Antonio Dixon is a big body at 322 pounds, known to be a run-stuffing defensive tackle, and certainly somebody whom the Eagles think they have a chance to develop. He is not an instant-impact player, but he is on this 53-man roster in place of quarterback A.J.Feeley and the Eagles look to Carolina with a roster that is set.
Things can change, of course. If you were expecting a big boom the day after the team reached 53 players, you weren't paying a whole lot of attention. Oh, there was one impact move, as the Raiders sent a 2011 first-round draft pick to New England for defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. It is the kind of bizarre move we are used to seeing the Raiders make. Good luck signing Seymour, who could very well be the pick of the class in free agency next year and who will no doubt think three times about signing with Oakland versus free agency in what could be an uncapped year. But I digress ...
The Eagles no doubt tried the trade market for Feeley. It is surprising that he was released, rather than traded for at least some kind of draft pick. But obviously teams knew the Eagles weren't going to hang on to him and now he is going to be presented with some options for his next employer. And teams weren't about to guarantee his contract for being on the roster for Week 1. It remains to be seen if Feeley is on a roster this week. Feeley is a class act, a good quarterback and he deserves the best of luck.
Dixon is an intriguing player who did a good job in Washington during the preseason and who, at 322 pounds, gives the Eagles a different body type at tackle. His is the kind of body the Eagles have lacked inside. They may need a bit more bulk inside over the course of the season if teams try to pound them with the running game. Stewart Bradley's 255 pounds at middle linebacker aren't there this season. Omar Gaither is a good player who knows the defense, but he is also 238 pounds and that is a big difference at the position.
Nobody is thinking that Dixon will come right in and play. He may be active all that much until the Eagles think he has the scheme down. But those 322 pounds are the reason that he is here. Dan Klecko, a hustler and a winner, weighs 285 pounds. For all of his effort and his good intentions, Klecko just couldn't overcome being undersized at 285 pounds.
Dixon played off and on at the University of Miami and was not drafted. He overcame a troubled past -- his father is in jail for drug trafficking and Dixon spent time living in a homeless shelter -- to earn his degree. Dixon reportedly had trouble with his conditioning with the Redskins, although he played pretty well there and was said to be highly coachable.
We'll learn more about Dixon in the days ahead. The Eagles did a minor tweaking of the roster on Sunday and they are now going into the season with only two quarterbacks until Michael Vick is active after Week 2, two tight ends (although the Eagles added Rob Myers to the practice squad on Sunday) and a staggering seven wide receivers. We can wait and wait and see what happens there, but as the days go on, the chances of a move being made are unlikely.
Are you ready? Are the Eagles ready? The coaches are working now on the game plan for Carolina. The players report to the NovaCare Complex for a 10-10-10 practice on Monday, and then have Tuesday off before they resume the practice work on Wednesday. It's all about Carolina now, and finding a way to beat the Panthers.
The roster is set for the most part. Fifty-three players have the common focus, and while there are some questions about a position here or there, it is pretty much as most thought it would be. There were no huge surprises on this roster. And there don't appear to any blockbuster moves around the corner.
Next up is the practice squad (four were named to the practice squad on Sunday and the team will be completed on Monday). After that, well, there are still seven wide receivers only two tight ends and that seems out of whack somewhat. Then agan, it's been that kind of off-season.