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Thread: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

      
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    Default On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    Thursday, September 09, 2010




    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Matt Freed/Post-Gazette

    Steelers quarterback Dennis Dixon completed 71.9 percent of his passes in the preseason.



    Quarterback Dennis Dixon's ability to run -- whether his coaches want him to or not -- drew so much attention this summer that his passing talents were overlooked.

    Dixon ranked fourth among all NFL quarterbacks in the preseason with at least 30 pass attempts, producing a 71.9 completion rate. Those above him were Jake Delhomme (79.2), Aaron Rodgers (77.4) and Tom Brady (74.0).

    That rate of success was not a fluke, either. While Dixon did run well at the University of Oregon, his passing is what made him a Heisman Trophy candidate. He holds Oregon's career accuracy record, completing 63.9 percent of his passes. And he also set a school record for a season, completing 67.7 percent of his passes in 2007 before a torn ACL in his left knee ended his season Nov. 3.

    Yet, it's the threat of him to run that has grabbed everyone's attention, even the opponent's, such as Atlanta coach Mike Smith, whose team opens the season Sunday against Dixon at Heinz Field.

    "Dennis creates issues with the skill set he has as a quarterback in terms of his athleticism," Smith said. "I think that is something that we are going to have to make sure we are on top of our game because he is very athletic.

    "He throws the ball well, but he can make plays with his feet as well and it will be very important for us to have a good plan to contain the quarterback, keep him in the pocket and not let him create explosive plays when the integrity of the play breaks down. I think that is probably one of the biggest things that we are going to have to do."

    Smith sounded like many an opposing coach when the Steelers had Kordell Stewart at quarterback.

    The Steelers tightened the reins on Dixon in his only start in November in Baltimore because they had no healthy backup after Tyler Palko, who only joined them that week. Still, Dixon ran for a 24-yard touchdown, threw a 33-yard scoring pass and had the Steelers in front, 17-14, in the fourth quarter of a game they eventually lost in overtime after a Dixon interception.

    Tomlin has said he will give Dixon the green light to do what comes naturally Sunday and that his quarterback knows the offense much better than he did in November.

    "Just in general, his overall mastery of our offense," Tomlin explained. "The fluid understanding of where to distribute the football, the understanding of protections, I just think it's the natural maturation process that a young player goes through, and he's in the process of becoming a veteran-like player. Playing is a big part of that and that's why this opportunity he's getting is so big for him personally."

    Dixon ran for 583 yards his senior season at Oregon and his 1,208 career yards were the most by a Ducks quarterback.

    "I feel I will [have more freedom], but then again, I have to manage the game, whatever that is," Dixon said. "Regardless if it's a pass or a run, as long as I'm effective. I don't have to take control of the whole game. I have a lot of playmakers out there, all I have to do is manage the game."

    Dixon, drafted in the fifth round in 2008, will be opposed by Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, the third overall pick in that draft. This will be Dixon's second NFL start; it will be Ryan's 31st. Dixon has spent much of his time watching Ben Roethlisberger from the sideline. Ryan has been in the middle of it the past two seasons.

    "The only way I know it is to have gone out there and played from the start," said Ryan, a Philadelphia area native who played at Boston College. "I think there are good things from both sides, good things you can learn from being in the system for a while, going out there two or three years into the system and playing. But at the same time I feel like I've learned a lot in the first two years."

    Doesn't play like a rookie

    Maurkice Pouncey will become only the second Steelers offensive lineman to start the first game of his rookie season since at least the middle of the 1960s.

    The only other one? Mike Webster? Craig Wolfley? Dermontti Dawson? Alan Faneca? Kendall Simmons?

    No. According to research by the public relations staff back to the mid-1960s, Marvel Smith is the only rookie to start the first game of the season during that period. Smith, who played most of his career at left tackle, started his first game at right tackle in 2000.

    "It's a great honor but I have to handle it the right way," Pouncey said.

    Tomlin said he has no concern about making this particular player the first rookie starter since he became coach in 2007.

    "No not at all. That's the reason Maurkice is in the lineup, because he doesn't play like a rookie," Tomlin said. "Quite frankly, I hadn't played a bunch of rookies; I think my record in that regard speaks for itself. The fact that he's in the lineup would lead you to believe that he doesn't perform in a rookie fashion in regards to those things."

    Of the 22 who will start against Atlanta, six were drafted while Tomlin has been coach: Pouncey, Dixon, running back Rashard Mendenhall, receiver Mike Wallace and linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons. Another, David Johnson, is a part-time starter at fullback.

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10252...#ixzz0z0ckBARx

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    Bull****, all he does is run! Tomlin is in over his head! We need to bring St Pierre back!

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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Beezy View Post
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    Bull****, all he does is run! Tomlin is in over his head! We need to bring St Pierre back!

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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy


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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    YAY... he completed 349% of his passes against vanilla 3rd and 4th string defenses in meaningless preseason games !!! Fantastic job, Eddie ******tte. frickin' retard.

    How about... Dixon's accuracy in meaningful games that do count against real defensive schemes?

    Answer = 46.2% completion percentage

    Howe about ... Dixon's accuracy in that ONE pre-season football game where he got to play against a first team defense?

    Answer = 56.3% completion percentage (not to mention that awesome 33.3 QB rating)

    Excuse me if I've forgotten to join the Dennis Dixon fest
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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    9/9/2010
    Dixon can use legs, arm, head to succeed
    By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer, dlolley@observer-reporter.com

    PITTSBURGH - He wears the No. 10, is adept at scrambling out of the pocket and hurting defenses with his running ability.

    Even Dennis Dixon's teammates aren't afraid to make comparisons between the third-year quarterback and another former Pittsburgh starter.

    "I've seen Dennis play. I watched him in college," said wide receiver Hines Ward, one of the few remaining players on the roster who played with Kordell Stewart, the on-again, off-again starter from 1997 through 2003.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]"He can be special. He has all the attributes of Kordell. With time, he can probably be as good as Kordell."[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    While that might make some Steelers fans cringe because of all the negatives that surrounded Stewart during his career, he also led the Steelers to two AFC championship games.

    The Steelers aren't looking for anything like that from Dixon, who will make his second career NFL start Sunday at Heinz Field against the Atlanta Falcons.

    They are simply looking for a competent replacement for suspended starter Ben Roethlisberger.

    The Steelers have confidence in Dixon, who was named the starter when veteran Byron Leftwich suffered an MCL injury in the final preseason game last week. But they know things could become difficult for a quarterback making just his second NFL start.

    Dixon feels his scrambling ability will alleviate any problems he might encounter.

    "I want to make plays, make first downs however, regardless of whatever it is," Dixon said. "If it's a run, I want to be able to use it at any time."

    The Steelers are encouraging him to get out of the pocket.

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

    Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday the Steelers won't limit the playbook for Dixon as they did in his emergency start last season in Baltimore, when both Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch were injured. Dixon has spent time this week with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to help draw up the game plan.

    Dixon completed just 12 of 26 passes in that start against the Ravens - an overtime loss - for 145 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

    The biggest thing other players saw was that Dixon wasn't overwhelmed, even though he didn't find out he would start until the day before the game.

    "I don't think he was really confused," said Ward. "But we ran the same play seven times. I've never been around where we ran the same play six or seven times. But we were very limited to what we could call in that Baltimore game. We didn't expand it like we would have with the other guys, but I think he feels comfortable doing it and going out there and executing it. That's all we can ask for."

    The Steelers also told Dixon to limit his scrambling in that game. The only other healthy quarterback on the roster was Tyler Palko, who had been signed earlier in the week.

    This week, the Steelers have time to prepare and take full advantage of Dixon's abilities.

    "We're not asking him to go out and put up 40 points for us. If he does that, that's a plus," said Ward. "We just need for him to manage the game and not turn the ball over. The players around him, the supporting cast, we've got to make plays."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Odds and end zones[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Leftwich is wearing a brace on his injured left knee, but could possibly return to full practice next week. ... On the depth chart, Leftwich and Dixon are listed as the starting quarterback. ... The Steelers list rookie wide receiver Antonio Brown as their No. 1 kick and punt returner.

    http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/...ssure-on-dixon
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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    "He can be special. He has all the attributes of Kordell. With time, he can probably be as good as Kordell."
    I heard that interview on 1250 yesterday, and almost stabbed myself in the eye.

    I know no one wants to hear it, but Dixon is going to be much better than Kordell was. Kordell's numbers were completely created/inflated due to the ridiculous contract bestowed upon him by Donahue and Cowher- any other situation, and Korkie would have been on the bench.

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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by anpsteel View Post
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    I heard that interview on 1250 yesterday, and almost stabbed myself in the eye.

    I know no one wants to hear it, but Dixon is going to be much better than Kordell was. Kordell's numbers were completely created/inflated due to the ridiculous contract bestowed upon him by Donahue and Cowher- any other situation, and Korkie would have been on the bench.
    I'll disagree with this one. Korkie should've been on the bench and Dixon was drafted solely to be on the bench. Neither were really/are really starting QB caliber players. Both are cut from very similar molds. They use their feet first, can launch a football 162 yards down field from their knees and can't thread a football or hot moving targets

    The only difference between the 2 is that Dixon isn't and was never drafted as any long term answer and Korkie was
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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    Will the DD nonsense ever stop?

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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
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    Will the DD nonsense ever stop?
    Nope. Pittsburgh loves the backup QB, especially the guy that's never had the chance to fail at the NFL level.
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    It's pretty obvious he is not an accurate thrower. Clutch situation at the end of a game and he needs to thread the needle. It's just not going to happen plain and simple. But you have to admit it's a small sample size. I am boy ready to judge his career in the league just yet. The thing that gets me is these posts that seem to come off like the Dixon supporters want to trade Ben and let Dixon become the new franchise qb. It's just not the case. I just think he will be ok in a pinch and possibly give us what we need to win a couple as long as the d comes through.

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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    While Dixon did run well at the University of Oregon, his passing is what made him a Heisman Trophy candidate. He holds Oregon's career accuracy record, completing 63.9 percent of his passes. And he also set a school record for a season, completing 67.7 percent of his passes in 2007 before a torn ACL in his left knee ended his season Nov. 3.

    Yet, it's the threat of him to run that has grabbed everyone's attention, even the opponent's, such as Atlanta coach Mike Smith, whose team opens the season Sunday against Dixon at Heinz Field.

    "Dennis creates issues with the skill set he has as a quarterback in terms of his athleticism," Smith said. "I think that is something that we are going to have to make sure we are on top of our game because he is very athletic.

    "He throws the ball well, but he can make plays with his feet as well and it will be very important for us to have a good plan to contain the quarterback, keep him in the pocket and not let him create explosive plays when the integrity of the play breaks down. I think that is probably one of the biggest things that we are going to have to do."




    At least the Atlanta coaches are a little bit worried..... probably more so than if Leftwich was starting. They already know that Lefty sucks.

    This will take a team effort by the Steelers! They don't have a good, recent record vs the Falcons. The D and S/T both have something to prove after last season and I hope B.A.'s up to the task!


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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    What's the over/under on WR screens Sunday?

    Ward might have 10 catches for 46 yards.

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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sodfather View Post
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    What's the over/under on WR screens Sunday?

    Ward might have 10 catches for 46 yards.
    That is funny- and probably true.

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    Default Re: On the Steelers: Dixon displays accuracy

    This is one of those issues where a bunch of us will have to agree to disagree, until one group of us is proven correct.

    Dixon is much more accurate than Kordell ever was. I posted this on another board- cant find the actual post-

    anyway- Dixon's college completion percentage is about 10% higher than Kordell's.

    Keep in mind- Kordell had a NFL backfield- in
    Charles Johnson
    Eric Bienemy
    Michael Pritchad
    each of them went on to have successfull careers in the NFL.

    The only guy you've ever heard of that play with Dixon was the running back- who didn't catch a whole lot of balls-
    Jonathan Stewart.

    Anyway- I recognize that it is futile to try to convince the unconvincable, that Dixon has a legitimate shot to be a successful nfl qb-

    all he needs to do, is to learn to read the nfl coverages. Once he does that- and feels comfortable with it- the game will slow down for him, and he'll stop forcing plays- which is what he has a tendency to do now.

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