The Ravens can’t fully replicate Colin Kaepernick’s abilities as a quarterback, but they will try to give their defense a look by employing Dennis Dixon.
Dixon, a practice-squad player, will imitate the San Francisco 49ers’ second-year player in practice in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLVII. Dixon did the same thing for the Ravens defense during the week before their road game against rookie Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins on Dec. 9.
“It’s something that I’m accustomed to,” Dixon said before Thursday’s practice. “At the end of the day, I’m going to do relatively what I did during the week of the Redskins game and try to give my defense a good look.”
Coach John Harbaugh confirmed that Dixon would serve as the quarterback for the scout team, saying, “Dennis will be a big part of that for us. He understands the scheme and the reads and things like that. So he’s very valuable for us.”
Dixon may not have Kaepernick’s strong right arm or his fleet feet, but he brings a familiarity with the read-option offense that the 49ers use with Kaepernick. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Dixon, who did both at Oregon before the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the fifth round of the NFL draft in 2008, acknowledged the challenge of the 6-4, 230-pound Kaepernick.
“It has its differences at times, but at the same time, it’s practice,” Dixon said. “As a football player, I’ve got to be able to look at the film and see what his traits are and try to emulate them in practice.”
Pernell McPhee said Dixon did a fair job of emulating Griffin, and the defensive end thinks Dixon will do the same with Kaepernick.
“He’s real good,” McPhee said. “You saw him in ’07 when he was with Oregon, and he was real good with it.”
Although he couldn’t say how much time he has spent studying Kaepernick on film, Dixon said he thinks he’s ready to help the Ravens defense.
“I’ve done enough,” he said. “I’m looking forward to this week of practice and seeing what I can bring to the defense.”