Eagles, Dennis Dixon Agree To Deal

The Eagles signed former Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon to a two-year deal Thursday. Dixon was most recently on the practice squad for the Super-Bowl champion Ravens.

The 28-year-old has been in the league since 2008 and has just three starts to his name — all with the Steelers. He has not thrown a pass in the bigs since 2010, and was unable to crack a 53-man roster this past season.

He is now reunited with his old college coach, however, and Chip Kelly has worked magic on Dixon once already. The year before Kelly arrived at Oregon, Dixon threw 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions and Oregon went 7-6. Kelly came aboard as the offensive coordinator for Dixon’s senior season. The quarterback tossed 20 touchdowns to four INTs that year, becoming a Heisman candidate as the Ducks finished 9-4. His season was cut short after he tore the ACL in his left knee in November of that year. He tore lateral meniscus cartilage in the same knee in 2010 while with the Steelers.

The type of turnaround that Dixon experienced in college is not as probable on the NFL level, but Kelly obviously sees value in mixing one of his former signal-callers into the equation. This marriage comes as no surprise, as Dixon’s name has been linked to the Eagles for weeks. Kelly was asked about Dixon on Monday.

“Last time I talked to Dennis Dixon was during the open date or whatever the Ravens had,” said Kelly. “He came out to Oregon to watch us play, and that is the last time I’ve talked to Dennis.  Anybody that we have the ability to look at and we are doing that right now, anybody that is involved in free agency in terms of trying to upgrade our roster.  Any time we can upgrade our roster, I’ll do so. I haven’t ruled anybody out of that either.”

Dixon completed 64 percent of his throws with the Ducks for over 5,000 yards with 38 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He added 1,208 yards and 12 TDs on the ground.

The 6-3 California native was selected by the Steelers  in the fifth round of the 2008 draft. He has completed 59 percent of his balls for 402 yards with a touchdown and an interception in limited action in the NFL.

Kelly has said on multiple occasions that he will adjust his scheme to fit the personnel. The decision to bring back Michael Vick and the signing of Dixon, though, seems to increase the likelihood that we’ll see some of the read-option here in Philadelphia. Kelly was asked how Nick Foles could compete for the starting job — would two different systems need to be employed?

“I don’t think it’s two different systems.  Again, people try to look at what we’ve done in the past and where I’ve been and kind of paint it with one brush because everybody wants a sound bite to say your offense is this. I don’t think what we do offensively can be said in one or two words that we’re either this or we’re this.  We’re an equal opportunity scoring operation,” said Kelly.

“There is a skill set that Nick has that really excites me about him.  And I had the opportunity to see him up close and personal for three years and I know what he can do.  So I’m excited to work with him.  I think we’ve got an older quarterback in Michael who is 32 now, and have a younger guy in Nick who is going into his second year, and I think it’s the ideal situation for us moving forward this season.”

And now, Dixon is in the fold as well.

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  • ClydeSide

    Great move. Here’s a Youtube of his Oregon play before he got hurt:


    What is clear is that he was a quick decision-maker. He made his reads and delivered the ball.

  • jgow1493

    I don’t see anything wrong with signing Dixon as long as he doesn’t see the field in some sort of a “Wildcat/gimmick” role. I’d assume he’d be the 2/3QB who can help the other QBs on the roster learn Kelly’s offense.

    • Exactly!

    • 1972

      kapernick played a gimick type roll his first 6 games in san fran and did pretty well.The one thing im not going to do is kill this coach because of the past coaches mistakes.Lets see what he has before we kill him

  • DunedinEagle

    Great this guy can teach the old dog the new tricks. Super Bowl here they come….NOT!

    • theycallmerob

      Yes, all super bowl teams should be so lucky to have 3 starting-caliber QBs. It’s not like some team with Dennis Dixon on their roster would ever win a Super Bo—-

  • trixman

    Nick Foles should start scouting KC real estate…

    • Foles isn’t going anywhere. Though I’m sure the addition of Dixon doesn’t make him feel warm and fuzzy inside.

      • I don’t think things look promising in Philly for Foles with Kelly as Coach. Using Foles in any version of the option negates all the benefits of the scheme. Foles is not now nor will he ever be a legitimate threat in the NFL to defenses running the ball. If Foles keeps the ball after faking the dive or slant that’s a net win for the defense.

        Some players just don’t fit some offensive schemes, and Foles is not an option quarterback. There are 300lbs Defensive Linemen in the NFL that run faster 40 times than Foles.

    • Run Eagles Run

      Philly.com reporting KC has interest in Foles. Honestly, I am not a nick foles fan, but I would want the eagles to hang onto him unless some team blows them away with an offer of a 1st or very high 2nd round pick. in other words, probably not gonna happen.

  • DutchEagle

    “He has not thrown in the bigs since 2010”, keeps reminding me of Kenny ‘Fucking’ Powers haha! What a show that was..

  • knighn

    Am I wrong for thinking it would be hilarious if Dixon came in and beat out both Vick and Foles for the starting job?
    I’m not saying it’s likely. Just that it would really crack me up!

    • Mike

      I’d rather that than Vick

      • morgan c


  • hillbillybirdsfan

    Thanks for the memories, Trent.

    • theycallmerob

      the unreported, human tragedy element. One less Stanford QB in the NFL….ESPN should jump at this shit

    • Johnny Domino

      Probably right CF, it’s bidness.
      Trent, so long and thanks for all the fish!

  • DutchEagle

    Oh Sheil and Tim (and fellow Phillymag visitors/residents), do you think it’s a good idea to maybe but some polls up now and then? I find it hard to derive the fanbase sentiment about certain players, coaches, decisions etc. from the comments. Often curious about it though.

    Just throwin’ it out there..

    • DutchEagle


    • Graham


    • ClydeSide

      Polls like that don’t have a large enough sample size to be scientific. They would be entertaining but have absolutely no indicative value whatsoever.

      • Graham

        If the poll went for a few days or a week I think it would have plenty of indicative value on the opinions of hundreds (maybe thousands) of eagles fans that actually know what they’re talking about. I’d love to know the statistics on traffic to this site…. lots of eagles fans have found it and realized it is probably the best place for info

      • DutchEagle

        That shouldn’t be a problem, not writing a thesis about it..

  • aub32

    People keep pointing at the fact that Kelly said he would he would adjust his scheme based on the team’s personnel as if that implied Foles would get the nod. Was Vick not just as much part of the personnel as Foles? Could perhaps he have taken the job expecting Vick to be his immediate starter who could implement the system he wants prior to finding that franchise guy. Fans and writers act as if we have Tom Brady on staff, and these moves are being made. I don’t know how anyone saw enough from Foles for there to be adjustments made on his behalf.

  • limodriver2750

    The Dixon signing can only be a good thing. To Foles and Vick: aside from the coaches, why wouldn’t you want one of your peers, who knows this system inside out, be there to help teach the nuances of his system?
    And what if Dixon DOES beat out the other two? It’s all about having a successful season, right? Let’s not play the “Vick got the signing bonus, thus making him the starter” dialogue. Vick is still Vick and I don’t see him becoming an overnite sensation after his previous performances.

    • BrickSquadMonopoly

      I see an overnight sensation waiting to happen. Its almost as if most of you dont recognize how truly bad coaches andy and marty were. REALLY BAD. Chip Kelly must have been shakin his head watchin the UGLY film of this team last season doing the same thing over and over and over. It wasnt NFL quality football. Period.

  • Rick H

    I hope these last two decisions makes Foles work so hard that he blows both guys away. Vick with 24 interceptions and 23 fumbles is horrific and i see something coming up where he is either traded or just a 1 year stop gap. Dixon threw 21 interceptions in this offense with Kelly in college (that is extremely high). He is your modern version of Doug Peterson teaching Donovan McNabb the West Coast System. Dixon will probably do the same for Vick. But TURNOVERS are the bottom line in the NFL. Foles has always been extremely accurate and smart and touch and throws the ball away to play another down. People are glossing over this critical factor. I will put my money on Foles to start. The only way Foles does not start is if Andy Reid gives the Eagles the Chiefs 2nd round pick.

    • aub32

      Foles had plenty of turnovers too in his stint as a starter. He also can’t make every throw.

      • The argument for Foles over Vick is illogical considering the sample from Foles body of work. There’s a move in Philly to convince the fan base Foles has more than shown an ability to lead an NFL Team.

        That’s absurd and comes from pundits in Phila who have never played a down of Football in the NFL and set on a personal crusade against Vick.

        The same media shrills over look Foles 5 INTs, and 8 Fumbles, compared to 6 TDs in those 7 Games. Which factors out to he’s a 2 to 1 favorite to turn the ball over. These are packaged opinions piped to radio listeners.

        • Bob A

          I’m not sure that EITHER QBs propensity to turn the ball over is relevant to the discussion. Kelly has all types of rules about release times for QBs and blocking schemes for offensive linemen where he expects turnovers to be kept to a minimum. Kelly’s history would tell you that if Foles turns it over 13 times and Vick turns it over 21 times that neither guy will be the QB. My guess is that both QBs will be schooled by mid August about release times and the OL will have a very disciplined scheme with few errors. The assumption is that a team that was a turnover machine under Andy Reid will simply continue to be and that will not be the case.

    • Well if Turnovers as you say are the bottom line, why are you ignoring Foles turnovers in hopes of highlighting Vick’s Turnovers? In 7 Games, Foles has 5 Ints, and 8 Fumbles. So it’s pretty certain the more he gets hit the more he’ll fumble

      However, nothing Foles does in Camp gives him the speed to threaten a Defense in the NFL with his legs. It’s nothing to do with Foles arm and his accuracy. We have 325 lbs D Linemen in the NFL who run faster 40 times than Foles. Foles on a keeper in the option is a benefit to the defense. A defense just plays the option intent on making Foles keep the ball. That’s an easy day for any defense in the NFL

      It makes sense for Kelly to bring Dixon in, it cost the Eagles nothing to sign a practice squad player from another team and Dixon will be depended upon to help the Quarterbacks in camp with the conversion to Kelly’s system.

    • Shark

      Dixon threw 4 INT’s in Chip’s offense. All his other INT’s came with a different coach and Offensive Coord. The one year he played with Chip he was a Heisman candidate until he tore his ACL.

    • MAC

      For $7million Vick is the starter. Period if Kelly wants to try to sell that this is a real competition that’s just what it is. Selling it to you. For $7 million Kelly thinks he can fix Vick again!!

      • aub32

        You weren’t going to be able to keep Vick for much less, and I’m sure that Kelly at least wants to see Vick in his system. However, Flynn and Smith both made over 7 million and rode the pine last year. So I don’t see how it’s not an open competition. Vick was just paid what it takes to keep him.=, and with Foles still on a 3rd round rookie deal, it’s a luxury we can afford.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Hi Tim – as Foles doesn’t seem to fit into Kelly’s scheme, does this mean that he’ll be traded? And if so, will Kelly/Roseman try for a QB in this draft, or wait until next year? They desperately need a tackle or guard if it’s gonna be Vick and Dixon, two older players with a history of prior serious injuries who need protection. It appears as if Howie and Chip are going “all in” with QBs this year, and that worries me with this O-line.

    • TMcManus247

      Hey Max, writing about this for the morning. Not convinced 1) Dixon will make the team and 2) that Foles is out the door.

      • There’s an extraordinary amount of excitement surrounding the signing of a Practice Squad player. At the age of 28 Dixon’s at the point where he has to actually make someone’s depth chart or find another career I would think. Makes more sense Dixon’s signed to help with the transition

  • UKEagle99

    As far as I’m concerned the difference between our options at QB is marginal when it comes to winning games. Our biggest improvements will come from the OLine and D. No QB alone could turn us from 4-12 to 12-4. I’m OK with the open competiton and let the best man win. Now on to more pressing matters, Billy, lets talk about your D.

    • Good point, currently the Eagles Offensive Line is in no position to zone block which is a requirement for a Option running team.

  • PhEaglesPhan

    I would like to see Vick start but this is also my team! If he doesn’t bust his ass and EARN the starting job, then it is most certainly deserved to the man that came out firing. Whether that been Foles or Dixon, whatever

    This is why I believe Vick will start, no one can deny the fact that man is a beast. Last season showed his determination, hit after hit and there was a hell of a lot of hits on Vick. He kept getting up, that’s heart!!! You don’t earn that, you’re born with it!

  • Rick H

    Shark & the rest of the guys looking irrationally at Vick & Dixon refuse to face the facts that both of these guys turn the ball over way too much. Vick has done it his whole career and Dixon was on a 2012 practice squad plus he is in his fifth year in the NFL. 21 interceptions is a lot in college and that is what Dixon threw period. Tell me the last 5th year practice squad pro QB that ever amounted to anything? Don’t use Warner either!

  • rockyinde

    If they trade foles to K.C.