As his team took to the NovaCare fields for a snow-flurried practice Thursday, Eagles coach Chip Kelly was asked about his appreciation for the intense dislike Eagles fans have for Dallas. Kelly, in the wake of the flap over him allowing Oregon's Linfield College to practice at the Birds' facility before its playoff win over Widener, had said letting other teams practice on your fields is commonplace in the NFL, and that if Dallas wanted to use NovaCare this week, he would allow it.
"I understand that (dislike)," Kelly said. "But that's not the way we're wired. I want to compete against the best. It's the same thing, if we went to go to play any other place in the NFL, they would allow us to practice at their facility. When I was in college, everybody allowed us to practice -- USC practiced at our place when we were at Oregon, and we practiced at their place. That's what this deal is all about.
"I've never been a hate guy. I don't hate anybody we've ever played. I've got the utmost respect for 'em, and I hope when we have an opportunity to play any team we play, that they're at their full strength. That's the best part about it; that's when really true competitors go against it.
"I think it was never more evident (than in) the NBA Finals last year, when you watch the Spurs and the Heat, there's no technical fouls, there's no trash-talking, it's two unbelievable teams going out and playing against each other. They're going to play their tails off, they're going to compete their tails off, but that's what this is all about."
*Kelly, asked about this being a big game, said it is only a big game because of all the games the Eagles won to get here; if they were 7-7, they wouldn't have a chance to take control of the NFC East this week.
*Kelly was asked about Oregon quarterback Macrus Mariota, the favorite to win the Hesiman this weekend. Kelly said Mariota was the most talented player he coached in college, and has every attribute you'd want, but Kelly said he can't take any credit for Mariota's development, having left Oregon two seasons ago.
*Kelly praised Chris Prosinski, who made three special teams tackles against the Seahawks, as a smart, skilled player with size. Kelly indicated Prosinski is making progress as a safety, after being signed Nov. 3.
*Kelly said rookie DE Taylor Hart, the only Eagle on the 53-man roster all season who hasn't gotten into a game, is doing a great job and would play if the Birds had any d-line injuries. That deep unit has been the Eagles' healthiest. Nonetheless, the Eagles have two 2014 fifth-round draft picks -- Hart and practice squad safety Ed Reynolds -- who haven't played a down for them.