Ken Laird, of ESPN Radio 1250, tweeted that Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians hinted in between practice sessions that quarterback Dennis Dixon might be used early on this year as a change of pace quarterback. This offers up a unique chance for the Steelers to really keep defenses honest as we all saw first hand what Dixon can do with his legs as was evident in his lone start versus Baltimore last year.
Dixon has had limited snaps thus far in training camp, but reportedly has been accurate with his passes. Throwing this type info out there is smart in the light of it surely will be picked up by the main stream media and make it\’s way to the opposing coaches ears. This is just one more thing defenses have to prepare for without Ben Roethlisberger under center for the first four games.
Arians has long been ridiculed for not putting in some sort of Wildcat type package that plays to the mobility of Dixon. He has said before that it would get Dixon hurt, but that way of thinking might have changed now as Arians said Tuesday, that if Dixon is your #2 QB, you may be able to take some risks you wouldn\’t take with him as your starter. Dixon admitted Tuesday that he thinks they are trying to move the pocket a little bit for him as he likes to throw on the run. He went on to say, “They\’re probably bringing in a couple wrinkles to see how it goes. It\’s not complex like the wildcat with misdirection.”
Keep your eyes peeled in preseason for some designed bootlegs or running roll outs by Dixon as it could be a small glimpse of how Arians might use him if indeed Dixon is brought in as a change a pace. This could well be a smoke screen as well, much like Arians did with the Pony backfield talk after running back Rashard Mendenhall was drafted in 2008.