By Tim Graham
NEW ORLEANS -- Dennis Dixon is on the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad.
Though if the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, Dixon will have earned his championship ring.
Dixon has been the Ravens' secret weapon, imitating the 49ers' hard-to-replicate quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick is difficult to prepare for. He has a big arm and is a threat to run in the 49ers' read-option offense. Dixon is familiar with the read option from his days at the University of Oregon.
"That guy has been doing a major job," Ravens cornerback and Turner-Carroll alum Corey Graham said of Dixon. "You'd think he might want to go somewhere that runs that offense so he can have an even bigger role in this NFL.
"But he's done an outstanding job. He's run this offense at Oregon. He knows it, and he's done an amazing job of preparing us for this stage."
In two playoff games, Kaepernick has thrown for 496 yards and three touchdowns with one interception and has run 18 times for 202 yards (only 7 yards behind Frank Gore for the team lead) and two touchdowns.
"We've got to stop the run," Graham said. "We can't allow [Kaepernick] to get out there and make plays with his legs.
"We've had an opportunity to not just see it, but go against it for the whole week. We had an opportunity to make those mistakes against this offense, and that's important in football. Sometimes you need to be out there and make those mistakes in practice so you don't in the game."
The influx of running quarterbacks could help keep Dixon employed. The 2008 fifth-round draft choice has played only four NFL games, but he's proving valuable.
Dixon also helped the Ravens prepare for Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III in Week 14. The Ravens lost, 31-28, in overtime. Griffin had a relatively modest day: 58 percent completions for 242 yards and one touchdown and seven carries for 34 yards and a fumble.
taggedColin Kaepernick | Corey Graham | Dennis Dixon