Dixon expects only small changes to game plan

When Dennis Dixon was at Oregon, he was just about the polar opposite of Ben Roethlisberger at Miami of Ohio: Whereas Roethlisberger entered the NFL as a pocket passer who averaged 1.3 yards a carry, Dixon was as likely to make plays with his feet as with his arm.

But as Dixon prepares to make his first NFL start in place of Roethlisberger tonight, he says he thinks he can run the Steelers’ offense in more or less the same way that Roethlisberger does.

I wouldn’t say the game plan would drastically change, but there will be little things we do differently that will go a long way in helping me,” Dixon told the Beaver County Times. “That’s good. I don’t have to do everything. I have a lot of leadership on the offense, from the O-line, to the receivers, to the running backs as well. They’ve been here, done that. So I trust in them.”

Dixon has thrown exactly one regular-season pass in his NFL career, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he has confidence in Dixon, the third-string quarterback who has to start tonight’s game against the Ravens because both Roethlisberger and backup Charlie Batch are hurt.

“I’ve been very pleased with Dennis’ progress as a third quarterback,” Tomlin said. “In terms of where Dennis is as a second-year player, the arrow is pointed up with him. We’re extremely excited about where he is as a young quarterback.

Tomlin hastened to add, however, “That’s different, of course, than playing against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night television.”

Starting against the Ravens tonight will be a lot different than anything Dixon has done so far. But Dixon says the game plan doesn’t need to be a lot different for him to run it successfully.

13 responses to “Dixon expects only small changes to game plan

  1. listen, tonight we find out what this team can do without Ben, if the steelers win we know we are contenders, if we lose…just remember we have six SB’s and we cannot win them all.
    Come on Arians, confuse the hell out of these guys, the steelers probably game planned all week for Dixon. Ben just laid a smokescreen for him..
    Go Steelers!

  2. Stillerz, the point I was making is that Roethlisberger was a first-round draft pick because of what he had accomplished as a pocket passer in college, whereas Dixon entered the draft viewed as a threat with his feet, to the point that some teams asked him if he’d consider changing positions in the NFL.

  3. Is one of the “small changes to the gameplan” losing by 3 touchdowns? Because I’m going to go ahead and say that’s pretty likely

  4. It’s good to see the kid get the start, but I wonder if both the Steelers and Leftwich wish that Leftwich hadn’t opted to go to Tampa Bay…

  5. SteelcurtnDee….
    I was actually hoping this may force Arians to cal a logical game tonight. Who knows though. The Ravens have let up a couple 100 yard rushers this year I believe, so we need to be running the football tonight. Looking forward to game time.

  6. Yeah I’m sure Leftwhich would rather be a backup for Pittsburgh than for Tampa. I feel bad for Byron becuase has never really had a chance to get used to an offense and really see how good he is. As far as Dennis goes it’s a tough game to start but a good chance to see where he is. If they lose or if Dennis has a bad game let’s rember that this is his first game ever to start.

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