the 2nd half of the Falcons game...

papillon
09-16-2010, 02:15 PM
Perhaps the Titans should be a bit afraid of Dennis Dixon...

1st Half: 16 Att./10 Comp. - 62.5% - 5.7 YpA - 1 INT - Passer Rating = 51.8

2nd Half: 10 Att./8 Comp. - 80% - 14.5 YpA - 0 INT - Passer Rating = 118.8

Personally, I think that Dennis was a bit amped up in the first half...this week is a third start for him (2nd on the road) and another full week working with the 1st string...also, the Steelers won last week, which should do nothing but build confidence...

I'm not saying that he's going to take the team upon his back and carry them to victory, but I fully expect him to perform more like he did in the 2nd half of the Falcons game...

I hope you are right about being amped and he starts the game less nervous. At least he didn't look as lost as Mark Sanchez. Sanchez was playing so fast he was off his first read before the WRs had a chance to allow a route to develop.

What is it with the USC quarterbacks? Why are they so good in college and seem to struggle in the NFL? Sanchez, Leinart, Booty, Cassell, Palmer is the best of the bunch and he's been average in the NFL.

Pappy

Slapstick
09-16-2010, 03:51 PM
I hope you are right about being amped and he starts the game less nervous. At least he didn't look as lost as Mark Sanchez. Sanchez was playing so fast he was off his first read before the WRs had a chance to allow a route to develop.

What is it with the USC quarterbacks? Why are they so good in college and seem to struggle in the NFL? Sanchez, Leinart, Booty, Cassell, Palmer is the best of the bunch and he's been average in the NFL.

Pappy

Personally, I just think that the USC QBs are simply overhyped...

They play on teams that are stacked with talent when compared to most of their opponents...in the NFL, the opposing team is just as talented...so, by way of comparison, they aren't all that...

jj28west
09-17-2010, 09:44 PM
I apologize if someone posted this but he could really see how DD was aiming vs throwing on these passing plays. http://www.steelersdepot.com/2010/09/br ... t-atlanta/ (http://www.steelersdepot.com/2010/09/breakdown-of-the-8-dennis-dixon-misfires-against-atlanta/)

The best fix for this besides film study is real gametime experience. I dont see any other way around it.