The former Oregon star was vying for the Heisman Trophy his senior season when a knee injury ended his hopes and limited his workouts for scouts.
But Dixon flashed his playmaking ability in the 2008 preseason and fans are eager to see how he's progressed in his second year. I caught up with him this week:
You're now a year-and-a-half removed from the knee injury, is it completely out of your mind now?
It's totally out of my mind. I'm just going out there and executing the plays and trying to go do it. From time to time it may get stiff, but there are no worries.
A lot of fans have been asking, ‘Why don't they use Dennis Dixon in a wildcat?' Is that something you'd be interested in? Is it flattering to have fans think of you like that?
It's always a role that I'd accept. If Mike T (Tomlin) wants me to do it, I'd do it. I did it in my college days. It would just be refreshing that, getting some reps going into it as far as the communication with the backs and so forth. I'm willing to do it if Mike T is ready for it.
Have they talked to you at all about that?
They haven't. But then again, it's always something that I'm quite sure that Mike Tomlin is hearing as well. If it does come across, I've got to be ready.
You always want to have all your playmakers on the field.
Exactly. If I'm a playmaker for him, I'm willing to do it.
How much easier is it in your second year to jump into this offense?
It is. What a difference a year makes. It's all about repetition. If you get the reps as long as you go out there and go 100 percent, even if you mess up, it's a good look as far as film. It's also good to have two excellent quarterbacks as far as Charlie Batch and Ben Roethlisberger to help you out.
Has Kenny Anderson tweaked your delivery at all?
He hasn't. I'm out there doing exactly what I've been doing since I was a little kid. . There's a few minor things here and there as far as reads, but other than that, I'm totally the same.
Are you more comfortable now taking the center snap?
I've always been comfortable with it. I hadn't done it probably since my sophomore year in college but I always had that. It was just going out there and getting a lot of reps doing it. Every center is different, but you've got to make adjustments for all of them.
A lot of it is just footwork as well.
Pretty much. That's all it is along with the timing of routes.
Do you expect to challenge for the No. 2 job this year?
I think that's every quarterback's goal as far as going into training camp, getting better. Whatever it takes to try to get you on the field. Charlie Batch and me are great friends and everything. It's always going to be a great battle. As far as knowledge, he's got the edge in that. I'm just trying to soak everything in and put it into my game.
Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.