There are all sorts of factors that go on when a team prepares for a game; game panning, film study and practices are all among them. There are also players that might not be so obvious to the casual fan that help your favorite team win on any given Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens might just have one of those under the radar players that will help them win the Super Bowl, and he may never see the field next week.
Dennis Dixon is a 5th year quarterback who has thrown exactly one touchdown pass in his career, in fact, he’s never even played since he’s become a member of the Ravens, but Dixon might be the most important player for the Ravens over the next 10 days. Dixon is a quarterback who is better known for his running ability, more so than his passing ability and the Ravens will be using his athleticism this week as they get ready to face Colin Kaepernick. Dixon will be playing the part of Kaepernick as the scout team quarterback against the Ravens defense in practice. Dixon went to the University of Oregon and played in the read-option offense, similar to what the San Francisco 49ers use with Kaepernick, so the Ravens defense should be well prepared for the 49ers offense.
The Ravens used Dixon the same way in preparing for Robert Griffin III when they played the Washington Redskins in December and held him to juts 34-yards rushing. There is a difference in the size of Kaepernick and Dixon, Kaepernick is much bigger at 6’4 and 230 pounds, but the preparation for the read-option is the same and it can only help the Ravens.
Of course, the Atlanta Falcons were determined to stop Kaepernick too, and they did, but Frank Gore wound up eating them up on the ground so who knows what will happen. The Ravens defense can be beaten by the running game, which was proven throughout the season and the 49ers have a great rushing attack. Baltimore’s defense is preparing for that Niners run game the best way it can, by using Dixon to portray Kaepernick.
We are still a long way from finding out what will happen in Super Bowl XLVII, but the Ravens are hoping they have the ultimate X-factor in Dennis Dixon.
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