One day after the Philadelphia Eagles reportedly held a players-only meeting to help resurrect a 1-4 season, the once odds-on favorites for the Super Bowl are defending their chances to soar to the top of the NFC — or, at the very least, glide into the playoffs.
On Wednesday, the Eagles talked about how the team was coming together, just in time for Sunday's game against their divisional rivals in Washington. The time for finger-pointing is apparently over in Philadelphia, and there is nothing but brotherly love.
"I think we have enough guys in this locker room to be able to gauge that -- you can't personally blame anybody for the things that have happened," quarterback Michael Vick said. "We're a team, and we're going to go out slinging and keep believing and trying to make plays whenever we can."
The hope of a seasonal comeback marks a far cry from a team that had visions a month ago of running through the regular-season schedule en route to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
The Eagles anointed themselves the "Dream Team" in August when backup quarterback Vince Young was signed as a free agent and he crowed that they were now the team to beat. After an offseason of heavy spending and flashy signings, the team is now at the bottom of the NFC East. The bickering has turned internally in Philadelphia, with reports surfacing that head coach Andy Reid was interested in hiring a consultant to work alongside embattled defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.
Despite several Pro Bowl players, the Eagles are a middling 15th in total defense. Castillo claimed to not be up to date on the chatter around the team, including the possibility of bringing in a consultant to help right the ship defensively.
"I haven't really been paying attention to the TV or radio. I've got an iPod, you know, I've got some music there I listen to, that my boy likes," Castillo said Thursday. "I'm focused on one thing, that I have a responsibility to coach Reid, to [Eagles Owner] Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie, and to the city of Philadelphia."
Castillo would not acknowledge whether Reid approached him about the possibility of bringing on board a defensive consultant to help the defense make strides. This is Castillo's first year as defensive coordinator after spending the previous 13 seasons as the team's offensive line coach. Among the names mentioned was former New York Jets and Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini.
"Coach Reid and I talk; he would come and talk to me," Castillo said. "Like I said, I have one responsibility. It's like everywhere else -- if you take care of your job, you get taken care of."
And in the NFL, there's another inevitable conclusion for those who don't get the job done.
Kristian R. Dyer covers the NFL for Yahoo!Sports and can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer