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Chip Kelly: 'We're going to see who has the best team'

The Eagles head coach discusses Michael Vick, a nine-game home losing streak and Spencer Paysinger

Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles trotted out Nick Foles last Sunday, hoping the second-year quarterback could replicate his three-touchdown performance against the division-leading Dallas Cowboys. By the end of that game, rookie Matt Barkley was in and Eagles' fans were booing the team.

This week, however, the Eagles will get their starter, Michael Vick, back under center. Vick has been dealing with a hamstring injury, but is expected to be able to go for Sunday's showdown with the New York Giants.

"Mike took some snaps in team, which was the first time in two weeks," Kelly said during a conference call Wednesday. "He looks like he's progressing and we'll evaluate as we go through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday."

Having Vick back in the lineup will be essential for the Eagles, who mustered just three points in the loss to Dallas last week. Bouncing back at home will also be important.

Philadelphia is riding a nine-game losing streak at Lincoln Financial Field, unprecedented for a franchise that used to thrive off of its home-field advantage. Kelly denies he or the players have discussed the skid, but hopes this week that can buck the trend.

"Obviously, we want to give our fans what they deserve, and we've had an unbelievable home crowd in the games we've been home (for) this year," the first-year coach said. "I wasn't part of it last year, but there's that tremendous support at home and we're itching to go out there and get a victory in front of our home crowd."

Only the Giants stand in the way of that elusive first home win this season, a team the Eagles have already beaten this season.

Kelly, who spent the last few years coaching at the collegiate level, isn't accustomed to facing teams two times per year. But the coach isn't phased by the concept; after all, the Giants have to face the Eagles for a second time this season.

"I don't look it as a challenge because (the Giants) have the same exact situation," he said. "Obviously you spend more time (game planning) because you played each other, but then you look through that game and 'they did this last time, they won't do it again,' and you play that guessing game.

"It comes back down to what happened in the first game. We'll do go what we do and they're going to do what they do, and we're going to see who has the best team at the end of the day on Sunday."

Two linebackers that have caught the attention of the Eagles' coach have been Jon Beason and Spencer Paysinger, both of whom have been standing out recently for the Giants. Beason was acquired from the Carolina Panthers a few weeks ago, and in the past two games has solidified himself as the best option the team has at middle linebacker.

Paysinger played for Kelly when the two were at Oregon. After being a special teams contributor earlier in his career, Paysinger has been one of the Giants' most versatile weapons on defensive as a starter, but no, Kelly isn't surprised by that at all.

"Pays was awesome when I coached him at Oregon. He was a real leader of our defense, a true three-down guy that can play in nickel situations," Kelly said. "I always thought Pays was a guy that -- for some reason -- was probably more underrated in college than he should have been. He was really the glue for us on the defensive side of the ball. He was the backbone of our defense that took us to a National Championship game and he's doing the same things in the NFL."

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