Reid won't fire himself, because, as he correctly explained Monday, quitting is, well, quitting.
"I'm standing in front of the team and telling them, 'These are the things we need to do,' one of which is continue to battle," said Reid, who also would forfeit millions of dollars if he resigned. "I think that'd be a cop-out . . . that's not how I'm wired. We're going to keep battling, do it as a team. I can't tell the guys one thing and then do the other."
Later, on his 94 WIP radio show, Reid said something similar and used the word "hypocritical."
Whatever he's telling his players, it isn't getting through. The falloff has been incredible. Now that the ceiling has fallen in, plenty of people point to the Eagles' close early wins and point out they could be 0-10. It's just as true that they could, under the same reasoning, have been 5-1 before the onslaught of four successive double-digit losses. Something has changed, is changing. The last 2 weeks have been shockingly terrible, one-sided defeats at the hands of struggling teams that took bad penalties and played well only in spurts but still beat the Eagles going away.
Reid was asked whether he has considered the possibility that he might be doing more harm than good, staying on.
"I look at everything. I'm not telling you I don't look at that . . . my leadership right now isn't good enough," Reid said. Then, before venturing too far down that road, Reid veered back to more familiar territory: "I've got to do a better job there."
Players certainly retain affection for Reid. Nobody is whispering anonymously against him, as you sometimes see in such situations. Whether he is motivating them is another matter.
"I've got kids myself; I've got the utmost respect for him, still doing his job to his full potential after something like that," left tackle King Dunlap said, referring to the Aug. 5 death at training camp of Reid's oldest son, Garrett. "I love coach Reid."
The next game, Monday night at the Linc against the 2-8 Carolina Panthers, looms as a potential national embarrassment for the franchise. Fans will not be spreading holiday cheer. Based on Reid's concussion report Monday - LeSean McCoy nursing a headache, in Phase 1 of the recovery process; Michael Vick still stuck on that phase, as well - the Eagles are quite capable of losing to the wretched Panthers and being recognized as the worst team in the NFC.
"I know we're letting the fans down and the city down," Reid said Monday. "I completely understand that. I completely understand how they feel on this. I feel it from the football team, our coaches and players. There are no excuses for it . . . You can't play consistent football by taking one step forward and 10 steps back."
Reid once again, when asked, declared the problems "fixable." It is hard to imagine how he could say anything else and not resign.
"We've got to eliminate the mistakes," Reid said. "It's not an effort or a want-to [situation]. I don't see that . . . Sometimes, I see guys are pressing a bit when they don't need to press. Guys that have been very consistent players for us in the past, guys are pressing just a bit. They want to do so well, they want to be that guy that makes the play, and you've just got to back up and do what you do the best - relax, play the game and play the way you know how to play."
Asked whether the coaching staff might also be pressing, Reid said, "When things are going well, you have a tendency to try to find ways of making it better."
Reid's decision to leave McCoy in the Washington game, down 31-6 with 1 minute, 45 seconds left, might fall under that umbrella. Reid spoke after the game about wanting to catch up. Monday he gave a more rational answer, about not quitting and setting examples. But it's really hard to see what sort of point the Eagles were going to make - even if McCoy had taken off and run for a touchdown at that point - to themselves or to anyone else.
"There are a few things that you wish wouldn't happen. That obviously would be one of them," Reid said. "These kids want to play. There are two sides of this. There's the side that you ask me, 'Did you feel like they quit?' Well, no, these guys want to play, they want to win the game, they want to get better, they want to show that they're all in, and so there's a fine line there. And then as coaches, you want to make sure the guys know that you're all in, too. With that [said], I don't regret it. It happened. Do I wish he wouldn't have been hurt? Yeah, I do wish he wouldn't have been hurt, but I don't regret [leaving McCoy in]."
On his radio show, Reid said Lurie is "disappointed that we're not winning."
Andy Reid said Monday that the immediate aftermath of LeSean McCoy's concussion seemed less severe than what Michael Vick suffered the previous week, but both players are at the initial phase of the recovery process. Reid said Vick underwent baseline testing Monday and did not test as normal. He said both situations will be evaluated day to day.
Reid said Vick remains the starter, when healthy. That, of course, raises the specter of Reid perhaps trying to put Vick back in the lineup in a week or 2 or 3, long after all hope of the playoffs has been officially extinguished, inhibiting the process of finding out whether Nick Foles can be a franchise quarterback. We'll see whether that actually happens.
The Eagles undertook a practice-squad shuffle, bringing back guard Julian Vandervelde yet again and adding linebacker Nate Stupar, jettisoning defensive tackle Frank Trotter and safety Phillip Thomas . . . On his radio show, Reid said wide receiver Jason Avant (hamstring) would struggle to play vs. Carolina.