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