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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Dixon looks good

Second-year quarterback Dennis Dixon looks like a completely different player at this year's mini-camp than he did a year ago.

Then again, that's not that big of a surprise considering he wasn't even supposed to take a snap at last year's camp after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL less than six months before.

Dixon obviously has a much better grasp of the offense now and you can see a huge difference between him and rookies Kevin McCabe and Mike Reilly.

There's also not much difference between Dixon and veteran Charlie Batch. In fact, Dixon has looked better than Batch - though it's still very early and Batch is coming off a very long layoff.

It's easy to see, however, why the Steelers are high on Dixon.

© While there's not a load of experience behind Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes at wide receiver, there's certainly a glut of promising young players - and a couple of veterans.

But there are also spots open there and the battle for the fourth, fifth and even sixth wideout spots should be a very good one this year in training camp.

© As he usually has, Deshea Townsend has worked at safety. But with two young draft picks added at the cornerback position, as well as veteran Keiwan Ratliff, Townsend's work at safety may be more important now than ever for the veteran.


Anonymous said...

Has Dixon gained any weight? He looked way too skinny last year. You gotta be able to take some hits when Colon and Kemoeatu whiff on blocks.

Anonymous said...

So it certainly is a possibility that dixon becomes the #2 QB. interesting....

danpio1217 said...

Dennis Dixon is gonna be a stud. The guy was a steal in the fifth round. He could have gone anywhere from round 1 to round 3 had he stayed healthy his senior year. I just hope Arians is creative enough to toss in a few 'wildcat'-like packages to get him on the field for a few snaps this year. He's gonna be a great #2 man someday.

Jim McMillen said...

I won’t to see the Steelers get Dixon more involved in the offense. They could use him on trick plays and in their own version of the Wildcat.

Ben said...

Glad to hear Dixon is coming into his own. All signs point to this being Charlie's last year. Dale, do you think he's headed for a coaching job? How about Deshea?

datruth4life said...

Dale, how do you think the OL will shake out this year?

What are your thoughts on LT/RT Jason Capizzi and LT Tony Hills stepping up this year?

I think that Capizzi could be the long-term answer for this team at RT. He has great feet for someone that size, has had 3 years to work on his strength and can play LT and RT. He could also make the line stronger by allowing Colon to play guard. Rookie RT Ramone Foster could be a great fit on our practice squad for a year.


Patrick said...

no offense to anybody, but you guys really love the local guys

I do not understand the fascination with Capizzi or Shipley

Capizzi most likely will not be on the roster this year and I REALLY hope at some point in the preseason we get to see Shipley on Ngata or Rogers. It's going to be embarassing for him and hopefully it will put the Shipley as our starting C crowd to rest.

I know theres plenty of late or undrafted guys that do well and we all love those stories, but 98% of them don't play a down and theres usually a reason they are rated so low - they aren't very good.

Patrick said...

and before someone makes me look stupid, yes we don't play our division rivals in the preseason....give me another huge DT then. my point is I think Shipley will struggle against massive 3-4 DT's at this level.

Ben said...

No harm in hoping for him to succeed though, Patrick. Nothing wrong with pulling for a local kid.

Dale Lolley said...

I do think this is it for Charlie.
He or Deshea could get into coaching, but why would they? Coaches work long hours and those guys have made some pretty good money throughout their careers.

As for Capizzi, I think he's going to be in a battle to make this team due to numbers. They like Foster. He was one of their priority FA signings.

Ben said...

When you love what you do, is it really work? Mean Joe is still on the payroll, after all.

datruth4life said...

Dale, you have to admit, this is the best opportunity for Capizzi to stick than his prior two opportunities.

I'm not one of those pulling for Capizzi or Shipley as local kids because I'm not local. To me, they're either good enough or they're not. I just remember seeing Capizzi play in the preseason two years ago and he showed great feet for someone of that size and surprisingly athleticism. Let's hope he gets his fair shot this year.

Dale, what are you hearing on LT T. Hills?

Zone Blitz said...

Batch is merely there to serve as a mentor to Dixon one last year. I really don't think Charlie has much left in the tank, but he does add to the current chemistry.

I agree, Batch won't go the coaching route for the reasons Dale mentioned above (i.e., long hours, low pay, etc.). Besides Homestead Charlie as opened a few UPS Express Shipment Centers around the Pittsburgh area (he has 2 or 3 franchise stores now I believe).

Dale Lolley said...

I thought Hills looked bigger in terms of muscle later in the season last year. Haven't been hearing much about him though - I haven't really asked anyone, either.

Llorin said...


The worry for Shipley isn't 3-4 DTs/NTs; that's the matchup that he was born and built for.

His issue is the big question marks about how he would handle the lanky 4-3 DEs that are ubiquitous at the pro level.