Statistics can tell a story that will paint a broad picture. They’ll open up a debate about the greatest statistical players of all time. Who’s the better quarterback based off of those stats, Dan Marino or Peyton Manning? Those very same passing yards, rushing yards, tackles and interceptions help set the Pro Bowl every year. They even assist in funding an industry, fantasy football, that garners over $1 billion annually. But, those very same facts, figures and numbers that enamor us, don’t tell the whole story.
As the San Francisco 49ers front office staff continues to analyze all aspects of players that will formulate the 2014 team, let’s take an ongoing look at our own free agents that don’t necessarily pad the stat sheet.
If you’re like myself, you have absolutely no idea what the man is talking about on Twitter most of the time. It’s clear though that Anthony “Boobie” Dixon is as passionate about football as he is about life. Dixon was a 6th round selection of the 49ers in the 2010 NFL Draft. He arrived out of Mississippi St. labeled as a “power back.” His rookie season, 70 carries for 237 yards, with the 49ers was his most productive, statistically speaking. Since the arrival of Jim Harbaugh as the head coach of the 49ers, Dixon has teetered on the verge of making the roster every season. But to the credit of Anthony Dixon, he’s done everything it takes to earn a position with one of the best rosters in the league.
Dixon has played multiple facets on special teams. Punt team, kickoff, kickoff return……you name it, Anthony Dixon has strapped up and done it all. At the beginning of the 2012 season, he volunteered to learn the fullback position to solidify his position on the roster. With the season ending injury to Bruce Miller this past season, Dixon, along with Will Tukuafu, filled in admirably. He showcased an aptitude as a lead blocker and ability as a receiving option out of the backfield.
In today’s NFL, is a willingness to do it all a high commodity? It undoubtedly depends on the circumstance. With Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and Marcus Lattimore all vying for touches at running back, Dixon appears to face yet another uphill climb to be with the 49ers. Dixon has made it clear via his own Twitter feed that he’d like to see offensive touches. More than likely, that means he doesn’t want to carve out a niche as a life long special teams player. Add to that, the ever so unpredictable NFL draft is only a few months away. The 49ers expect to have 12 NFL draft picks at this current point in time.
But as mentioned earlier, Anthony Dixon is a consummate team player. He’s also a fan favorite amongst 49ers fans. And more than likely, he’ll also come at a fairly decent price as far as free agents are concerned. As a result, it’ll become a semantics game for 49ers GM Trent Baalke and staff. I don’t think it would surprise many if the 49ers were to part ways with Anthony Dixon. That being said, count me in as someone who would love to see “Boobie” back.