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 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.
Within 30 seconds of his press conference Monday afternoon, Chip Kelly announced the news of the day: Michael Vick had restructured his deal and would be back with the Eagles.
Minutes later, though, he reminded everyone to use pencil, not pen, for their February depth charts.
“There is an open competition,” Kelly said. “Michael knows that. Nick [Foles] 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.
“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.”
The question is: Are you buying it?
News came down Monday afternoon that Michael Vick had restructured his deal with the Eagles. Here are three instant thoughts, focusing on what Chip Kelly wants out of his quarterback.
Why haven’t Chip Kelly and Nick Foles met face-to-face? And what to make of the Billy Davis hiring? We cover that and more in the latest mailbag.
It was almost as if Chip Kelly took offense.
The new Eagles’ head coach was meeting with a group of writers on the day he was introduced at the Novacare Complex. The question posed to him was straightforward: Have you ever had a conventional drop-back quarterback?
“Yeah, a kid I had at New Hampshire, Ricky Santos, threw for 123 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in four years,” Kelly said. “So we threw the heck out of the ball.”
It was clear he had addressed this type of question before.
Now that we have had a chance to speak with Chip Kelly for the first time, let’s dive a little deeper into the quarterback situation.
Kelly was asked specifically following his press conference whether he can move forward and run what he wants to run with Nick Foles as his quarterback.
Since the middle of last season, the process for figuring out the Eagles’ quarterback situation seemed clear: The new coach would make the call.
Well, now there’s a new coach in place in Chip Kelly. He will be introduced Thursday as the man to lead the Eagles into the post-Andy Reid era.
Kelly’s first order of business will be getting his staff in place. But after that, attention will quickly shift to the quarterback position. The Eagles have decisions to make – beginning with the players currently on their roster.
There are a bunch of questions when it comes to Chip Kelly as a potential fit for the Eagles, not the least of which is how his style would match the Eagles’ current quarterback situation.
While the eventual head coach will have to be consulted, the Eagles sound ready to move on from Michael Vick. And from what I can gather, Vick is more than ready to move on from the Eagles. That leaves Nick Foles for the moment. Jeffrey Lurie in particular sounds high on the young signal-caller, and it was suggested that Foles will have every opportunity to compete for the starting job.
But Kelly’s system at Oregon is not a match for what Foles brings to the table.
Soon after the Eagles find their next head coach, the attention will turn to the quarterback position.
And while Andy Reid’s replacement is poised to make the call at QB, he’ll no doubt get input from others within the organization, including general manager Howie Roseman.
Roseman met with reporters earlier this week and was asked if he thinks the Eagles are in good shape at quarterback.