When two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dislocated some ribs and sprained his right throwing shoulder in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 16-13 overtime win against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 12, the offense was forced to turn to a pair of venerable veterans in Byron Leftwich and then Charlie Batch.
Another option could have been Dennis Dixon, a fifth-round pick by the Steelers in 2008 who spent four seasons with the team. Pittsburgh could have signed Dixon from the Ravens' practice squad, but no such overture was extended.
Dixon said he wasn't insulted by the Steelers' lack of interest.
"The NFL can be somewhat tricky at times," he said Thursday. "At the end of the day, I'm happy to just have a job. Moving forward, if that does present itself, I'll look really into that and talk to my family and my agent. But right now, I'm happy for the opportunity that the Ravens have given me."
Dixon went 2-1 in three career starts in Pittsburgh, completing more than 58 percent of his throws. His only loss occurred Nov. 29, 2009 against the Ravens, who used a Paul Kruger interception in overtime to set up the game-winning field goal and escape with a 20-17 win.
At 27, Dixon would seem to be a younger, more mobile option than the 32-year-old Leftwich and the 38-year-old Batch, who may start against the Ravens this Sunday. But Dixon praised Leftwich and Batch as mentors who were generous with their time and knowledge.
"I learned a lot off of them, and I'm trying to build my craft off of them as well," Dixon said. "I've stayed in good relationships with all of them, and I know what they're capable of getting done. It's all about going out there and doing it."