Dennis Dixon to Eagles a Done Deal

Dennis Dixon to Eagles a Done Deal

With his coaching staff squared away, Chip Kelly’s first
order of business has been addressing the quarterback position. Now that Michael
Vick’s contract is renegotiated, it was on to part two: acquiring Dennis Dixon. Per
reports, the 2008 fifth-round pick and member of the Baltimore Ravens practice
squad agreed to a two-year deal with the Eagles on Thursday.


Geoff Mosher initially reported Kelly’s interest in Dixon
several weeks ago, and the addition always seemed inevitable. Kelly was the
offensive coordinator during Dixon’s senior season at Oregon, so he should be
familiar with some of the concepts the Eagles’ new head coach is bringing to
the NFL. It is by far the 28-year-old quarterback’s last, best chance of making
it in the league.

Dixon was having a season worthy of Heisman Trophy
consideration and perhaps playing himself into a high first-round pick before
he was derailed by a torn ACL. Drafted by the Steelers, Dixon appeared in four
games over four seasons with Pittsburgh, posting a 2-1 record in three starts and
71.4 passer rating, but again suffered a serious knee injury in 2010. He spent
the past year on the Ravens’ practice squad.

The addition of Dixon to the roster will almost certainly
usher out Trent Edwards, who spent one season as the Eagles’ third-string
quarterback -- although that remains to be seen.

We’re not reading too much into this signing, meaning Dixon
should be considered a darkhorse to ascend to starter. It’s completely
normal for new coaching staffs to bring in veteran players who know their
schemes, especially at the quarterback position, as Andy Reid did with Doug
Pederson many moons ago. It’s not even a given Dixon makes the final roster.

If Dixon is recovered from knee injuries though, he
certainly does possess the mobility many believe Kelly is looking for. He'll have a head start of sorts as well in terms of knowledge of Kelly's system. That said, four-time Pro Bowler Michael Vick and developing third-rounder Nick Foles aren't just going to lay down for Dixon.

Overall, it looks like Kelly has resorted to stockpiling
quarterbacks in the absence of a definite franchise quarterback. We wouldn’t
rule out a mid-to-late-round draft pick winding up in the mix with Dixon, Foles, and Vick as well. It looks like a good signing though, as Dixon can assist his teammates in learning Kelly’s offense, and could serve as a capable backup at least.

>> QB Dennis Dixon agrees to two-year deal with Eagles [CSN]

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Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

For the most part, Carson Wentz had a pretty successful rookie season. 

Sure, the Eagles finished with a 7-9 record, but Wentz did enough to continue the franchise's belief that he is indeed the quarterback of the future. 

Another guy in Dallas did the same thing with the Cowboys. Actually, Dak Prescott had an even more impressive rookie season, leading the Cowboys to 13 wins, while winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. 

Prescott, a fourth-round pick, had a great year, but didn't try to do too much. And that's what impressed Eagles head coach Doug Pederson the most. 

"[Prescott] understood this right away, that he didn't have to win the game for them," Pederson said on The Doomsday Podcast, hosted by Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. (Pederson also talked about running the Rocky steps). "He knew that he had a good defense, a tremendous offensive line, a great runner, he had some veteran players that he could rely on and he learned that early. As soon as he had the opportunity to play and that was early, from Day 1. 

"That's something that a young quarterback, sometimes it takes them a while to figure out the game that way. That's the impressive thing, that he learned how to handle that business that well, utilize the people around him and understand that he didn't have to go win the game."

While Prescott had plenty of help during his rookie season, it was pretty evident Wentz was lacking in that area. 

Prescott had a great offensive line, Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott and others. Wentz had an offensive line that was missing Lane Johnson, an often-injured Ryan Mathews and receivers like Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham playing serious snaps. 

So it made sense when the team went out this offseason and signed Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and recently LeGarrette Blount, as free agents, finally getting Wentz some real help. 

"We had opportunities to get those two guys and it was obvious last year, we were young at the wide receiver position," Peterson said. "We needed some leadership, some veteran presence there and we went out and got that with Torrey and Alshon. We still want to build through the draft, we still want to acquire young talent. 

"LeGarrette Blount now is a guy that gives us that big back, running back, that can come in and compete and hopefully he does everything he did at New England the last couple of seasons. He had 18 rushing touchdowns for over 1,000 yards and we just expect that same level of performance here."

Maybe having weapons will allow Wentz to do what made Prescott so impressive to Pederson in 2016: not too much. 

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Pete Mackanin is still searching for answers to the Phillies' offensive woes following Sunday afternoon's disheartening 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh during which the Phils could only muster three hits.

The latest lineup twist as the search for an answer continues will see Michael Saunders bat in the eight-hole tonight as the Phils open a four-game series with the surging Rockies tonight at Citizens Bank Park (see game notes).

When he has started this season, Saunders has been a fixture within the middle of the Phillies' order. After all, the offseason free-agent signing was an All-Star last season for Toronto when he hit 24 homers and drove in 57 runs.

But this season hasn't gone as planned as Saunders is hitting just .232 with four homers and 15 RBI in 41 games with the Phils this season.

With Saunders' drop down the lineup, Tommy Joseph will bat fourth, Maikel Franco fifth and Odubel Herrera sixth against Rockies spot starter Jeff Hoffman.

Tonight's full lineup can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Aaron Altherr LF
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Maikel Franco 3B
6. Odubel Herrera CF
7. Cameron Rupp C
8. Michael Saunders RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff SP