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DIESELMAN
05-12-2008, 08:28 AM
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Dennis Dixon waited until exactly 11 o’clock to make the call he dreaded making all day long.

Dennis Dixon Sr., with his wife cradled in one arm, picked up the phone and placed it to his wife’s ear.

Just as her son began to speak, 46-year-old Jueretta Dixon died right then and there in an Oregon hospital.
A three-year battle with breast cancer ended on Feb. 3, 2004 for Jueretta Dixon with the last voice she ever heard was that of her then 20-year-old boy.
“I could never have another low point besides losing my mom,” Dixon said. “Nothing can get worse than that. Anything else doesn’t seem as bad.”

So it's easy to understand why this star three-sport high school athlete turned college football phenom took his benching late during his junior year at Oregon in stride. Nor was he bothered when Oregon coach Mike Belotti denounced him for signing a contract with the Atlanta Braves after Dixon was drafted in the fifth round after that junior year.

That devastating ACL injury near the end of last year when the Heisman Trophy and national championship was within reach? Took that in stride, too.

Falling from one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL draft all the way down the list where a guy from Delaware and a guy from San Diego State were taken before him? Not a big deal.

That’s the mentality he got from his mother and that mentality got him selected by the Steelers in the fifth round of the NFL draft in late April, despite only having a damaged knee at the time.

“It took a long time to get over it,” said Dixon about the passing of his mother.

A tattoo of her on his arm and a medallion around his neck sped up the process of the loss of the woman who had seen nearly every baseball, football and basketball game her son played through high school. But sports wasn’t the main focus of Dixon’s mother. It was academics. So much so that she concealed her illness from her children for as long as she could, because she feared it would cause them to lose focus on their school work. At her funeral, Dixon proclaimed to the mourners that he would get his degree at Oregon. Early.

“My dad had me in numerous sports,” Dixon said. “I played anything. My mom was the one who stayed on me as far as my grades. One of my goals was to earn my college degree and to finish early, and I did. I think she would be proud of me.”

She would be just as proud that her son was able to put a devastating knee injury -- that might've cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars -- into perspective and move past it.

“It was hard at first, I am not going to lie,” Dixon said. “But my dad got into my head and compared it to losing my mom. I took that as a big booster and took it as a minor bump in the road. It is all about how you react in the end.”

To him, what’s a knee injury especially compared to the other things he has overcame over the past couple of years?

That benching near the end of his junior and the denouncement of by his coach for playing baseball in the summer? He responded by being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. That ACL injury? He is back to near 100 percent. Falling to the fifth round of the draft?

“This is an opportunity for me,” Dixon said. “I am going to do the best I can and hopefully that is enough.”

Steelers Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert saw enough of Dixon during a September trip the Ducks made to the ‘Big House’ in Ann Arbor, Mich., to sell him on the kid.

“He was winning that game by himself,” Colbert said. “It was amazing what he was doing, deep balls, short balls, running. The first thing that I thought about was Vince Young. The more you watched him the more you were impressed.”

Dixon finished his first and only trip into Ann Arbor with a tremendous stat line: 16-of-25 for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns, including an 85-yarder, to go along with 76 yards and a touchdown on the ground in a 39-7 romp.

“This kid he is a passer first, he played in a spread offense, but boy he is a patient guy in the pocket, finds open receivers,” Colbert said. “He has to work on some short accuracy, more so than deep ball accuracy. He laid out some beautiful deep balls. Then when things weren’t there he took off and ran, not only fast but instinctively.”
Dixon added: “I was just happy to be in that game. It was a blast out there.

We gave 110 percent each side of the ball and if I am remembered for that then that’s fine.

Dixon’s senior season was going even better than he'd imagined, before a game against Arizona State, where he clutched his knee and limped to the sidelines near the end of a 35-23 win over the Sun Devils. It was called a knee sprain at the time, but six days later it was revealed to be a torn ACL. He tried to play the next week against Arizona, but didn’t make it to halftime as Oregon’s national title hopes ended with a 34-24 loss.

“I don’t regret anything I did,” Dixon said. “I don’t regret coming back and trying to play the next week. Things like that happen.”

Dixon had 20 touchdowns and four interceptions and nine more scores on the ground before being shut down for the year.
Now a new chapter of the Dennis Dixon story is in the works.

“The sky is the limit,” Dixon said. “If I could perform to the best of my abilities on the field then it is up to the next level for me. I just try to do the best that I can on the field and everything else will work out.”


By Mark Kaboly
For SteelCityInsider.com
Posted May 12, 2008

I hope this guy proves he's capable of playing in the NFL. :yellowthumb:

BlackGold4vr
05-12-2008, 09:18 AM
Charlie Batch is getting older and is on the downside of his career. We need to groom another back-up and this guy's college career was very impressive before his injury. This could wind up being one of our smartest picks. :yesnod:

portcityblackandgold
05-12-2008, 09:30 AM
Thanks for the story. Having loss my mom, I know his pain. I also know that it will inspire him to be the best he can be at all of his endeavors. I knew Dixon had a big heart. This pick will pay big dividends for the Steelers.

BlitzburghRockCity
05-12-2008, 09:45 AM
The Steelers knew they had about 1 or 2 more years at the most before Batch retires so this pick makes sense especially in the 5th round. The guy would have been a 2nd round draft pick, possibly even a late 1st had he not tore his ACL. His name would have been mentioned with Flacco and Ryan in this years draft. He's going to cost us very little against the cap and we could find ourselves with one of the biggest steals in the 2008 draft when we look back at it in a couple years.

ItAintEasyBeingPeazy
05-12-2008, 09:47 AM
Sounds like a good solid kid.I hope he does well...don't want to get all attached to this guy because he definately has an uphill battle to make this team, those utility guys like St.Pierre always seem to make the team just because they are cheap and already know the system.
Is he healthy enough that we will seem in some pre-season games?.I've heard different stories about his injuries.Didn't know if anyone has an update on that.:crossfingers:

ejsteeler
05-12-2008, 01:25 PM
Charlie Batch is getting older and is on the downside of his career. We need to groom another back-up and this guy's college career was very impressive before his injury. This could wind up being one of our smartest picks. :yesnod:

:ditto: :yellowthumb:

SteelerSteve
05-12-2008, 05:24 PM
Charlie Batch is getting older and is on the downside of his career. We need to groom another back-up and this guy's college career was very impressive before his injury. This could wind up being one of our smartest picks. :yesnod:Yeah, and lets not forget that Ben does miss an occasional game or two due to injury, so I think it definitley was a good pick. He is better than where he was drafted imo.

MDSteel15
05-12-2008, 07:08 PM
OK OK, I'm starting to warm up to this kid. Looking more like a good pick even though I think we could of gotten him in the next round.

Mike Tomlin
05-13-2008, 08:50 AM
How quickly opinions ,change last week people where ready to have Tomlin and Colberts head about this pick. Everything is lined up for him , he has time to heal and if he ever has to come in a game he'll have to good running backs and a great set of receivers to help him out.

BlitzburghRockCity
05-13-2008, 07:57 PM
Even though they said he wasn't going to be used in a Slash type of role I can't imagine they aren't going to try and work in some plays for this kid now and then to get him on the field and let him contribute some.

steelcityrockers
05-13-2008, 09:07 PM
How quickly opinions ,change last week people where ready to have Tomlin and Colberts head about this pick. Everything is lined up for him , he has time to heal and if he ever has to come in a game he'll have to good running backs and a great set of receivers to help him out.



I was one of like 3 people defending it.

Mike Tomlin
05-13-2008, 11:14 PM
I was one of like 3 people defending it.

LOL! you and me make 2, who was the third? I wonder where he is with his injury because I saw a picture of him throwing without a brace.Maybe he's farther along then we think.

MDSteel15
05-14-2008, 12:57 AM
How quickly opinions ,change last week people where ready to have Tomlin and Colberts head about this pick. Everything is lined up for him , he has time to heal and if he ever has to come in a game he'll have to good running backs and a great set of receivers to help him out.

Don't get me wrong, I still think we should of addressed the O-line here. I just like this guys resolve and desire! Besides, if he plays baseball intead, you will be changing your opinion quicker than this! :2cents:

manofsteel
05-14-2008, 07:31 AM
Its good to have a new backup to groom. Charlie is getting older.

Mike Tomlin
05-14-2008, 04:40 PM
Besides, if he plays baseball intead, you will be changing your opinion quicker than this! :2cents:

LOL! Noone can predict what will happen this season let alone 5 minutes from now. If he plays baseball or hockey that don't change the fact that he was picked with our QB situation in mind, so if it works out great if not atleast he wasn't a first day pick. Long story short , I
thought the kid was worth the gamble obviously so did Mike and Colbert.:2cents:

Maybe all those other second day busts of ours are playing baseball too
lol!

MDSteel15
05-14-2008, 05:59 PM
Doubt it... Most of them aren't talented enough to play football much less baseball!!!

TrojanHorse
05-14-2008, 09:26 PM
I've been watching Dixon play for years, and never really saw him as an NFL QB. Those college spread QBs struggle in pro offenses (see Alex Smith and Vince Young), but he's has versatility, and the Steelers should be able to use him in a variety of ways.

steelcityrockers
05-14-2008, 09:46 PM
You do have to remember, he has the benefit of sitting on the bench for the first year, probably two, where Vince and Alex started. Urban Meyers (I think that was his, Smith's, coach) offense also dosen't transition to the NFL very well either. The spread offense is run in the NFL (Pats and Colts for example) just minus an athletic QB, because that would mean certain death for the QB.

JensK
05-15-2008, 04:58 AM
First i was like: meh - But then i was like: lol - And then i serioused.

No really, i think Dixon is a decent pick, if he can get healthy. It was a problem which needed to be adress within a few years, so may aswell get it done now. Yes, we did have a few o-line problems to adress, but i really don't see it as a problem which we cant survive for another year, especially not when there is a potential quality QB like dixon on the board.

Steel58
05-15-2008, 09:17 AM
they need to make this kid into slash#2.

ejsteeler
05-15-2008, 09:59 AM
Is it just me, or does no one else remember what slash did for us? A SB? NO! I say no slash. I think it ruined Stewart imho.

steelcityrockers
05-15-2008, 03:38 PM
FALSE

Stewart swithing to full time QB ruined Stewart.

ejsteeler
05-16-2008, 10:35 AM
Not false. That IS my opinion. That's true.

Your opinion is that switching to QB fulltime ruined him...:lol:

You may be right, but I think it messed with his head when he was slash, which in turn ruined him as a QB. Either way, he washed out.

K Train
05-16-2008, 01:11 PM
kordell was a nasty WR, he really really couldve been great

ejsteeler
05-16-2008, 01:19 PM
kordell was a nasty WR, he really really couldve been great

I agree. The potential was there.

MDSteel15
05-16-2008, 08:59 PM
You are ALL right and wrong! He was great at WR! He was a fine QB. The problem with him at QB was the 5 different offensive coordinators he went through while trying to play the possition! That's my opinion.....

steelcityrockers
05-16-2008, 10:37 PM
For many reasons, Vince Young reminds me of Kordell Stewart: the outstanding athleticism, above-average arm, erratic accuracy, often mind numbing decision making, rampant gay rumors, and so on and so forth.

MDSteel15
05-17-2008, 12:36 AM
For many reasons, Vince Young reminds me of Kordell Stewart: the outstanding athleticism, above-average arm, erratic accuracy, often mind numbing decision making, rampant gay rumors, and so on and so forth.

LOL... Yeah, but Kordell's girl was soooo fine!!! :banana:

ejsteeler
05-19-2008, 12:07 PM
LOL... Yeah, but Kordell's girl was soooo fine!!! :banana:

:rofl:

Steel58
05-19-2008, 02:05 PM
Arians need to make him slash#2:cope: