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Dennis Dixon reunites with Coach Chip Kelly in Philadelphia

February 15, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Quarterback Dennis Dixon, shown with the University of Oregon in 2007, has reunited with Chip Kelly, his offensive coordinator with the Ducks, in Philadelphia.
Quarterback Dennis Dixon, shown with the University of Oregon in 2007,… (Rick Bowmer / Associated…)

Dennis Dixon may be considered a long shot to earn Philadelphia's starting quarterback job -- or even a spot on the team's opening-day roster -- but he does have one advantage over fellow Eagles QBs Michael Vick and Nick Foles.

Not only he is the only one of the three who has played under new Coach Chip Kelly's system, but Dixon excelled in his spread offense at the University of Oregon.

With Kelly as his offensive coordinator in 2007, Dixon was in the Heisman Trophy conversation -- passing for 2,136 yards with 20 touchdowns and four interceptions to go with 583 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground -- before a torn ACL ended his senior season prematurely.

Dixon was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers but started just three times in four seasons with the team, with another knee injury wiping out almost all of his 2010 season. He spent last year on the practice squad for the Baltimore Ravens before signing a two-year deal with the Eagles on Thursday.

So this move might make sense for both sides. The Eagles get a quarterback who has flourished in their new coach's system and Dixon gets a chance to revive his NFL career.

Then again, Steve Spurrier tried something similar when he was the Washington Redskins coach back in 2002-03. He brought in two of his star quarterbacks from Florida, Danny Wuerffel (a Heisman winner) and Shane Matthews, both of whom had floundered in the NFL. But even reunited with their old college coach, things didn't get a whole lot better.

Who knows if that will be the case with Dixon, Kelly and the Eagles. But with a guy who showed as much promise as Dixon did back in Oregon: Might as well give it a shot.

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