Cool little nugget sent over from reader Alex, who spotted this quote from Bruce Arians in an ESPN article having him break down this year’s QB class.
Arians is never one to hold back what he’s thinking and in describing the football IQ needed to play QB, he recalled one quarterback in Pittsburgh who never quite got it.
Here’s the quote.
“We had a young guy in Pittsburgh who had all the talent in the world, but he could not call a play and he could not go to the line and use a snap count. It destroyed all of his confidence.”
So who is Arians talking about? In his time with the Steelers, 2004 to 2011, the Steelers drafted only three quarterbacks: Ben Roethlisberger, Omar Jacobs, and Dennis Dixon.
I’m going to stick my neck out and assume Arians isn’t talking abut Big Ben. On draft picks alone, it leaves us with Jacobs and Dixon and my immediate thought is to go with Dixon. Jacobs never even had the talent to make the 53 man roster and lasted just one season with the team.
Dixon though was a big-time talent QB with a good arm and great mobility. He started three games with the Steelers, putting up pretty pedestrian stats before the team dumped him. He never threw another pass in the league.
I think he’s the frontrunner. But if we’re going to play devil’s advocate, is that proof Dixon is dumb? He reportedly scored a 29 on his Wonderlic, not a great number but far from Vince Young territory. Obviously, I’ll preface that by saying the Wonderlic and a football IQ are two separate things and don’t always correlate.
His NFL.com scouting report gives us a mixed bag. On the positive side, the report notes his teammates had confidence in him.
“Teammates have confidence that he will make the right decisions as he is more likely to go through his progressions rather than try to force the ball to his primary target.”
On the negative, there’s a line that seems to reinforce what Arians said.
“As a junior, he was always waiting for the “hook” from the coaching staff and lost confidence in his ability to read coverage and would force the ball too often, especially on deep routes”
But who knows. Maybe it wasn’t him. Maybe it was an even lesser-known QB. I’ll always remember Shane Boyd’s cannon-arm…and his inability to throw anything resembling a touch pass. Is it a dig at Rod Rutherford? The infamous Brian St. Pierre?
This is all light-hearted, I’d just love to see your answers.
But seriously Bruce, don’t call Dennis Dixon dumb. Not cool.