This isn't about replacing McDermott - although the next guy who gets a vote of confidence from Reid should immediately start sending out his resumé.
Reid has already talked to former Atlanta and Seattle coach Jim Mora Jr. about the defensive coordinator position, a league source told the Daily News yesterday.
The Birds are also considering Eagles senior assistant Dick Jauron and former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Billy Davis for the job.
Finding a new defensive coordinator will not be an issue.
Having him hit the ground running, however, will be a major concern if there is a work stoppage.
Right now, it appears that a lockout by the owners is inevitable, so that means except for the draft, all other football-related activities involving players will be prohibited.
That means no minicamps, no Offseason Training Activities (OTAs) and, if this thing really drags out, possibly no real semblance of a training camp.
Now suppose you are a new coordinator and you don't get any real time to assess your players, build relationships and implement your program.
How can you effectively have a positive impact right out of the gate?
But as big as those would be, they are not even the biggest issue an extended lockout would mean to the Eagles - especially on defense.
Whatever McDermott's faults as a coordinator might have been, his most pressing one was a serious lack of personnel.
The Eagles simply did not have enough talent to be a championship-caliber defense.
Nobody could have schemed his way around these players to produce anything more than the mediocre unit that McDermott put on the field on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and even a Tuesday.
More than a new coordinator, this defense needs serious upgrades in all three areas - on the line, at linebacker and in the secondary.
If the Eagles are lucky, they might pull an impact player out of the draft, but given their history with defensive early round picks under Reid, that's not a safe gamble.
A lockout will stifle the key thing the Eagles need to focus on this offseason - talent acquisition.
A work stoppage means no free-agent signings and no trades, at least until a settlement is reached.
Teams can draft players, but they won't be able to negotiate any contracts or fill out their rosters with undrafted free agents.
Like all the other teams, every avenue of personnel improvement is going to be cut off to the Eagles until the collective bargaining issue is resolved.
A year ago, after trading quarterback Donovan McNabb, it was OK for them to treat free agency like they were about to start a rebuilding phase - even if they would not admit that's what they were doing.
This year, after the surprising emergence of quarterback Michael Vick led them to the NFC East title, Reid & Co. can't sell a youth movement like they did when Kevin Kolb appeared to be the new starting quarterback.
After the playoff loss to Green Bay, Reid lauded the fact that the Birds had retooled and stayed championship-competitive.
He doesn't get to back away from that.
Expectations, whenever the next season starts, should be for this team to be able to challenge for a Super Bowl.
The only realistic way to make that happen is to upgrade the talent level with impact players acquired in free agency and the draft.
If there is a lockout, the Eagles can't make an offer to a lockdown cornerback like Oakland Raiders free agent Nnamdi Asomugha.
If there is a lockout, the Eagles can't trade Kolb to a quarterback-starved team and possibly get the type of high draft picks that would allow them to move up from their current spot at No. 23.
If the Eagles cannot make a significant move up the draft board, they cannot reasonably hope to nab a high-rated prospect like Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, Texas A & M linebacker Von Miller, Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder or Florida center Mike Pouncey.
An extended lockout is going to put everything on hold.
The Eagles are at a point where they cannot afford to sit still.
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