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Thread: Burwell: Fisher Brings Commanding Presence To Rams

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    Burwell: Fisher Brings Commanding Presence To Rams

    Burwell: Fisher brings commanding presence to Rams

    BY BRYAN BURWELL, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist
    Wednesday, January 18, 201

    Nobody does news conferences quite like the Rams. Man, if practice makes perfect, they could lead the NFL in giving news conferences. Hiring coaches. Firing coaches. Hiring general managers. Firing general managers. No one does grim-faced regret or wide-eyed promise better than this one-time championship franchise fallen on such hard times.

    Of course, there's only one problem with this. In the NFL, they don't give out championship hardware for news conferences. But on Tuesday afternoon at Rams Park, the organization filled the main auditorium for what could very well be the long-awaited news conference to end all news conferences. The hiring of Jeff Fisher as the Rams' 26th full-time head coach could finally be the sort of news conference that does actually lead to championships rather than just another depressing semi-annual Q&A session with the local media.

    Fisher is that kind of guy.

    The Rams have brought a lot of guys in and out of their big glass doors at Rams Park with lots of fancy and not-so-fancy labels attached. Offensive genius. Defensive genius. Hot coordinator. Stop-gap interim guy. Men of every description who for any variety of reasons failed to lead the Rams back to the promised land of the Super Bowl.

    Now along comes Fisher, who is the first one to come here with a bit more substantial label attached to his name.

    Gravitas.

    This is a head coach who walks in the room with that undeniable aura of importance and substance. There is an undeniable bearing that comes with the Fisher name, division championships (three), conference championships (one), Super Bowl experience and only six losing seasons in a 17-year NFL head-coaching career. This is the guy who walks in the room knowing how to win, not thinking he can. There's undisputed evidence that his philosophies, practices and habits produce success on football's highest level.

    Bill Parcells, one of the greatest of them all, calls this "having pelts on the wall." In the ruthless, testosterone-driven world of professional football, when a coach of Jeff Fisher's stature walks in a room, necks snap, backs stiffen and grown men pay attention.

    You want to know who's in charge now at Rams Park?

    His name is Jeff Fisher. No question.

    As he sat in a quiet players' lounge overlooking the Rams Park practice fields late Tuesday afternoon, team vice president Kevin Demoff explained succinctly why he believed all along that Fisher was the man to break the vicious news conference cycle around here. "(Fisher's) seen everything," said Demoff. "He's been through winning streaks. He's been through losing streaks. He's had quarterbacks hurt. He's had other players hurt. He's been through difficult times with the salary cap. He's picked high in the draft. He's picked low in the draft. There's nothing that's a surprise. ...

    "When you played (his Tennessee teams) they were always physical, they were tough, they had a swagger," said Demoff. "And I think that was one thing that we need to get back as a franchise. (The franchise) needs that leadership and vision. It's not to say that the previous coaches who have been here before didn't have that. But it's a different thing when you walk out there with the guy who's the third winningest coach among active coaches. There's just a different feel. When he stands up in the meeting room, the players in that room know what he knows and what he has accomplished. That's a different feeling for our building right now."

    We interrupt this Jeff Fisher column to bring you this Stan Kroenke-stadium lease update: Uhhh-ohhhh!!! Did you see that cool, dispassionate response from the Rams owner when someone asked him if he was willing to offer any assurances that the franchise is going to be a permanent fixture in St. Louis? Kroenke said exactly what I expected him to say. Nothing.

    And while I would have loved it if he'd blurted out some vague semi-commitment to St. Louis (which would probably be nothing but phony, feel-good PR spin), instead he went with the vastly unpopular poker face. What does that mean? It means that Kroenke the businessman is working the art of the deal. He knows he doesn't have to say anything right now. And you know what? He's right. But it doesn't mean the Rams are already packing their bags for LA. It doesn't mean they are totally committed to staying here either, though I still believe that is Kroenke's ultimate desire.

    What it means is he's a businessman and everything's in play. The folks we need to be pressing for answers and details are the negotiators at the CVC, who are responsible for making the first move in these dicey Dome lease negotiations. I sure hope there are some very smart, imaginative deal makers at the CVC, and if there aren't let's hope somebody (Hello, Gov. Nixon?) can call in some crafty reliever from the negotiating bullpen. We now return you to your original column.

    So we're about to venture into very new ground at Rams Park with the arrival of Fisher. We're about to get stability, assurance and clarity about whose vision will be responsible for turning this franchise around. When I met him for the first time Tuesday, I told Fisher one of the biggest problems that seemed to doom this franchise for so long was the annoying lack of accountability.

    When I told him how that infamous duo of "Wasn't Me" and "I Don't Know" had traditionally gotten all the blame for every bad decision that has happened around here, Fisher nodded his head knowingly.

    "Well, I'd like to get to the point where that changes," he said. "I'd like to get to the point where we're saying around here 'It's us that did it.' I'd like for us to be able to say, 'It was us making the right decisions.'"

    Kroenke, Fisher and Demoff spent a lot of time Tuesday deflecting questions about who would be making all the important decisions as they embark on another rebuilding project, even though we all know that the man in charge of the vision is going to be Fisher. But why quibble on details when we already know the answer (and like the answer, too)?

    "You know what?" said Demoff. "No one cares who is in charge when you win. No one is worrying about that when your team is standing up there on the platform lifting the trophy. No one's looking at you during the trophy ceremony going, 'Hmmmm, I wonder which one of those guys is in charge?' People only care about who's in charge when you're losing, so the public knows who to blame."

    Hopefully those blame-game days are finally in the past at Rams Park.


  2. #2
    TNT Guest

    Re: Burwell: Fisher Brings Commanding Presence To Rams

    This is a head coach who walks in the room with that undeniable aura of importance and substance. There is an undeniable bearing that comes with the Fisher name, division championships (three), conference championships (one), Super Bowl experience and only six losing seasons in a 17-year NFL head-coaching career. This is the guy who walks in the room knowing how to win, not thinking he can. There's undisputed evidence that his philosophies, practices and habits produce success on football's highest level.
    Really, in today's NFL, any capable HC given 17 years should reproduce this based on the cycles in the NFL alone. And in his own words, "only" six losing seasons also applies to "only" six winning seasons in 17. It's why ESPN called him coach Ocho Ocho recently.

    He has a point though - Fisher brings a sense of respect and achievements, even if they are relatively few and far between. The author would have done better focusing on the fact he gives the Rams a media and fan respected HC to hand the keys over to who will buy time for Bradford in a stable environment - there won't (likely) be another HC change in STL while Bradford is still developing. This is really the most important part of all this because Fisher's success probably does come down to Bradford.
    GROUND DOG 39 likes this.

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    Re: Burwell: Fisher Brings Commanding Presence To Rams

    8 and 8? I'll take it. Maybe later I can complain about wanting 14-2. Right now, I just want to not have a losing season.
    Rambos, Truth, Fat Pang and 5 others like this.

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    Re: Burwell: Fisher Brings Commanding Presence To Rams

    In the NFL all you can hope for is to get a shot at the post season period. Look at Green Bay, (15-1-0) and one and done in the playoffs. If Fisher was so bad for so long maybe just maybe the owner should have let him go in year 5 or 6 instead of year 17! To look at Fisher record and say he's average after 17 years as your head coach, must have been a decade of frustration as a fan. I would think...

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    Re: Burwell: Fisher Brings Commanding Presence To Rams

    Ill take being competitive and in the NFC west race year in and year out every year.. That's all you can ask for guys...

  6. #6
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    Re: Burwell: Fisher Brings Commanding Presence To Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    In the NFL all you can hope for is to get a shot at the post season period. Look at Green Bay, (15-1-0) and one and done in the playoffs. If Fisher was so bad for so long maybe just maybe the owner should have let him go in year 5 or 6 instead of year 17! To look at Fisher record and say he's average after 17 years as your head coach, must have been a decade of frustration as a fan. I would think...
    It was for some. But the Titans fanbase was still high off the (almost) magical 99 season (which was around year 5-6) and there was simply not pressure from media, most fans or within the organisation to expect more than average. It's a pretty said back fanbase. Fisher was also a master of image - he engaged in the community and became a well respected figure off the field. Too well - it was unhealthy for a performance based industry, but this is how he rolls. He's smart.

    There are plenty of teams which probably don't give 17 seasons to a 2 time Superbowl winner if he hadn't got one in the past 5 years, let alone zero. Fisher just happened to be on a team that would. He was also a Bud Adams find and Bud is stubborn to admit when he is wrong or in Fisher's case, not exactly right - he was right enough that Fisher was a decent coach.

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    Re: Burwell: Fisher Brings Commanding Presence To Rams

    I have to say I'm getting really tired of these moronic statements questioning Fisher's pedigree or qualifications to lead this franchise. Jeff Fisher was the absolute best available candidate out there who expressed an interest in coaching and who has had past success and we landed him- an event many would have never thought possible. While the vast majority of clear thinking fans have applauded the move, there are some who apparently feel we should have hired yet another unproven coordinator to command respect from a team who hasn't learned how to win. Or better yet, maybe these people expected Rams management to dig up the corpses of Bill Walsh or Vince Lombardi and prop them up on our sidelines. Or maybe offer Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher 50 million dollars to coach- each scenario more ridiculous than the next.

    The Rams have absolutely sucked for 8 years. They've won 1, 3 and 2 games in three of the last four years and blew for the entire decade of the 90's- THAT'S what Rams fans have experienced, and we're going to bit** about a guy who went .500 several times in a division with Peyton Manning year after year?? I mean, are you freaking' kidding me??

    I'm all for varying opinions- that's what makes for a lively discussion on a forum, but you know what? Spare me the nonsense about Fisher "being a .500 coach" or "coach ocho ocho" or any similar simplistic crap. Be happy Stan Kroenke had the cojones to go out there and aggressively pursue and land the most sought after name in the off season. Be happy a man with a wealth of experience and a hard-nosed competitor is now in charge of our franchise. He's OUR coach. Support the man or go root for the freakin' Panthers.

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    Re: Burwell: Fisher Brings Commanding Presence To Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I have to say I'm getting really tired of these moronic statements questioning Fisher's pedigree or qualifications to lead this franchise. Jeff Fisher was the absolute best available candidate out there who expressed an interest in coaching and who has had past success and we landed him- an event many would have never thought possible. While the vast majority of clear thinking fans have applauded the move, there are some who apparently feel we should have hired yet another unproven coordinator to command respect from a team who hasn't learned how to win. Or better yet, maybe these people expected Rams management to dig up the corpses of Bill Walsh or Vince Lombardi and prop them up on our sidelines. Or maybe offer Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher 50 million dollars to coach- each scenario more ridiculous than the next.

    The Rams have absolutely sucked for 8 years. They've won 1, 3 and 2 games in three of the last four years and blew for the entire decade of the 90's- THAT'S what Rams fans have experienced, and we're going to bit** about a guy who went .500 several times in a division with Peyton Manning year after year?? I mean, are you freaking' kidding me??

    I'm all for varying opinions- that's what makes for a lively discussion on a forum, but you know what? Spare me the nonsense about Fisher "being a .500 coach" or "coach ocho ocho" or any similar simplistic crap. Be happy Stan Kroenke had the cojones to go out there and aggressively pursue and land the most sought after name in the off season. Be happy a man with a wealth of experience and a hard-nosed competitor is now in charge of our franchise. He's OUR coach. Support the man or go root for the freakin' Panthers.
    In the words of Michael G. Scott "Boom, Roasted."

    Well put my friend. Can't wait to see the staff he puts together.

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