Andy Reid will not resign as Eagles head coach despite the worst losing streak of his 14-year tenure in Philadelphia and the growing sense of inevitability that he will be fired.
"I'm standing in front of the team and saying these are the things we need to do, one of which is to continue to battle," Reid said Monday. "I think [resigning] would be a cop-out. That's not how I see things. That's not the way I'm wired. We're going to keep battling and do it as a team. I'm not going to tell the guys one thing and then do the other."
The fact that Reid is even entertaining the question illustrates the state of the franchise. Sunday's 31-6 loss to the Washington Redskins dropped the Eagles to 3-7. They're far more likely to finish with the No. 1 pick in the draft than to rebound and make the playoffs.
Monday's statement by Reid puts the onus of his future entirely on the shoulders of team owner Jeffrey Lurie. Lurie has not discussed Reid's job status since the preseason, when he emphasized his desire for improvement in 2012. Through a team spokesman, Lurie declined comment about Reid's status and the Eagles' season.
The ire of fans is impossible to dismiss. Monday's prime-time game against the Carolina Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field could make the dissatisfaction apparent on a national stage.
"I know we're letting the fans down and the city down," Reid said. "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."
Reid's task also includes trying to keep his players focused despite the obvious uncertainty about their coach's future and their futures with the team. Reid said Monday, "You control what you can control." Offensive tackle King Dunlap said Sunday night that Reid's first message for incoming players is to ignore the fans and not ride the swaying emotions.
"The fans, they're giving us what we give them," Dunlap said. "As players, we've got to give them better, and they'll give us better back. If we want support from them, we've got to play our best on the field."
With six games remaining, the next month will seem like a president's final days in office. The coach that Eagles fans knew for more than a decade has faded into one whose record has diminished and message has grown stale.
Reid continues to revert to his old catchphrases. He says he accepts full responsibility. He still explains how he needs to put players in better positions.
"It shows he's a good head coach. He takes the blame for everything," safety Nate Allen said. "But we as men, as players, need to look at ourselves, too, and look in the mirror and get everything corrected."
Those players have been as much of the blame this season as the coach. Reid said Monday that he believes the talent on the Eagles is on par with their opponents each week. He also said he does not believe that effort is the problem. But if he thinks the issue is neither talent nor effort, it does not explain how the Eagles can regress from 3-1 to 3-7.
"I can't sit here and tell you things are great when you come off a loss like that," Reid said of Sunday's game. "Things snowball on you at times, and you just have to back up and fix the problems here, and that's what we have to do."
Reid offered an appropriate figure of speech. The season has certainly snowballed, and his dismissal is likely waiting at the end.
"He's a competitive guy. Nobody wants to win more than Jeffrey," Reid said of Lurie. "He's disappointed. I'll tell you that. Rightly so. He feels the same way we do, that we're letting people down in this city."