By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia, PA (CBS)— Dennis Dixon has won two Super Bowl rings in the last five years, and he’s hoping to bring a little of that fortune to the Eagles this season.
Dixon, 28, a practice squad quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens this past season played for new Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly at Oregon, when Kelly was the Ducks offensive coordinator in 2007.
Under Kelly that season, Dixon went 7-1 as a starter and threw for 2,136 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also ran for 583 yards and nine touchdowns before tearing the ACL in his left knee in an Oregon victory over Arizona State on Nov. 3, 2007. Two weeks later, Dixon, showing great guts, played with the torn ACL against Arizona and ran for a 39-yard touchdown before the knee buckled in the first quarter and Dixon was forced to leave the game.
Dixon is hoping he can regain that same form under Kelly again with the Eagles.
“I’ve been with Chip Kelly at the University of Oregon, and it’s been five years now, a lot has changed. I’m expecting nothing but the best out of Chip Kelly, a new challenge for him. I’m sure he’ll rise to the occasion,” Dixon said.
Where does Dixon fit?
“I’m curious, too,” Dixon said. “I want to work on my craft and make it better, too, I want to put my best foot forward and let the chips fall where they may. From my understanding, the job is open and it’s going to be a very competitive nature around here. May the best man win.”
In 2010, Dixon was 2-0 as a starter, backing up Roethlisberger, who was suspended for the first four games of that season, and the injured Byron Leftwich. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 254 yards, without a touchdown and one interception. He also had 32 yards rushing on five carries.
Dixon is 6-foot-3, and mobile. It’s his height that serves as an advantage over 6-foot Michael Vick, and it’s mobility that gives him a slight edge over Nick Foles, who’s been rumored in trade talks.
Asked if mobility is a key to running Kelly’s style of offense, Dixon said, “I wouldn’t say it was a big thing. I think that Chip Kelly is a guru when it comes to that offense. He can tailor his offense to whoever is available. It’s great to see when you have 11 guys on the same page.
“As a competitor, anyone in their right mind would competition. That’s what we have. I’m sure Michael Vick and Nick Foles would say the same thing, too. We’re excited. Let the chips fall where they may. I have won games in the NFL. I expect something from Chip Kelly than the last five years. That was Oregon. He might see something totally different.”
Dixon stressed that in Kelly’s system, it’s not vital to get the ball out of his hands quickly, “It’s about moving fast paced and seeing what the defense gives us, regardless of if they want to blitz, or want to play zone. One thing that was ingrained into my head, with Chip Kelly at the helm, is that you have to move fast paced, not fast paced as far as getting rid of the ball.”
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.