Though very much known for trying to cast blame on himself after a loss (or in this case, tie), head coach Andy Reid admitted Wednesday a team effort would be needed to right a ship heading in the wrong direction.
The Eagles were unable to put away one of the NFL's worst teams in Cincinnati last Sunday, instead playing the 1-8 Bengals to an ugly 13-13 tie. And with the much more vaunted Baltimore Ravens lurking on Nov. 23, the Eagles need to get back on track to have a hope at the postseason.
"We all know we need to play better, and we need to trust each other," Reid said. "We're just trying to focus in on doing things the right way and make sure that we play our best football against the Ravens. Anything else besides that, you're wasting your time."
Reid always shoulders the blame, but a lot of it had been cast at quarterback Donovan McNabb, who turned the ball over four times against the Bengals and admitted after the game that he didn't know it could end in a tie.
But in calling the mistake "a dead issue," Reid again deflected that criticism, instead saying he didn't do his part in reminding the players the consequences of an overtime game.
"That's my responsibility," Reid said, "and I'll learn from it. The players will learn."
Reid's focus now is on finding out what's working and fixing what isn't. Offensively, the Eagles have struggled, especially running back Brian Westbrook, who has been unable to get things going for three straight games.
Reid said – and Westbrook has admitted – that he's not 100 percent healthy, but the reason for his ineffectiveness has been just as much about the performances around him as his performance itself. That might be part of the reasoning for a 40-play run-pass discrepancy against Cincinnati, which coming into the game had one of the worst defenses against the run in football.
So Reid, who has been criticized extensively in recent weeks, said his coaching staff will "consider everything," including trading playcalling with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
Reid said he brushes away calls that he needs to lose his job, among other things.
"I don't get into all that. I'm here to do my job," Reid said. "I know people want us to win football games, and we want to win football games, and that's the important thing. And so anything that gets in the way of that, I ignore."
By the same token, he understands the fans' frustration. At 5-4-1 and in last place in the NFC East, expectations were obviously higher.
"These are the best fans in the National Football League," Reid said. "If we take care of business, they'll be there."