Category Archives: Profiles

Meet the New Steeler: CB Brandon Dixon


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Kim Klement, USA Today Sports

If someone asked you about the a Steeler who was raised in South Florida and whose identical twin also plays in the NFL for a southern team, you would undoubtedly assume they were talking about Maurkice Pouncey. You might then be confused if the person says “No, I’m pretty sure the guy I mean plays defense.”

And that would be because this hypothetical person would be thinking of a much more recent addition to the Steelers than Maurkice—and for that matter a much more unheralded one. In short, s/he would be referring to Brandon Dixon.

Dixon was drafted in the sixth round in 2014 by the Jets. His brother Brian, also a cornerback, was signed as a UDFA by the Saints. Brandon, the older twin (by five minutes or so) and, according to his brother, the more serious one, was also the more successful of the two at the high school and college level, but Brian was the one who actually earned a roster spot on an NFL team first. He played for most of two seasons with the Saints, was signed briefly by the Cardinals, and is now at Jacksonville. Read more

Meet the New Steeler: Marcus Tucker

tempimg_5248-nfl_mezz_1280_10245’10” tall. 190 pounds. Played at an unheralded school in Michigan. Best 40 time is 4.47. Wide receiver. Whatever.

This is most likely what many people said when the Steelers used an actual draft pick on a small Central Michigan wide receiver seven years ago. And now, of course, that undersized guy from Central Michigan is either the best or the next best wide receiver in the NFL, depending on who you talk to. Pro Football Focus would tell you he was the best last season. Only Julio Jones was even very close, by their reckoning.

So is Marcus Tucker the next 5’10” 190 pound Michigan receiver to wow the NFL? Probably not. The chances against this happening twice are pretty high. But is there even a chance of it? Of course. There’s always a chance, because Tucker has earned that chance.

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Meet the New Steeler: Mandel Dixon

Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World

I checked the Steelers official website for the list of rookies, since various transactions seem to have taken place since the Steelers signed their UDFA class. Dixon caught my eye because he is apparently ageless, All the other players had an age listed next to their name, except him. Let’s see if we can figure out why.

So far the mysteries are only deepening. Dixon played two years for Pitt before transferring to the University of Tulsa. That would be Pittsburg State University, residing in Pittsburg, Kansas. It is a four-year school, and they play in Division II. Their team is called the Gorillas. Who wouldn’t want to be there?

Apparently Mr. Dixon. He was a fullback and running back at Pittsburg State, but was listed as a TE at Tulsa. The Tulsa Golden Hurricanes play in Division I, and Golden Hurricanes is a pretty awesome team name, too, so I guess I can see why Dixon would leave.

The University of Tulsa Athletics page was full of information about Dixon. Much of this information, however, merely deepens the mystery about this young man. (At least I assume he’s young. There’s surely some sort of age limit for college athletics.) Read more

A Tribute To Bill Cardille

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by Homer J.

It was the summer of 1974. I was between jobs and hanging out on a Saturday night over at Channel 11 with a friend who was working there. This was the summer of the first NFLPA strike, and we were watching a Steelers pre-season game, where Joe Gilliam, Lynn Swann, and John Stallworth were about to run and pass all over some hapless opponent.

In the studio, they began pre-taping the inserts for Chiller Theater.

“How ‘bout those Steelers?” was Bill Cardille’s opening line.
“How ‘bout those Steelers?” was the response, shouted by someone off camera.
“Yeah, how ‘bout those Steelers?” Chilly Billy laughed.

The joke was on everybody, because the game had just started and no one knew the outcome. I’d seen a similar opening a week earlier, after another Saturday night pre-season game, and had no idea it had been pre-recorded. How ‘bout those Steelers, indeed.

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