It was only a few days ago when the Philadelphia Eagles gave QB Michael Vick a huge vote of confidence by restructuring his contract into a one-year deal worth up to $10 million.
Too bad the Eagles decided to throw a curveball into the quarterback race as they decided to bring former Heisman-hopeful QB Dennis Dixon aboard to give Vick a run for his money.
The most interesting aspect about the Dixon signing is that the lightning-fast QB played for the University of Oregon under current Eagles head coach Chip Kelly in 2007. Kelly was in his first year as Oregon’s offensive coordinator in 2007 before spending 2009-12 as the Ducks’ head coach.
Dixon is the ideal mold at quarterback for Kelly’s spread option offense, as he possesses incredible speed and elusiveness along with solid arm-strength and accuracy. If it wasn’t for a torn ACL that Dixon suffered in his final season at Oregon, he would have certainly been drafted much higher than he was, in the fifth round.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were the crew who took a chance on Dixon in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Dixon played with the Steelers for four seasons from 2008-11 before becoming the practice squad quarterback for the Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens this past season.
Kelly made it clear that Vick is his starting quarterback for now, and that he looks for the proven veteran to do big things in his spread system during the upcoming season.
But at the same time, it is obvious that Dixon has been brought in to act as a quick-fix for the Eagles’ offense in the event that Vick does not pan out as planned.
It is the oldest trick in the book to bring in a young’n, like Dixon, who is still chomping at the bit for a chance at an extended professional career, in order to motivate a rapidly aging athlete, like Vick, who is certainly embarking upon the tail-end of his NFL tenure.
If Vick is not able to ignite this new-look Eagles’ offense early in the 2013 regular season, I look for Kelly to exhibit a quick hook, and bring in Dixon to try and get the job done.
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