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Thread: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

      
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    Default Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Dixon’s strong debut impresses Steelers
    By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer
    4 hours, 10 minutes ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP)—The Pittsburgh Steelers lost a game and found a quarterback.

    They already have a franchise quarterback who’s won two Super Bowls in four seasons—a guy named Ben Roethlisberger. During a bit of unanticipated adversity, the Steelers learned Dennis Dixon is a lot closer to being a solid NFL quarterback than the rest of the league might have anticipated.

    Dixon, the former Oregon star and a fifth-round draft pick in 2008, had thrown all of one NFL pass before starting Sunday night in Baltimore on about 24 hours notice. The assignment would have been difficult enough if Dixon had practiced all week, but Roethlisberger took most of the snaps, only to be ruled out Saturday because of post-concussion headaches.

    Dixon hadn’t run the Steelers’ offense extensively for weeks—not even in practice—yet he threw for a touchdown and ran for a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh’s 20-17 overtime loss.

    “He played his heart out,” wide receiver Hines Ward said.

    Even during a loss, Dixon won over a team.

    “It’s not too big for him,” coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday. “I think he proved that. He showed great poise and presence playing on the road in a hostile environment against a good defense. He’s going to continue to get better. His best days are ahead of him. That was just a step in the process.”

    Dixon completed 8 of 10 passes and threw for a score during the first half. He was less effective after that, going 4 of 16 for 58 yards with an interception that led to Baltimore’s winning field goal in overtime, but his 24-yard touchdown run put the Steelers ahead 17-14 with 6:24 remaining.

    “It would be crazy to say I didn’t have nerves,” Dixon said. “I think the first couple of series I had a couple of nerves, but it’s all about playing and that’s something I’ve been doing for a while. I’ve been there and done that— it’s all about getting on the bike and doing it again.”

    Given the circumstances and the rushed preparation, his teammates were impressed by a quarterback who finished fifth in the 2007 Heisman Trophy voting, only to fall into the second half of the NFL draft because of a severe knee injury.

    No young Steelers quarterback has made his first NFL start with such minimal preparation since rookie Mike Kruczek filled in for the injured Terry Bradshaw for six games in 1976. Even Roethlisberger played a half in Baltimore his rookie season in 2004 before starting in Miami the following week.

    “A lot of times people don’t understand everything that goes into being a quarterback,” center Justin Hartwig said. “You have to manage the game. There were times early when he was so focused on what his assignment was, we lost track of the play clock. But there’s a lot that goes on in identifying the defense—him and I communicate, and he has to communicate with the receivers. For a young guy to get his first start in a hostile environment like that, with so much responsibility, it’s a testament to how well he prepared.”

    How well he ran, too.

    Dixon also had a 31-yard run in the first half that was called back by a penalty. Tomlin was tempted to use him more as a runner, but didn’t because of the risk of injury. The only other healthy quarterback was Tyler Palko, who signed with the team only three days before and didn’t know the offense.

    “I think Dennis won the guys over with his performance,” Ward said. “I’m very proud of what he came in and did. … “He won over a lot of the guys on this team.”

    If nothing else, Dixon likely secured the backup’s job going into next season. Longtime No. 2 quarterback Charlie Batch, currently out with a broken left wrist, is unsigned past this season.

    “He did everything coach (Tomlin) asked him to do—and more,” Roethlisberger said. “He played with the fire and intensity we’ve seen in practice. The Ravens found out what we’ve known all along: He’s a very good quarterback.”

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    ... I'm sure it puts Batch on the outside looking in.... Time to become a coach, Charlie...
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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Perhaps a goaline package???...Just thinkin (not saying wildcat n'at)! That boy can get the corner pretty well! That was a HELL of a playcall with Wallace in motion, misdirection, Dixon roll out! Then again, now it's on tape for everyone to see...gotta give BA some love on that call, it WAS a good play call in that situation

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ... I'm sure it puts Batch on the outside looking in.... Time to become a coach, Charlie...
    I think Charlie knew the handwriting was on the wall and is grateful for his opportunity with the Steelers....hell he got rings. Unfortunately for him his last 2 seasons were plagued with injuries. Surely some college will be ringing his phone come the end of the season. I expect to hear his name again one day in the NFL.

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Quote Originally Posted by bleedBnG58 View Post
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    I think Charlie knew the handwriting was on the wall and is grateful for his opportunity with the Steelers....hell he got rings. Unfortunately for him his last 2 seasons were plagued with injuries. Surely some college will be ringing his phone come the end of the season. I expect to hear his name again one day in the NFL.
    Are yinz talkin about Charlie "china doll" Batch??? It's a good thing he's used to carrying a clipboard!!! Besides golfing, I think that's all he's got left. No offense to Chuck, he's served his time and never let us down...but it's time for some new blood!

    Actually, I was REALLY excited to see what Dix would bring to the table...and was not disappointed! We knew what we had with Chuck, and we knew we could be comforted in the fact that Chuck was ready to roll, but I think Dix has that extra little something, other than just "managing the game" and letting the D win it... This kid has some SERIOUS athleticism (not to mention a ****ing rifle arm)!!!

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Dixon played okay, but as the game became more tense he became a bit more hesitant and unsure of himself. The Ravens only had to cover half the field. Dixon wasn't making any throws that weren't his first two reads and he certainly wasn't challenging Ed Reed.

    But, he did play well enough to probably put Batch into retirement or the emergency quarterback role.

    Papillon

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Quote Originally Posted by Papillon View Post
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    Dixon played okay, but as the game became more tense he became a bit more hesitant and unsure of himself. The Ravens only had to cover half the field. Dixon wasn't making any throws that weren't his first two reads and he certainly wasn't challenging Ed Reed.

    But, he did play well enough to probably put Batch into retirement or the emergency quarterback role.

    Papillon
    Since they didn't IR him it will be interesting to see what they will do if he returns in less than 6 weeks and they go to the playoffs. Will the backup change?

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Batch will be the backup for the remainder of the season when he returns.

    Dix will probably be heavily groomed in the off season to be the number two next season.

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    Batch will be the backup for the remainder of the season when he returns.

    Dix will probably be heavily groomed in the off season to be the number two next season.
    I'm not so sure about that. I think they saw he could be trusted and really expect them to now use him in certain situations. They wouldn't be able to do that with him the 3rd QB. Especially if he keeps progressing while he's getting the snaps at backup.

    IMO at this point, I'd rather him to continue getting the snaps because I don't trust that Charlie can come in and stay healthy. So I'd rather if Ben was hurt in a game, for Dixon to come in with the experience of getting some snaps during the week. Then for Charlie to come in and get hurt and Dixon to come in without the benefit of taking snaps during the week. If that makes any sense. It's getting late, it makes sense to me, but I might not be explaining it very well.

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
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    Perhaps a goaline package???...Just thinkin (not saying wildcat n'at)! That boy can get the corner pretty well! That was a HELL of a playcall with Wallace in motion, misdirection, Dixon roll out! Then again, now it's on tape for everyone to see...gotta give BA some love on that call, it WAS a good play call in that situation
    Probably would have worked to run him more...but we cant have that now can we?
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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Am I way out there when I ask, "why not Batch for OC"?, or is that just my disdain for Arian shining through? :
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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Dixon played well in the 1st half and exceeded my very low expectations, BUT I'm not too confident with him as the 2nd QB in the future for this team. A lot of his passes looked like pure **** in the Ravens game.

    There are a ton of back up QB's that the Steelers could and should look at in the offseason to back up Ben, IMO. Dixon can be #3 and Batch can be hired as a QB consultant so him and Ben can look at previous plays together on the sideline.

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Probably would have worked to run him more...but we cant have that now can we?
    Could have had him run more in the ratbird game, sure.

    By doing so they could have ended up with Palko having to come in too.

    That would have been special, to say the least.


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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    Could have had him run more in the ratbird game, sure.

    By doing so they could have ended up with Ben having to come in too.

    That would have been special, to say the least.

    Fix that for ya....lol....fear of Dix getting hurt running the ball played a big factor for sure...and then they would have really taken a media beat down if Ben would have played....can hear it now...couldn't start but could come in as backup.

    Palko would have to come in for 1 snap and faked an injury....so Ben could play. Actually he may not even had to fake one...all BA would have needed to do was call a pass play....Lewis would've ate Palko for a late night snack.
    Last edited by bleedBnG58; Dec-04-2009 at 11:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Well we should at least no longer have any fear

    That too...

    That too.

    The team was handcuffed in so many ways Sunday night that they needed to channel Houdini for a game plan.

    WHATever.

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