Eagles Wake-Up Call: Dixon, Foles And Kelly

I fear we are reading a little too much into the Dennis Dixon signing.

We see that Chip Kelly opted to keep Michael Vick around for next season, then went and signed one of his former Oregon quarterbacks,  and jump to the conclusion that Nick Foles is being squeezed out of the picture and it’s read-option city from here on in.

Maybe not.

Dixon’s agent believes his client will compete for the starting job.  According to a league source familiar with the team’s thinking, that’s a bit ambitious. Dixon is being brought in to compete for a roster spot. Could it turn into more? Sure, never say never. Dixon has flourished under Kelly once before. But with a history of knee problems and just three starts in five NFL seasons, the odds are against it. He’ll be on the 90-man roster; that’s the only guarantee right now.

The Dixon and Vick decisions certainly reaffirm the fact that Kelly values a QB that can move. His ideal quarterback would have some mobility to him. However, he is on record as saying it is not a prerequisite, and that Foles will have a chance to claim the starting job.

 “There is an open competition.  Michael knows that.  Nick knows that.  Nick knew every step of the way what we were doing.  I wanted to make sure Nick was included in the plans, and I think both of them have outstanding qualities in terms of being quarterbacks in this league.  Both of them have started in this league,” said Kelly.

“I also know in this league, you better have two, so I’m excited about the two of them.  They’re both going to compete.  And who the starting quarterback is to start the season off is going to be won on the practice field.”

Kelly has repeatedly stated the importance of finding the best players and then adjusting the design to fit their strengths. Why would that not apply to the most important position on the field?

There is a chance that Foles is the best quarterback out of the three at this stage, and it’s never good business to part with your best quarterback — no matter his style. Until Kelly gets a better feel for what he has, we should not just assume that Foles is a goner.

WHAT YOU MISSED

More on Dixon agreeing  to join the Birds.

In the latest Twitter Mailbag, I explore the likelihood of the Eagles landing safety Jairus Byrd.

The Tom Gamble hire falls right in line with a Kelly philosophy.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

If Kelly does decide to move on from Foles, Andy Reid may want to snatch him up. From USA Today:

While the Philadelphia Eagles see Nick Foles as a genuine option to be their quarterback of the future, the team now has two QBs more fitted to run coach Chip Kelly’s system.

The Eagles signed free-agent Dennis Dixon on Thursday. Dixon played under Kelly at Oregon in 2007 when Kelly was the offensive coordinator. So it’s in the realm of possibility Foles could be traded. And if so, the Kansas City Chiefs could be the destination.

The Chiefs and new coach Andy Reid are interested in acquiring Foles if he becomes available, according to a person informed of the team’s thinking. The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the Chiefs haven’t discussed their thoughts publicly, said the team is working on plans to add a quarterback and considers Foles a possibility.

Chris Steuber released his first mock draft of the season, and has the Eagles selecting Luke Joeckel with the fourth overall pick.

This is a scenario the Eagles would love to see happen; Joeckel falling into their lap. If Joeckel slides this far, this pick becomes a huge chip for them to deal, if they choose. There are many holes for the Eagles to correct, especially on defense. And, while the offensive line struggled last season, Jason Kelce and Jason Peters are slated to return from injury.

COMING UP

The Eagles are always up to something. We’ll continue to track them for you.

 

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  • GW.Fisher

    If Jockel or Fisher are there at #4 plug either one in at RT this year.

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      I’ve been hearing from a lot of draft guys who say if the Eagles plan on using Joeckel at RT they shouldn’t take him. Joeckel is a gifted pass blocker but his run blocking skills are average right now. He’ll be a premier blindside tackle in this league but we shouldn’t waste his talents on the right side.

      NOW, if Vick is the starter, then the RT becomes the blind side, so maybe this isn’t a bad idea.

      • JofreyRice

        I’d have to think that if they took Joeckel now, the plan would be to slide Herremans in to RG, and put Joeckel at RT. Then, either next year, or the year after, you move him to LT, to replace Peters.

        The Cowboys did something similar with Tyron Smith and Doug Free. Smith did play RT at USC (Matt Kalil had LT locked down), though, which is why he started out so hot, and experienced a learning curve playing the blindside this year.

        Personally, I like Fisher better for this system. Better move blocker. Like Joe Staley but with better passblocking skills, and actually a little more athletic.

      • nicksaenz1

        The question is not only IF Vick is the starter, but how long. The o-lineman drafted this high is the planned starter for the next 10-12 years. Vick won’t be around that long, so I think the starting qb this year isn’t as relevant. Having Stoutland at o-line coach makes me prefer a Bama o-lineman simply for rapport.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        I wouldn’t make too much of that outmoded “LT is finesse guy, RT is mauler” thing. There’s no reason it has to be that way. It seems the team is working under the assumption that there is at least a 50/50 chance that the RT will be responsible for the blindside anyway (like most LTs) because Vick is a lefty. And the Eagles had no qualms about running heavily off of LT when Peters was the best in the game a couple years ago.

        The question with Joeckel (or Fisher) at RT would simply be how well they can make the switch, since it involves reversing all their footwork and their punch.

    • aub32

      I wonder how much better ARZ thinks Joeckel is than Fisher. If they see a big disparity, then I wouldn’t mind letting move into 4 while we take Fisher and their 2nd or 3rd pick.

    • D3Keith

      I’m very much in favor of going OL with that pick, given that we have two great RBs, Kelly loves the run game and that we have lots of uncertainty, but lots of potential.

      Being able to choose between Joeckel/Fisher, Peters, Herremans, Watkins, Kelly, Mathis and Kelce to assemble a line would be really ideal.

  • http://twitter.com/THEKID_ Mike Jehle

    Yes, let’s cool the engines on trading Foles. First Reid would never give Philly what Foles is worth. And second, why get rid of him? We’re not running the spread option next season. Vick will go down (and he’s only around one more year anyway) as he always does and there’s a reason Dixon has never made it to full time starter.

    Dixon is a nice signing and QB to have in camp to translate the new stuff to Vick & Foles. I still think Foles has a bright future in Philly. It may not be this season, but for what he counts against the cap it’d be foolish to trade him away.

    As far as the draft…no more Reid thinking he’s outsmarting everybody and trading out of the first round…take the best player at #4…cuz we sure need him whoever he his.

    And four WR’s go in round one and none are named Cordarrelle Patterson? No chance. The kid is a freak & will go in the top half of round one. He excelled on a crappy UT team and will blow people way with his numbers at the combine.

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      Yep, Foles is set to make like 400k next year. That’s chump change in the greater scheme of things, and he’s proved he’s at least serviceable (with great upside). Unless you’re getting a 2nd for him, I say no way you trade him.

      Even if he’s way worse a runner than Dixon I’d still rather have Foles as the first backup.

      • masseaglefan

        I agree

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        If Kelly’s building his offense to be an effective option team, there’s absolutely nothing for Foles to do in any capacity. This isn’t going to be remotely an air it out offense. Foles could in time excel to be an effective QB in the right scheme, the option isn’t a scheme to maximize any potential Foles has. He’s weak on the long throws, and gives you nothing on out patterns. He’s most effective between the has marks, and the Eagles do not have on their rosters as I can see a receiver who has an effective game between the hash marks. There is not one receiver on the Eagles who has the ability to fight with defensers in a crowd for a ball. Even their Tight End, Celek rarely catches balls in traffic. However, I also would hang on to the kid. But the Tools to benefit from Foles potential are not yet on the Eagles offense.

        Calling a play where Foles is designated the ball carrier, you’re giving the defense a play off.

    • ClydeSide

      Darron Thomas was Kelly’s QB when they played Auburn for the title. Thomas only gained 206 yards the WHOLE YEAR. Then again, getting Marcus Mariota next year wouldn’t be all bad. (6-4, 4.4 whoa)

    • aub32

      I don’t get your reasoning on keeping Foles. I am not saying we should ship him out, but he has done nothing to make him above being traded. He is only worth a third at best, and I wouldn’t be mad if they took a fourth for him. In regards to salary, that’s just the new CBA. Any player taken in the third is going to be cheap. So trading Foles for a third, and then drafting a QB who is a better with that pick will give us a QB that’s just as cheap going forward.

      • Graham

        A third at best? I’d say a 3rd at worst yes… since he was a 3rd rounder plus this years QB market is thin. I agree with trading a QB that is better, great idea. I think Foles could do well if and a big IF the OLINE can come back to play above par (and add Luke or Chance).. hmmmmm lots of exciting things around the corner

        • Capt. Undapants

          You read that correctly. He is a third AT BEST. You’re overstating his ability to think he is a third at worst. Recent second round QBs: Colin Kaepernick (don’t really need to say anymore) and Andy Dalton. Andy Dalton who, after two years in the league, already has been to a pro bowl. So we’re going to say that Foles is on that level? Nahhhh.

          • masseaglefan

            Foles body of work is limited and not great. He was a rookie, playing behind the 2012-all-patchwork O-line. A lame duck head coach, poor veteran locker room leadership and shifting position coaches don’t contribute to a successful debut in the NFL.
            But
            He DID play qb in the NFL. Under some pretty serious duress/less than optimal circumstances.
            He held his own.
            Kaepernick and Dalton have been drafted. They were available last year.
            I’d be surprised if the top 2 qb’s in this draft are starters /in the league in two years. It’s a suck year for QB’s. Manuel may be , ultimately, the best of the bunch. Trading Foles and his 400k would be dumb. He’s worth a two, easy, this year. just my opinion.

    • JofreyRice

      I’m not sure you can categorically say we’re not running the spread option. The only guy that knows that is Kelly. If they are, why keep Foles? It’s a bad sign when the guy openly says he can’t run the spread option. If they’re committed to it, then I think you’d draft a developmental guy like Manuel or Matt Scott and roll with Vick, Dixon & D-QB.

      Patterson is a freak, and definitely a round 1 WR. I have seen an interesting note on Patterson from Matt Waldman, at the NYT’s 5th down Blog, who says a lot of what Patterson does to make people miss is stop/start cuts–and that those cuts are what made Reggie Bush & Peter Warrick amazing college players, but doesn’t work as well in the pros. I like Patterson’s ability, but I also really value Waldman’s opinion; he’s a fantasy guy, but he really knows skill position players, had a huge writeup on how good Bryce Brown was, and what a steal he’d be. When comparing Julio Jones to Cordarelle–which some have done–Waldman said Julio was rare steak and Patterson was tartare, if that makes any sense. Interesting perspective.

      • Graham

        Thanks for this… very interesting. Let’s hope iggles stay away and take trench players (Star, Chance, or Luke)

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        If I’m Howie, I’m not trading Foles. He’s not, what he can be in my opinion, but given the right pieces and time he will. That said, if we happen to commit to the option, and bring in the players up front, Shady and Brown are going to be the stars of the show. The Eagles may not thrown the ball more than 27 times a game provided they have a lead or within striking distance of a win. Shady may run for 1800 to 2000 yards.

  • addiAddicted2Mula

    Of course Dixxon never made a startin job he wasnt goin to start over Ben. Nor Flacco.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      Foles is the answer provided the Offense is built around DJax and Maclin with Foles in the pocket for 3 seconds awaiting for one of them to come open.

      • aub32

        In 3 seconds Jackson will be 25 yards past Foles deepest throw. He’s not the answer. He was okay in a system that featured screens and check downs, a system that should have been implemented when Kelce went down and definitely after Todd bit it. However, fans remain enamored at Foles ability to look good in preseason, ha preseason, and again against the worst passing D in the league.

        • nicksaenz1

          I like Foles, and it’s not based on preseason. He basically had a preseason starting o-line in front of him during the regular season. I’m not saying he’s great. I think you completely understate his arm strength and overall capabilities, though. CK has played him numerous times and knows what he has. To me, he looks similar to Flacco, only without the great pieces around him, especially when you consider Flacco rode a top 5 D his first 4 years and Philly’s D is average on their best day. So in my opinion, it becomes about the offense they want to run I think it’s entirely too easy to jump to the conclusion that CK is going to have a mobile, running quarterback based on this stable of QB. Yes, we restructured Vick to keep him here one more year. Great, now are we assuming that CK has absolutely not clue as to how fragile Vick is? He’s a walking calamity when it comes to injuries. Of course CK knows that. Is Vick making people miss anymore? No. So basically, he just has above average foot speed. He likes Vick’s release and the possibility of what Vick could do with a slightly more simplified offense and a real offensive line. While I agree with your point that no one is giving up a 2nd rd pick for Foles, I don’t think he’s as bad as you imply with the “screens and check downs” offense they had to run because of basic time constraints given the poor o-line.

          • aub32

            The only legit comparison to Foles and Flacco is that they’re both big and white. Flacco is a much better athlete and has one of if not the strongest arm in the league. If Foles is to succeed I see him in a dink and dunk offense similar to what Brady ran. Flacco is a deep ball thrower. That is not Foles’ game, at least not at this point. I really don’t see how you drew that comparison.

          • nicksaenz1

            So you’re going to call a guy that was recruited by D1 schools to play basketball not athletic? Dude is 6’5″, he’s not playing power forward on the college level, so on what basis do you consider him to be not athletic? And, on what basis is Flacco more of an athlete? I’d expect to see some significant difference in measurables as part of your reply, not matters of opinion from so called experts.

          • nicksaenz1

            I also seem to have forgotten that Brady stopped throwing the ball 40 yards down field once in a while…

        • masseaglefan

          Foles can’t throw the ball 28 yards? Huh?

    • Alex Karklins

      But he wasn’t the primary backup either, so that explanation doesn’t really hold water.

      • nicksaenz1

        If memory serves me correctly, he was 3rd, behind Batch as well

  • hoping this works out

    Dixon teaching Foles the option offense ?
    doesn’t work, Foles is slower than a old lady, so he can’t run it…
    the QB situation is kind of a confused mess…i guess kelly will make it up as he goes along…which isn’t great news for birds fans
    plus this love for Foles is strange….he looked very mediocre for the most part…..reminds me of a Rodney Peete skill set….lots of curl in patterns…..no arm strength for out patterns, no long ball accuracy..

    • knighn

      Tommy Lawlor put up a great Blog post (http://igglesblitz.com/philadelphia-eagles-2/lets-talk-about-chip-kelly/) in December, when fans (and the Eagles) were considering a new Head Coach.

      Reading this, it looks like the QB situation has always been kind of a confused mess for Kelly. Though, if you look at Kelly’s career, he’s always made that confused mess work for him. The whole article is worth a read. The last two sentences of this paragraph are especially of interest to me:

      “QB development is a strange subject. Kelly has gotten great production from Ricky Santos. He turned Dennis Dixon into a Heisman candidate. He got Darron Thomas to play at an even higher level than I had realized. This year Freshman Marcus Mariota is having a great year. The problem is that aside from Santos, these guys are playing for a year or two and then something happens. Jeremiah Masoli was suspended and later kicked off the team. Thomas foolishly went pro (which makes you wonder if there was something else going on). Bryan Bennett was projected to be the starter this year, but lost the job to Mariota. While there has been success, none of this really went according to plan. In the NFL you must find a franchise QB and build around him.”

      Here’s hoping Chip Kelly figures it out in the NFL!

      • limodriver2750

        That last paragraph also proves the point that CK can find QBs to fit his scheme, no matter what their weak skill set is and mold them into what he needs from them. Keep in mind that CK flexed in that decision as well to the players’ benefit. CK repeated this in times past: “I’ll adjust my scheme to the bodies I have to work with or find them from other sources.”
        This isn’t gonna happen overnite so be patient, let him work his magic and ease up on micro-managing his every move.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Signing Dixon does NOT make Foles expendable. There is no way the Eagles can deal Foles unless they get a ridiculous offer AND find a legitimate backup QB. The one thing that puzzles me is whether the Eagles can find a roster spot for a developmental QB.

  • ICDogg

    I feel like a lone wolf now but I think the one player in this draft that we could add that would help the team the most both sooner and later is Mingo.

    • JofreyRice

      I love his passrush ability, but he’s really narrow. He almost looks like he’s built like a free safety. LSU didn’t ask him to do too much in coverage, so that’s kind of an X factor. Really athletic kid, but would you feel comfortable taking him at 4?

      • ICDogg

        Not worried about size for an OLB but he will need to refine his game to suit the requirements of an OLB who will be in coverage probably about a quarter to a third of his snaps. I have no question that he has the physical skills, the hips, the speed, and he tackles well. Needs to work on his hands, that’s the biggest thing, but that can be taught.

        At this time I can’t project whether he is worthy of the 4 pick, since it is too early to really slot these guys before the combine. The presumed rankings right now will change, probably a lot, before the draft, once their measurables are known.

  • peteike

    You are right, Foles can easily still win the starting job and probably will. Thanks for the confidence boost, been a tough week starting with the Vick talk. For those that say he cant throw deep, you can actually improve arm strength as a young player. Two great examples of this are Rogers and Brady, both came into the league with questions about their arm strength. Same with Brees after shoulder surgery, all improved their arm strength. Mechanics can also help. Look at Peyton now, he cant throw a good deep ball. Didnt seem to matter this past season, the brains are still most important. Making the reads and timing. Foles also has some escapability similar to Ben imo. Im certainly not saying hes going to be great but the knocks that he already stinks are just as dishonest as fans thinking hes the next Brady. If the salary is the factor for starting, then its never really an open competition anyway like Kelly says so we shall see. The fans will also know based on camp and most are already disappointed with keeping Vick based on polls. Not that Kelly cares about that stuff, but he will hear it if Vick starts and doesnt do well. Dixon was just granted an opportunity, nothing more, still up to him to make something out of it.

    • knighn

      I don’t believe that Salary is going to matter even a tiny bit to Chip Kelly. He’s coming in with a hardline attitude: “earn it in practice”. Chip has a history of promoting guys from lower on the depth chart, especially at QB. He doesn’t care who is supposed to start, he’s going to start the best player. In addition: the Eagles have a recent history of demoting the higher paid QB for the better QB – see Kevin Kolb. All that is a shorthand way of saying:
      Whoever ends up the starting QB will have won the job through practices and the pre-season. It won’t matter to Chip if it’s Mike Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon, a drafted QB… or Trent Edwards!!! It won’t matter to me, either. May the best QB win.

      • GGeagle

        People need to stop with the deep ball throw problem crap. Non of you we questioning his arm in the preseason when he was delivering one pin point accurate bomb after the next. he had a cannon in college. His arm is fine, it’s actually going to be a strength. the trick with young QBs in the league is get them comfortable and to the point that they are throwing with the proper mechanics on every single throw regardless of the pressure they are under. Foles will get there. After an offseason of work, once he starts trusting his line, we will probably see Nick Foles take off. The kid showed that he has the stuff that can be taught, the mechanics and all that stuff will fine tune itself, smart, intelligent, hard working kid, sooner or later it will all come together for him. Any rational pain shouldn’t even judge or think of trading Nick, unto you find out who he is after a minimum of 3 season worth of development. Have some damn patience..it’s hard enough to find a franchise guy, if you discard every player after 7 games, we will wait ages until we get a guy who looks like the real deal from day 1. Don’t let Luck and Rh3 spoil you guys and ruin your senses. It’s the hardest position In sports. Give it a year or two and their is a good chance our patience and common sense will be rewarded

    • aub32

      The difference is Rodgers and Brady sat and fixed their mechanics. I’m not one who thinks Foles will forever be mediocre. However, I don’t feel he’s a starter in this league yet nor is he better than Vick, yet. What I believe many proponents of Foles if ore is that him starting may hurt him in the long run. If his biggest issues were just decision making and getting used to the speed of the game, then starting would probably help. However, his biggest issue currently is his mechanics. Those take time to be fixed, and having to start games while implementing changes in ones mechanics could lead to him looking very poor or reverting back to his bad habits. He wasn’t taken as high as RG3, Luck, Cam, or Tannehill so there’s no need to treat him as if he can’t sit for a year or two.

  • BrickSquadMonopoly

    Does anyone really believe that Andy Reid is a good coach? Dont know how he can be a good coach if hes forcing a system on players and has NO IDEA how to make in game adjustments…This guy was never a good coach simply a product of his environment. I know he wasnt the one running the team because hes the furthest thing from a leader

  • GGeagle

    trade Foles? You people are nuts!! What’s sad is that we are convinced that as a fanbase we deserve a championship, yet we want to ship away players after 7 games. It would be CRIMINAL to trade Foles at this point. I don’t give a damn what chip says, I can assure you Gamble,Roseman and LURIE know better! you can’t trade Foles right now, because you don’t know what you are trading away yet.

    I’m willing to bet that Reid would offer a 2nd round pick for Foles, and I doubt we will accept that. he was a 3rd pick a year ago, and has done nothing to drop his stock since then. Why would we give him up for a 3rd, that what we paid. You want Foles, then you will have to pay for the valuable 7game experience he got last year. I’m willing to bet anyone any amount of cash that Foles will be at eagles training camp. trade Foles and be left with a QB that can’t play one healthy season, and a practice squad QB hahahahahahaha. impatient, dumb, irrational fanbase. Stupid fans don’t let the eagles live down JPP and Earl Thomas, and gRaham is actually on his way to being agod player. can you imagine trading Foles now and he goes on to be a top 10 QB. This city will swallow the decision makers whole, and they would go down in history as dopes….let me let you in on a little secret. Young players IMPROVE!!!! Foles WIL be better this year than he was last year…and next year he will be better than he is this year….you don’t trade away ANYONE until you have some kind of an idea what kind of player they will become….and since it’s too soon to know that, you dopes need to stop with the madness. impatience leads to mistakes that set franchises back years!!! Those consequences are not worth even a valuable 2nd rd pick. you dopes want to trade the only rookie Qb in the HISTORY ofthe NFL that averaged BOTH 60% completions, AND 240 yards a game? The only QB in the history ofthenfl to accomplish that? Doing so with a historically bad line, back up recievers, RB, dysfunctional coaching staff and play calling that besides the two games that Bryce got the ball. I’d the qb no favors?

    Get a clue!

  • GGeagle

    props to mcManus and kapadia…probably the only media members who since chip was hired, haven’t engraved the idea that Foles is being tradedinthe minds of fAns. You got DOPES like Misanelli CONVINCING the Delaware value that Foles is being traded, it’s a joke. irsponsible media as always.lets see:

    Since Chip was hired, he has tried his best to get us to believe that he isn’t bringing the Oregon play book to Philly, and that he really likes fOles, andt that Foles will be competing

    roseman has tried telling us that he didn’t hire chip for the ready ion, he hired him to build the program.

    Yet the writing is clearly onthe wall that Foles is being traded. NO NFL COACH would be so stupid. The writing onthe wall? Are your kidding me? Foles is the most valuable player that we have atthe most Important position, and people thik they will trade him because they signed an old, mistake filled, turnover machine, who gets hurt during the 4th play ofthe preseason? A qb that they so much of that they gave him a 1 year deal? Dennis Dixon? Do you people hear yourselves? A practice squad player with a better chance of joining the coaching staff than making the 53 man roster?

    Foles ain’t going anywhere. Lurie wouldn’t even allow it. chip is not as stupid as misanelli and mindless fantasy fans. YOU HAVE TO BUILDTHE RIGHT WAY! This instant gratification crap is sad. Not every great QB will have instant success like Luck n RG3 the moment they step onthe field. Do you realize the the ravens, the giants, the colts none of these teams would have superbowls if they acted the way our fans think. Peyton, Eli, Flacco…..FOLES had a better first 7 games then all of them. Those dudes had terrible rookie years. Imagine if they traded them away because they didn’t sett he world on fire their rookie season.

    if you can pluck Foles off the eagles, after all the GMs in the nfl saw what he did last year on the eagles which was a sinking ship, and put Foles back into this upcoming draft class, he would undoubtably be the first QB taken off the board, yet too many dopes are convinced we are trading him becaus legs aren’t fast? Vick is 33 and rapidly diminishing. In about 6 months, Vick will be as slow as Foles hahaha.

    Btw, Goles is a good athlete, this slow crap is exaggerated. he has functional mobility like Aaron Rodgers. Can’t wait to watch the pistol offense embarrassed next year after 32 D coordinators spend the summer figuring out how to shut it down