No one in the Buffalo Bills' dressing room is pretending to tune out the noise. The players can hear it, loud and clear, just as everyone else in and around the team can.
Rex Ryan is on the hot seat. His future as the Bills' coach is very much in doubt.
And his players are mindful of that as they try to end a two-game losing streak and enter into the final three weeks of what is likely a 17th consecutive season out of the playoffs.
"For me, I want to fight for Rex," guard Richie Incognito said Wednesday. "I want to go out there and get wins and keep him around here. ... For me, personally, it's like a challenge. The challenge has been accepted. There's this bad sentiment out there. And if it's true or not, I can directly impact the outcome and that's by playing well and playing on a consistent basis and leading this team."
"The way I look at it, everybody's job is on the line," defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said. "Everybody has to stay focused, everybody has to do their assignment because nobody's promised. So we've just got to continue to stay focused and just do what we have to do. Not only just doing it for (Ryan), we've got to do it for ourselves as well."
Said defensive back Corey White, "Any time your coach, organization, brings you in, you've got to respect them and what they do. They gave me the opportunity to play another year in the league. So you've got to get his back, whether I agree or disagree with some of the things he does, some of the plays he calls, it doesn't matter. I've still got his back, just like he'll have mine."
Veteran Bills players are familiar with the drill.
They've reached the late stages of the season and heard talk of previous coaches in Buffalo or elsewhere in danger of being fired. It isn't that they view Ryan as simply another potential casualty.
They just understand that there isn't a whole lot they can do other than try to do all they can to win and reverse the downward trend that put their coach in such a precarious spot.
The Bills face the 0-13 Cleveland Browns Sunday. Although the Bills have lost five of their last seven games, they understand they have to come out on top in order to avoid a national embarrassment -- and the possibility of Ryan packing up his office as soon as Monday.
"We know if we lose, something crazy might happen immediately," wide receiver Sammy Watkins said. "So we need to go out there and win this game."
Dareus went to far as to say he would "guarantee" the Bills would not become the Browns' first victim this season and in more than a year. "We ain't gonna be that team," he said.
But outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said that neither the prospect of losing to the worst team in football or helping to save Ryan's job should enter into the players' thinking.
"I've got my coach's back regardless of if his job was in jeopardy or not," Alexander said. "I'm going to go out there and play the same way -- play hard, play physical. And him being on the hot seat really doesn't impact that. Obviously, you want to go out and win the game a little bit more, but at the end of the day, I'm not going to turn it up a notch. If you have guys doing that, that's the real issue right there.
"I've been around this league long enough to go through coaching changes before. And at the end of the day, you still have to approach your job the same way, because you start worrying about that and not worrying about the game plan and what we have in front of us in the Cleveland Browns, we'll go out there and lose another game."
Incognito is in his 10th NFL season, his second with the Bills.
None of the discussion about Ryan's future surprises him in the least. He fully expected it on the heels of the Bills blowing a 15-point lead to lose at Oakland, 38-24, on Dec. 4 and last Sunday's 27-20 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"It always happens," he said. "You drop a couple of games at the end of the season and everyone's disappointed and these stories kind of pop up."