Players often are loathe to admit that anything from outside the locker room impacts the performance of a team.
At 0-7, however, it's becoming tougher for the Miami Dolphins to deny the outside distractions -- or, rather, the distraction -- aren't having an impact.
After another disheartening loss in which they gave up a 10-point lead for a second consecutive week, veteran defensive end Jason Taylor admitted the Dolphins' attempt to ignore coach Tony Sparano's tenuous status is a losing proposition.
"You can only avoid the elephant in the room for so long," Taylor said, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "There's so much media nowadays and (it's) getting fed from so many different angles media-wise, it's hard to escape it. You're going to hear it, you're going to see it, you're going to be asked about it, particularly in your home market.
"You do your best to ignore it, but sure, there's an elephant in the room, and you have to realize you have nothing to do with it. You can't control it. The only thing you can do to control it is play well and win games. It's something that's hanging out there, and people are going to talk about it because people love to talk."
Sparano's job security has become a daily topic in Miami. It was reported last week that the Dolphins reached out to former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, who later denied that claim Sunday on CBS' "The NFL Today."
The Dolphins will look to pick up their first win of the season this Sunday when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs -- another tough contest for a team already struggling to remain confident in the midst of what now looks like a lost season.
"I think after six or seven weeks of doing it over and over again and having the same result, obviously your confidence is going to be shaken," Taylor added. "I think it's natural for a little bit of doubt to creep in -- you have to find a way to overcome it. There's no magic potion for it besides winning."