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Dixon never asked for trade, but would welcome one


For the record, Dennis Dixon never asked the Steelers to trade him, nor will he.
That doesn’t mean Dixon wouldn’t welcome a trade with open arms.
“It’s not that I don’t want to (be traded), but I’ve never (asked for) a trade before,” Dixon said.
Dixon wants to have a shot to compete for a starting quarterback spot, but knows that there is no opportunity in his current situation as the Steelers’ No. 3 quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger.
So the former Oregon star, who was the Steelers’ fifth-round choice in 2008, has two choices – get traded or play out the season and test the free agency market next year.
Dixon was a restricted free agent this year and the Steelers slapped a modest fifth-round tender on him before the lockout. After shopping himself around the league for a week, Dixon decided to sign the tender to return to the Steelers for a little more than a $1 million.
“It is kind of tough to say right now,” Dixon said when asked if he wants to be traded. “As long as I have a job, I am happy. I love Pittsburgh to death, but if anything else comes my way, I will be happy as well.”
It’s obvious that Dixon wants out of Pittsburgh, and how can you blame him?
He really has no chance to become a starter with the Steelers, and even has as little a chance of being the backup with Byron Leftwich seemingly entrenched into that spot.
Dixon has all the talent in the world but nowhere to show it.
He looked good, albeit in a scaled-back look against Atlanta when he threw for 236 yards in last year’s opener.
But that, and a couple of preseason games, is all we have to base Dixon’s abilities on — not nearly enough for any team to offer the Steelers anything other than a 6th- or 7th-round pick.
What we do know is that Dixon is young (26), he has a boatload of talent and he wants to start.
Two of those things are perfect for the Steelers, except for the latter.
“Whether it is No. 2 or No. 1, you want to play,” Dixon said. “At the end of the day, I can’t control that. All I can do is do what I can do. The reps that I get, I have to take seriously.”
Enter Friday’s first preseason game against the Redskins.
Of course, Roethlisberger isn’t going to see much time as well as the veterans of Leftwich and Charlie Batch.
Friday’s going to be a time that Dixon needs to shine … actually, this entire preseason is a time that he has to shine if he wants to have any future in this league.
Dixon, more than any of the 89 players on the roster, is auditioning for a job league-wide.
“Not only 31 teams but just my teammates in general,” Dixon said. “Just to show them that I am here and we will get things done if my number is called.”
Whether he is traded or not this year doesn’t matter because this will be the final year for Dixon as a Steeler.
That’s for certain.
He will be an unrestricted free agent next year and is surely will find a better opportunity somewhere else in the league.
“I will talk to my agent in depth when that time comes,” Dixon said. “The business side of things can take its toll some times and if that’s the way it goes, then that’s the way it goes.”
— By Mark Kaboly


Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as three Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa and XLV in Dallas. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug


  1. Jopa-n says:

    Dixon is a lot like Tim Tebow in that he is very athletic, but currently lacks the full ability to be a true NFL passer. He can certainly win some games with a great running attack and a great defense, but is not SB material until he can polish his game (footwork, ability to read defenses, and get a more consistent release). He also may never be able to get the intangibles needed to be a true NFL QB. He does deserve a chance to try with a team that needs a true #1.

  2. Scott P says:

    What is the coaching staff’s infatuation with Leftwich? He has done very little to help this team. I would put Dixon as the number two, and Batch as number 3. I have no use for Leftwich.

  3. David says:

    in my opinion, i feel that Dixon plays with a lot of pins and needles, which makes for some nervous decision making on his part, until he grows out of these nerves he will only be a good athletic quarterback that lacks the leadership it takes to control an offense like Brady, Manning, and oh Roethlisberger. These 3 don’t think about the play, they let the play come to them, and I am not saying this about all the NFL qbs, cause who am I if not just an arm chair football player with madden mvp credentials, but my take on Dixon, is just another qb in the mix, nothing great, nothing special,,,

  4. doug k says:

    i couldnt agree with sccott p more!! what does tomlin and his staff see with leftwich?!! The guy is a has been that never was in this league! Dixon has all the talent in the world but will never show it with the steelers! Leftwich is terribly immobile, not accurate and will not move the offense if given the chance. Ben is mobile and still has a league high sacks every year. Picture leftwich in there for several games? It would be a slaughter!!!!!

  5. Jopa-n says:

    Leftwich and Batch both are good backups in the NFL. They both are experienced and have assets important to be a true field general. Leftwich can make all the throws from the pocket and knows the reads. Batch can feel the pressure and move and make the throws. He knows where his receivers need to be.
    Dixon is not a better QB than either of these two when it comes to going in as a number 2 and leading a football team.

  6. kevin says:

    Dixon is a great talent , but leftwich and batch are nice experienced back-ups. trade dixon for a DB to help our secondary.

  7. Jayson says:

    I agree with most of what has already said; Dixon lacks the necessary tools to be a starting QB in the NFL. Lets face it, for one, he’s too skinny; two, he has not developed into an accurate passer. In his defense, I don’t know what-the-BLEEP the Steelers see in Byron Keftwich. Maybe if Dixon was a #2, he wouldn’t mind sticking around. Why draft a QB like this kid, when you continously stunt his growth by bringing in Leftwich. Leftwich completely sucked last year. I wish the kid well; a good place for him would be San Francisco.

  8. Coach Al says:

    Count me in for cutting Leftwich and moving Dixon up to number 2.

  9. Ollie says:

    I would like to see them keep Dixon and see what he can do in a slash situation like Kordell was used. Leftwich is not that good. Why let someone with as much talent as Dixon has just stand on the sidelines. Use him!

  10. David says:

    Slash worked but slash didn’t get us to a single superbowl. There is such a time and year for such play calling, right now is not the time.

  11. Joe Mama says:

    Dixon is awful. Get rid of this bum. He had his chances and blew it. Two seasons ago, he played against Ravens with no real prep and did a fine job in an OT loss. The next year, despite being handed the starting job due to Ben’s suspension and an entire preseason to prepare, he played like crap and failed to seize the moment. He’s the next coming of Korky Stewart… thanks but no thanks!!

  12. Rozey says:

    Dixon only had two starts last year, there is not enough of a sample to say he is not a starting QB in the NFL. Too skinny, he is build like Vince Young. We have Byron L, as the backup, if we could get some draft picks for Dixon I say make a deal. Possible make a deal for NFL calibar DB…..

  13. JohnS says:

    Coaches always have their guys and I guess Tomlin has Leftwich and Moore. Neither guy brings much to the table that you couldn’t get from younger guys but they are Tomlin’s guys.

    There are QB’s that are natural to the position. These guys require very little seasoning to know how to win. Ben, Manning, Brady and others just get it. Other players take a long time to progress and need a ton of playing time to get to their max potential. I think Dixon is that kind of guy. He can be serviceable but will never be a star. At this stage of his career if he is not clearly #2 the Steelers should be moving on. While Ben is youngish (29) the years add up quick when you get hit like he does.

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