The only good thing that came out of the Sunday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens is that we truly know now what we have in the 2008 5th round draft pick, Dennis Dixon. Dixon overcame incredible odds of limited practice time and playing a division rival on the road in front of a national television audience and actually gave the team a chance to win. Dixon\’s performance was in no way perfect, in fact it showed many flaws in his mechanics as the game got into the second half. This was to be expected though. What Dixon did show was ability and strong nerves, two things you need as a basis to be a quarterback in the NFL.
His mechanics are curable and his understanding of the game will improve with more snaps in practice. His pocket presence showed great poise against a very strong and confusing defense. The arm strength seems more than adequate and his accuracy should improve with more repetitions as well. Dixon\’s did let a few passes sail on him to open receivers, but his vision of picking up the open man is evident. The interception in overtime was all on him, but he will learn from that.
Going forward, Dixon will never cause a quarterback controversy as long as a healthy Ben Roethlisberger is in Pittsburgh, but with more game preparation and an expanded playbook, he has promise as a number 2 quarterback going forward. Mike Tomlin pointed out last week that the arrow is pointing up in regards with Dixon and I do indeed see it as well after the Ravens game. He just needs more work now in practice with starters and needs to concentrate more on learning defenses and refining his mechanics. Dixon gave the Steelers a chance to win the game and you can\’t ask much more from your number 3 quarterback considering the hand he was dealt.