Looking back over last season, which they opened by beating the tragically ineptSt. Louis Ramsby default before losing their next four, they weren't ready for prime time.
All of that helped add up to a spectacularly awful 8-8 record for a team with perhaps the finest collection of talent in its history and certainly in the modern era.
Knowing a fourth straight season without a playoff victory would be unacceptable for both the fans and the man who signs his paycheck, Reid has come back this season with a plan to have his team better prepared for September: a tougher training camp than the year before, one that's as tough as the collective bargaining agreement of 2011 allows. Maybe tougher.
The recently concluded minicamp, which came on the heels of voluntary organized team activities, helped set the tone.
"I love the energy and mind-set right now," Reid said. "For nine weeks, these guys have been coming in here and grinding it. I mentioned this before that 80 percent of the team was in here before that with [strength and conditioning coach] Barry [Rubin] getting their lifts in. I want that to carry over to training camp.
"This is going to be a tough training camp for them. I've talked to the team about that. It's going to be a demanding training camp, and from now until we get up there, they need to keep themselves in the shape that they're in right now."
The sluggish start to last season is only one reason for this change. The labor stoppage that prevented the 2011 rookies to experience a full offseason is another.
"Really, you lose two draft classes there and whatever free agents you brought in that haven't been through a normal training camp," the coach said.
In order to alleviate the extra physical stress for the upcoming Lehigh camp, Reid also has prudently elected to flip the morning and afternoon sessions. Until this season, the Eagles' primary, full-contact practice had always been in the morning, with a less-intense gathering under the hotter conditions of the afternoon.
Though the team may be on the field a little less, the players will be required to work a good bit more with the sun higher in the sky.
"In the afternoon, it'll allow the players to be hydrated coming into practice along with getting two meals under their belt," Reid said. "Hopefully, that and the ability to allow them to walk around, get their lift in, and stretching, and so on, then they will come out and have a productive practice and limit the injuries and perform at a high speed."
Reid pointed to the new CBA as factoring into the decision, but that agreement was signed before last year's training camp, and the he essentially kept the same schedule then before switching this year.
Some of the players were not aware of the specific planned change until quizzed by reporters.
"I had no idea," linebacker Jamar Chaney said. "They hadn't said anything to us. I know coach was saying to expect a tough training camp, but switching the practices ... I guess it should be better because that's kind of the way we do it through the year."
Which is another reason this change makes sense for the Eagles, who seem to understand that anything less than a Super Bowl for any reason should be considered a failure.
The offseason workouts had a tense-free intensity, which is just the way the players and coaches wanted it.
"It's a lot of energy," quarterback Michael Vick said. "As a football team, we understand that in order to go out and play good football, you have to be relaxed and have fun with it. Although we know that it's our job, you have to be at peace while you're playing. Even though it's a tough game, that's why we play it and that's why we're professional football players is because we're able to create that balance.
"It's all based on what's taking place throughout the organization. For us, we just feel like we should have accomplished a lot last year. Like I said, we just want to have fun and be the best that we can be. We want to work hard to get there. We know it's not going to be easy, but we're going to work at it."
With just one more season for this group to succeed before major changes should be expected, the players have decided to take the proper approach, the only approach.
"I think there's urgency every year," tight end Brent Celek said, "but the type of talent that we have, us being together for as long as we've been together, we've got to get it done. I mean, it's on us as players."
More than any season.
This year's training camp is shaping up to be the most important in coach Andy Reid's 14 seasons, considering the changes he's made to the practice schedule with his job believed to be on the line. For the first time since taking over the team in 1999, he will run the two-a-days in reverse, with the more difficult, full-contact practice coming under the hot afternoon sun. The Eagles have not released specific practice schedules for Lehigh University, which they will occupy from July 22 through August 15.