Dennis Dixon Era To Begin

I guess we should have held our breath after all.

In a completely unexpected turn of events, Ben Roethlisberger looks like he’ll be seated on the bench this Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers face a pivotal match-up against the Baltimore Ravens.

Every article I read this week said Ben felt fine while passing each and every post-concussion test with “flying colors” (his words). He practiced normally as all indications were he was suffering no residual effects from the knee to the head he took last Sunday against those dirty scumbag Chiefs.  Late yesterday, ESPN issued a report that Ben had been experiencing headaches the past couple days.  Crack reporting by our local media as usual.  Anyway, after meeting with head coach Mike Tomlin it was evidently decided to sit Ben out rather than risk a second concussion or even worse neurological damage.

The Dennis Dixon era is about to begin.

Dixon is a second year pro who has thrown one NFL pass.  While at Oregon, he was seen as Heisman Trophy candidate and a probable first round NFL draft pick.  Unfortunately, he tore his ACL mid-way through his senior season.  He postponed surgery and played with the injury because he wanted to get his team to the Rose Bowl.  It ended up costing him, though, as he was still recovering from the surgery when the draft came around and his poor workouts dropped him from the top two or three rounds all the way to the fifth.  Dix is an amazing athlete who even played minor league baseball in the Atlanta Braves organization before turning his full attention to football.

As a Steeler, his highlights amount to exactly one play he made in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills last year.  Taking the snap, he saw nobody open so he took off running.  47 yards later he had a touchdown in a play that would’ve made Kordell Stewart proud.  In fact, I confess to being excited about the idea we had Slash 2.0 on our hands.  I make no apologies for being a huge Kordell fan.  But much like the great Slash, Dixon came into camp this year showing a similar tendency to struggle with his accuracy.  Dix has a good arm so it was very disappointing to see the guy who was supposed to challenge Charlie Batch for the backup QB spot looking confused, erratic, and displaying poor mechanics.

Hopefully, he’ll be able to pull it together for this Sunday night’s game.  Although Ben hasn’t officially been ruled out (the doctors will test him today and tomorrow to determine if he should play), I’m going out on a limb and saying he’s not starting.  Once a player shows concern or reluctance to play because of an injury, he’s already mentally checked out.  For the sake of the Steelers playoff hopes, I hope the rest of the team hasn’t as well.

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  • JLAW

    Well here is to hoping we have a Slash 2.0 but the upgraded version has better accuracy. I’m keeping the faith especially since this is such a pivotal game. And I’m hoping the Browns can pull one out of their rears like the chiefs and raiders did last week. Hope you all had a good holiday and I’ll blog at ya Monday.

  • chris

    Thanks, JLaw. Hope your holiday was nice, as well. Of course, I think we’d all agree the best way to end this holiday weekend is with a Steelers victory. Let’s hope young Mr. Dixon is up to the task.

  • bluzdude

    Been reading you a while… first time commenting.

    Here’s to hoping the Steelers can come up with something unpredictable, to keep the Rats on their toes. Maybe Dixon will be able to pull off some Kordellian feats. (I mean the good ones, of course.)

    Living in Baltimore, I just despise the Ravens… even since they were the Brownies. (Reasons for said loathing may be found here:

    This is one of the 2 games all year I always consider a “must-win”, regardless of the standings. The Rattie fans around here have been working up to a fever pitch all week, even more so than usual. Here’s to hoping the Steelers can block out all the distraction…especially the Ravens’ great new purple towel idea. How on earth could they have come up with that?

  • “O”

    Well we can all say this. At least the Ratbirds can’t look at film how to stop Dixon. Unless they get into the archeives of The University of Oregon. Dixon may surprise alot of people this week. He can throw the ball down the feild and also has wheels. We shall see.
    Chris i bet you did not know that I am from Oregon.So I had the chance to watch Dixon play for the Ducks. But I am a life long Steelers fan.

  • chris

    Bluz, it’s nice to know there is some intelligent life out there in Baltimore. And you’re right that the Ratbird fans seem to be drooling all over themselves for “revenge.” I hadn’t heard of the purple towel gimmick but Washington tried something similar last year which was equally pathetic.

    I’m just hoping Dixon can manage the game and not make mistakes. Anything Kordellian will be a bonus. Although if Mendenhall doesn’t have 25-30 carries, Arians shouldn’t bother coming back to Pittsburgh.

    Thanks for the comment and I hope you write again. Sorry it didn’t show up right away but comments with links in them get caught in my spam filter until I approve them. Keeps the Viagra salesman out of my comments.

  • chris

    O, I did not know you were out there in the Pacific Northwest. I’d imagine you know Dixon better than any of us. And that is a good point about not having film on him and not knowing what to expect. Hopefully that and a little bit of luck will let us pull off a miracle.