"I would tell you the talent is there. We just have to play as a football team. That's the important thing."
The truth is, there really was not any competition at any starting position on the offense - except for left tackle, and that is only because King Dunlap replaced Demetress Bell, who was brought in because of Jason Peters' Achilles' injury and was a disappointment. On defense, linebacker Akeem Jordan has taken over for Brian Rolle - but that competition likely took place only because Jamar Chaney is hurt. You can throw in the slot cornerback position, too, and the competition between Joselio Hanson and rookie Brandon Boykin. But that really was it.
That's how it works in the NFL anymore. The starters are pretty much pre-identified and the competition is for the backup spots. It is why we end up breathless over Nick Foles vs. Mike Kafka vs. Trent Edwards - because there really isn't a whole lot else to talk about.
Still, Reid's answer fits in with his ongoing, monthslong, franchise-wide narrative: I would tell you the talent is there. We just have to play as a football team. That's the important thing.
With that, two observations:
1) Yes, the Eagles have enough talent to be a playoff team.
2) No, this team is not as talented as Reid's best team.
When you look at the Super Bowl team from the 2004 season, well, you come up with an interesting conversation. The overall verdict, though, is that the 2004 team was more talented.
On the offensive line, the interior group today is better. At right tackle, it would be fun to see Todd Herremans and Jon Runyan in the Octagon, and who was left standing. But because Peters is hurt, and because the left tackle is so important, it is hard to argue that this line is better.
At running back, Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy make for a worthy argument. McCoy might end up being better when his career is over, but Westbrook was the complete package back then.
At wide receiver, the Eagles' group today is better overall - Jeremy Maclin is a mile better than Todd Pinkston - but nobody now is as good as Terrell Owens was then.
At quarterback, Michael Vick will have to go a long way to match what Donovan McNabb did in that Super Bowl season (31 touchdown, only eight interceptions).
On the other side of the ball, I'll take today's defensive line, which comes at you in waves, over the 2004 defensive line (even while acknowledging that the Eagles today don't have a tackle as good as Corey Simon was back then).
At linebacker, I'll take the 2004 group just because it had Jeremiah Trotter. Cornerback would make for some fascinating arguments - nobody is as physical today as Sheldon Brown was then, but Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are faster, I think, than Brown and Lito Sheppard. As for safety, well, two words: Brian Dawkins.
Add it all up and the 2004 team was better, because it had more impact players. But, well, put it this way: As long as left tackle doesn't turn into a nine-alarm fire, you can argue that this Eagles team has as much talent as any Eagles team since 2004.
Which means it is up to the quarterback and it is up to the coach. But you already knew that.
Contact Rich Hofmann at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @theidlerich. Read his blog at philly.com/TheIdleRich, or for recent columns go to philly.com/RichHofmann.