Anthony Dixons 26-yard touchdown run against the Broncos came after his coaches told him to make one small adjustment.
During the game, coach told me, 'Look inside. I think you could have got in there.' And thats what I did the next time, Dixon said. I was kind of settling it to the outside and at the last second I tried to dip in on him and it was wide open.
Making in-game adjustments is just one of many changes Dixon had to make this training camp in order to earn a roster spot. Dixon struggled in short yardage situations last season, and his opportunities declined as Kendall Hunter emerged. Dixons coaches also questioned his focus. Sundays game against Denver was another example of how Dixon is doing all the right things this preseason to be among the 49ers' final 53.
I stayed consistent with the mental errors, Dixon said of his take after watching the game film. I didnt make any, and that was a good thing. And I made a couple plays in the process.
The 49ers brass saw as much as well. In separate radio interviews on different stations Tuesday morning, general manager Trent Baalke and offensive coordinator Greg Roman both spoke as if Dixon will remain with the team.
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Dixon admits he sharpened his resolve when he saw the depth the 49ers added to the running back position this offseason. He spent all offseason working out at the team facility. His goal became to show his coaches he was not going to quit or waver. He was going to work hard while keeping a good attitude. Already a solid special teams player, he also took the initiative to make himself more versatile.
I just kind of went to them when I was done with the walk through. I really didnt like the reps I was getting, Dixon said. I was like, 'Coach, you know, let me do fullback or something.' I just wanted to get on the field. He was like, 'OK.' He was excited about it, and I just ran with it.
Understanding how to lead block has helped Dixon when the ball is in his hands. The third-year player believes he is in a better position now, to be much more effective when it is.
He doesn't have much to say about the comments from Baalke and Roman from Tuesday morning mainly because he has been told little, personally, about his status with the team when final cuts take place on Friday. But he remains optimistic.
I dont take it for granted. You never know what could happen, Dixon said. I worked all offseason for the opportunities coach gave me and the chances. I wanted to be productive, and I feel like thats what I did and thats what Im trying to continue no matter what my assignment is each week. Just to get it done. Be right.