Averaging only 19.9 yards per kickoff return heading into the Oakland game, and fresh off being benched in Minnesota for pulling up short of holes, Ron Dixon was unsure whether he'd remain New York's primary kickoff returner. On Friday, Fassel gave Dixon the go-ahead.
"I'm going to leave Dixon in there and give him another chance," Fassel said. "That (pulling up) is what bothers me. He's got to hit it up there. And where the scheme is, the blocking has to open a hole for him. If it isn't there, you have to find a hole and hit it. But you can't come up there and stop and lose us yardage. You have to hit it full speed. And it may be a high-powered collision. But we have to hit it."
Dixon said he understands. "I have to make something happen," he said. "I have to take a different approach. I can't run with a closed mind and looking for one set direction. I have to scan the whole field and not care which hole I pick or where it is." Dixon didn't break out last year until the playoffs when he had 97-yard returns for touchdowns against Philadelphia in a Divisional Playoff game and in Super Bowl XXXV against Baltimore.
He is the only player in NFL history to return two postseason kickoffs for touchdowns. "Once you do it twice in three games, you expect you can do it a lot more," Dixon said.
* * Among the key injured Giants, only RDT Keith Hamilton is expected to miss Sunday's game against Oakland.