The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t had an open quarterback competition before the season started in some time. The Eagles anointed Donovan McNabb as their starter from 2000 to 2009, then had Kevin Kolb set to take over in 2010 before that plan got derailed, and then had Michael Vick set in stone to start 2011 and 2012. Yet it is a different story in 2013, as long shot contender Dennis Dixon is ready for the challenge of unseating Vick.
Dixon stated in a conference call on Feb. 18 that “the job is open” from his understanding. He declared “may the best man win” as there is doubt on whether Vick is still the best man for the Eagles’ job. However, he may be the best man compared to Dixon and Nick Foles, at the least.
The Eagles could have let Vick go as everyone expected, but they restructured his contract to keep him for another year. Philadelphia likely wouldn’t go to that much trouble if it didn’t plan to play Vick, although it did sign Dixon to a two-year deal anyway. Still, Dixon had been a practice squad quarterback who has only played in a handful of NFL games, so he doesn’t have an intimidating resume to challenge Vick on.
Nevertheless, NFL.com columnist Chris Wesseling compared Philadelphia’s upcoming quarterback derby to that of the Seattle Seahawks last season. The Seahawks spent a lot of money to make Matt Flynn their new starter, yet Russell Wilson stole the job from under him in the preseason and never let go.
Wilson was a rookie and a hot prospect while Flynn had never been a full-time starter before. In contrast, Dixon has languished around in the NFL for years while Vick has built up years of experience. If Chip Kelly is still going to give Dixon the same shot that Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll gave Wilson, Dixon will truly have to blow Kelly away to win.
With Vick’s age, his recent struggles and his injury problems, he will be on a very short leash by the Eagles and their fans. It might not take much to unseat him, yet with Dixon’s unproven record, he will need to win the Philadelphia job by much more than default.