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The Dixon game plan


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The Dixon game plan

8:51

AM ETDennis Dixon | Steelers TopEmailDuring Pittsburgh Steelers QB Dennis Dixon's last NFL start, the team kept him on a relatively short leash from a style standpoint. This was done in part because the team had just one other healthy backup on the roster at that point, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Even so, Dixon did get some opportunities to use his legs to make plays, and not just his arm.

But with another several months of preparation, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says that Dixon won't be limited this time. But, he's also improved quite a bit in the more traditional aspects of being an NFL QB. "The fluid understanding of where to distribute the football, the understanding of protections, I just think it's the natural maturation process that a young player goes through, and he's in the process of becoming a veteran-like player. Playing is a big part of that and that's why this opportunity he's getting is so big for him personally."

While coaches are protective of their exact gameplan, it still seems like the team is going to rely a bit more on the ground game while Ben Roethlisberger is out, in spite of Dixon's improvement. Opposing teams will thus likely gameplan to contain Dixon and the running backs on the ground and force the Oregon alum to show that he can beat them in the air before they de-commit extra men from the box.

- Tim Kavanagh

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