The Ravens’ running back rotation is still being sorted out, but quarterback Joe Flacco has clearly been impressed by the rookie Kenneth Dixon.
On Thursday, Flacco was asked for his take on rookie offensive linemen Ronnie Stanley, Alex Lewis and Dixon. After saying that Stanley and Lewis are “progressing big time,” Flacco gave a glowing review of Dixon.
“Kenneth Dixon has had a run each week where you thought he was down for five seconds and he gets 6, 7, 8, 9 more yards out of it,” Flacco said.
You can see in practice how shifty he is and how well he sees things and some of the cuts he makes. I think he has been pretty impressive transferring that over to the games.”
Dixon leads the Ravens running backs in rushing yards (66) and yards per carry (4.1) through the first two preseason games. Terrance West is second with 58 yards and 3.2 yards per carry, though he’s logged the only two rushing touchdowns.
Dixon, a fourth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech, has the running backs’ longest rush (19 yards) and had one particularly impressive 6-yard run for a first down Saturday in Indianapolis, in which he shed several tackles to keep pushing forward.
The 5-foot-10, 212-pound back finished second in NCAA history for career touchdowns (87), just one behind teammate and converted Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds. Dixon missed more than a week of training camp practice after suffering a minor knee injury on the first day, but has rounded into form recently.
“Things are definitely slowing down,” Dixon said. “When I get the ball, I like to run downhill, make one cut and the rest is history.”
Saturday’s third preseason game will give the running backs another chance to stand out from the pack, as the Ravens have done a good job of getting everybody enough carries to show what they can do.
If nobody stands out as the clear favorite, the Ravens could use a four-headed monster rotation with Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, West and Dixon.
Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman said the next couple weeks will give the Ravens a better idea on how they will handle the group.
“We have seen it done a bunch of different ways,” Trestman said. “You can have one player doing it; you can have two or three guys doing it. It has happened at different places where I have been, and you see it throughout the league.”