I've seen/heard some grumbling about Dennis Dixon's QB play in the season-opening victory over Atlanta last weekend. Dixon was 18 of 26 in only his second career start, with one INT.
Folks, let's get some perspective. Out third string QB was opening up the season against a team a lot of pundits have making the NFC playoffs. Pittsburgh needed Dixon to minimize mistakes and keep the Steelers close. And that's what he did. His interception was a big one, surely costing them points. And he stayed almost exclusively in the pocket, not utilizing his speed at all. That seemed to be the Tomlarians game plan. I think they didn't want to chance an injury with only Charlie Batch available. It seems similar to last year's Ravens game when only untested Tyler Palko was the backup.
Rashard Mendenhall and the defense won the game. Substitute Jeff Reed for Mendenhall and that's probably what most of us expected. Dixon looked tight, turfing several passes that would have kept drives alive. But he did what he needed to to win.
They (whoever 'they' are) are already talking about QB controversies in San Francisco (A. Smith/Carr) and Cleveland (Delhomme/Wallace). Dennis Dixon delivered an important victory. He should be a little more comfortable next weekend and hopefully the coaches will let him use his legs. It's his combination of speed and throwing ability that gives him the advantage over Batch. Taking away his mobility seriously limits Dixon.