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Thread: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

      
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    Default Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Sunday, August 15, 2010




    Dennis Dixon doesn't stand a chance. There's no way he can prove he deserves to start at quarterback if he doesn't practice and play with the starters.

    Apparently, the Steelers don't want a fair fight at the most visible position on the team.

    Byron Leftwich played with the starters for most of the first half of Saturday night's preseason opener against the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field.

    With Ben Roethlisberger sidelined for at least the first four games of the regular season, the Steelers' actions have made it clear that Leftwich will be his replacement.

    There has been no real competition between Leftwich and Dixon, because Dixon hasn't practiced with the starters.

    Dixon has received plenty of reps in practice. Dixon leads all quarterbacks with 213 total snaps in 11 on 11 team drills. Leftwich is second with 199 snaps. Roethlisberger is third with 189 snaps, followed by Charlie Batch with 59 snaps.

    Dixon, however, doesn't practice with the first team. Last night, he didn't play with the first team, either, completing 6 of 7 passes for 128 yards and 1 touchdown.

    Dixon hasn't received the same opportunity that Leftwich has had passing to Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and Heath Miller. He doesn't get to play in the same backfield with running back Rashard Mendenhall.

    I asked Dixon the other day if he expected the same results playing with backups that he would with the starters.

    "I wouldn't say that," he said. "But that's not my decision. All I can control is the reps I get. Whoever I'm with, I want to be able to score."

    Dixon entered last night's game at the 4:45 mark of the second quarter. Playing with running back Isaac Redman and wide receivers Arnaz Battle and Emmanuel Sanders, Dixon guided the Steelers to their best drive of the first half and did what Leftwich was unable to do lead the offense to a touchdown.

    The key play was a 51-yard pass to Battle. Rolling left, Dixon found Battle, who slipped a tackle and sped down the sideline.

    On first and goal from the 5, Dixon nearly scored on a running play to his right. The ball crossed the goal line, but his knee touched down first. One play later, Redman scored, and the Steelers grabbed a 13-7 lead before play was halted late in the half because of lightning.

    Dixon's ability to move the offense in the rain as soon as he stepped on the field bodes well for his future. If not with the Steelers, then possibly with another team.

    Dixon adds another element that Leftwich can't offer. He can run as well as pass. Considering how easily the offensive line was shoved around in the first half, Dixon's mobility may come in handy.

    Nevertheless, the Steelers feel more comfortable with Leftwich, the veteran, than they do with Dixon, the kid.

    The Steelers know what they're getting with Leftwich. He's a former first-round pick who filled in for Roethlisberger two years ago and led the Steelers to a win at Washington.

    If Leftwich opens the season 4-0 as the starter, he will have performed better than anticipated. However, there would be no debate about a quarterback controversy when Roethlisberger is eligible to return. That's because Leftwich was acquired to be Roethlisberger's backup.

    The Steelers don't know what they have in Dixon, who performed well in his only NFL start at Baltimore last season but lost 20-17 in overtime. At this rate, they might never find out. However, if Dixon opened the season 4-0, his potential as a young quarterback could spark some debate about the Steelers allowing the kid to continue playing.

    The Steelers' strategy to limit Dixon's reps with the first team is a safe move, but that doesn't mean it's the right one.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 95009.html

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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    I could be way off-base here, but maybe... Just maybe... The coaching staff knows a little more than Mr. Harris when it comes to evaluating talent and who is better suited to be the starter while Ben is out.

    Dixon may get the opportunities during the next few weeks before the start of the regular season, and maybe not... If he doesn't, I'll take the coaching staff's decision more seriously than the rantings of a reporter.

    ... But then again, I have never been impressed with Dixon as an NFL-caliber qb, and probably never will... If I'm wrong, so be it...
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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    I could be way off-base here, but maybe... Just maybe... [HIGH-LIGHT]The coaching staff knows a little more than Mr. Harris when it comes to evaluating talent and who is better suited to be the starter while Ben is out[/HIGH-LIGHT].

    Dixon may get the opportunities during the next few weeks before the start of the regular season, and maybe not... If he doesn't, I'll take the coaching staff's decision more seriously than the rantings of a reporter.

    ... But then again, I have never been impressed with Dixon as an NFL-caliber qb, and probably never will... If I'm wrong, so be it...
    I am sure they know more than Mr. Harris, but they also thought Willie Gay was ready to start and let McFadden walk, only to trade to Arizona to recover McFadden because Gay played so pathetically. Leftwich got benched after 3 games for Tampa who ended up 3-13. Please. Dixon got 2 days to prepare to roll INTO BALTIMORE and although his passing numbers were not spectacular, we had that game won. Yes, he was the reason we lost in OT, but he was game and is a much better playmaker than Leftwich.

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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
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    Leftwich got benched after 3 games for Tampa who ended up 3-13. Please.
    Leftwich playing with Tampa is not the issue... Apples to oranges... Different teams... Let's talk about time with this team, not a perrennial loser.

    They didn't "let" McFadden go... He commanded too much money, so they had no choice... Am I wrong (which may be possible), but isn't he back here cheaper than what he was asking when he left?.. It had absolutely nothing to do with them "thinking Gay was the man"... They just didn't want to pay McFadden at the time.

    ... Korkie was a playmaker at Colorado, and failed as a qb in the NFL.... Dixon was a playmaker at Oregon, and will be proven to fail at qb on this level as well....

    ... Just my humble opinion...
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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Dixon is definitely the better athlete, but he needs to stay in the pocket longer and develop the play. Of course that comes with experience. My guess is he plays better then Lefty for the 4 games until Ben comes back (assuming it's 4 and not 6).

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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    Dixon is definitely the better athlete, but he needs to stay in the pocket longer and develop the play. Of course that comes with experience. My guess is he plays better then Lefty for the 4 games until Ben comes back (assuming it's 4 and not 6).
    ... Big gamble IMO, but what do I know... I'm not disputing that Dixon is the better athlete, but I want the better "qb" on the field... The first 4-6 weeks of the season cannot be afforded as "learning time".
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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    It's my guess the Steelers coaches and FO know a little more than the average fan. I don't ever want to deal with one of those "run first" QB's...............you just can't win with them and while Dixon seems to be a hell of an athlete the position of QB is far more than that.

    Leftwich definitely needs to step up though!

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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    I say go with DD, Lefty is..well like the article says, you know what you got with him, ( a 1st round bust) and his resume spells it out, he has really been a bust everywhere he has played. I say start the MOBILE DD. Guess we will have to let the brain trust make the decisions. Hope he makes the right one. MT will have the advantage of seeing Lefty struggle and can always opt to DD in the 1st 4 games.

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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ... Big gamble IMO, but what do I know... I'm not disputing that Dixon is the better athlete, but I want the better "qb" on the field... The first 4-6 weeks of the season cannot be afforded as "learning time".
    I have a feeling were' going to find out that, while Double D is no Peyton Manning... he's better than Leftwich. JMO


    edit: You're right about the first 4-6 weeks of the season not being "learning time." That's what preseason is for.
    Last edited by (419)BlackNGold; Aug-15-2010 at 08:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    ... As long as they produce wins, I don't care if Mary Poppins is at qb... I have no personal affinity or devotion to any of them... I don't think Dixon is the man, but if Lefty is too lethargic to move, start the freakin' waterboy for that matter...

    I just want as many wins as possible while Ben serves his suspension...
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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    I could be way off-base here, but maybe... Just maybe... The coaching staff knows a little more than Mr. Harris when it comes to evaluating talent and who is better suited to be the starter while Ben is out.
    And there you go......


    Dixon reeks of Kordell Stewart.Everyone that is saying Lefty sucks needs to realize that he can do something Dixon can't.................PASS THE FOOTBALL.Last I checked,ya kinda need to be able to do that to be a QB in the NFL.

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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    And there you go......


    Dixon reeks of Kordell Stewart.Everyone that is saying Lefty sucks needs to realize that he can do something Dixon can't.................PASS THE FOOTBALL.Last I checked,ya kinda need to be able to do that to be a QB in the NFL.
    Thank you... I obviously agree...
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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Quote Originally Posted by bleedBnG58 View Post
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    Lefty is..well like the article says, you know what you got with him, ( a 1st round bust) and his resume spells it out, he has really been a bust everywhere he has played.
    ... Taking this a step further, considering this quote.... I'd ****ing LOVE to be able to go back and read what you said about him after he won a few for us a couple seasons ago... Consider yourself lucky that I can't, otherwise I'd make you look foolish.... He was never a "bust" in the NFL... He actually had a bit of success.
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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ... Taking this a step further, considering this quote.... I'd ****ing LOVE to be able to go back and read what you said about him after he won a few for us a couple seasons ago... Consider yourself lucky that I can't, otherwise I'd make you look foolish.... He was never a "bust" in the NFL.
    Exactly.Even if he was a bust when he played everywhere else,he sure as hell wasn't one here!!!

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    Default Re: Harris: Dixon denied fair shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    Exactly.Even if he was a bust when he played everywhere else,he sure as hell wasn't one here!!!
    Didn't Jax make the playoffs with him (oh... That was Gerrard, Lefty had nothing to do with it, or the team's success)?.... Of course they lost to NE*, but so did we with Korky...
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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