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Burwell: Fisher has a chance to show why he gets the big bucks
By BRYAN BURWELL
If you’re wondering or worrying about the Rams bouncing back from their unsightly beat down Sunday in Dallas, Jeff Fisher wants you to know something.
“They’ll be fine,” the team’s coach told reporters during his news conference Monday at Rams Park. “I’m not concerned about them putting this behind them (and) moving forward.”
So you want to know why The Man with the ’Stache was trusted with the keys to Stan Kroenke’s nearly $900 million toy? So you’re wondering why the Rams’ owner made Fisher one of the most lavishly paid coaches in the entire football-loving world ($7 million annually) to run this previously dysfunctional organization?
Well you’re about to find out.
A lot of football teams have experienced a wretched Sunday like the Rams just did in Dallas. A few of them bounce back from those ugly losses and actually end up in the playoffs. A few even travel deep into the Super Bowl tournament.
They will wobble along for a few uncertain steps, then suddenly find steady and confident legs, then look back on gawdawful Sundays like the Rams experienced in Dallas as a character-building moment that helped define them.
That’s what good teams do. But bad teams — and sometimes very immature ones — don’t bounce back. They take that one bad misstep and it leads to another one, then another one, then another and another until it leads to a downward spiral and a long, ugly, season-long hot mess.
We still have no idea which way this season will go for the Rams, whether it’s heading toward the NFL playoffs or another unfortunate visit to the top of another NFL draft. A lot of folks believed when this season started that the Rams were well on their way to being the former, not the latter. On Monday, Fisher made it clear that nothing has changed his mind about the direction of where his team is heading.
No one should be all that surprised that the Rams are 1-2. If you polled a lot of preseason prognosticators, a lot of them reckoned the Rams probably would lose their first two road games and come home for Thursday night’s prime-time show against the San Francisco ***** with a chance to hit the .500 mark for September. I doubt anyone figured on such a bad loss to the Cowboys, and that’s why we’re about to see why Fisher was given that $7 million salary.
He has a long list to fix in an extremely short window. This was perhaps the most disappointing and complete breakdown in Fisher’s 19-game era as the Rams’ coach. What happened in Dallas was far more surprising than last year’s sound drubbing by New England in London, because the Patriots were a perennial NFL power and the Rams were in the first year of a total rebuild from a 2-14 disaster that got coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney run out of town.
Losing to the Cowboys was not totally unexpected. But getting thumped in every single solitary phase of the game was a total shock, because that sort of stuff was supposed to have ended with Fisher in charge.
So now we get to find out how good Fisher the Fixer is, how he makes sure that the Dallas beatdown was a minor setback, not a harbinger of a backslide to those old, darker days when the Rams were losing games at a historic pace.
So on Monday afternoon, Fisher told reporters in a briefing that was short on specifics but long on confident defiance that his team will bounce back strong against the ’Niners.
“Yeah, but you know what — this is the National Football League,” he said. “You can’t dwell on it. You have to have a short-term memory, and if you don’t, then you won’t bounce back. This team, by and large despite that it’s young, has a short-term memory and understands the next challenge and that’s where we’re going. When we walk in the building, I’m not going to discuss anything as far as the Cowboys .... because it makes no sense to do that.”
I don’t know what tricks Fisher has up his sleeves, and maybe it’s a good thing if there aren’t any tricks. Most NFL vets will tell you the worst thing that can happen is to have a coach who comes to work every day and you have no idea what you’re going to get. One day a calm guy, the next day a mad screamer. One day do this, next day do that.
Fisher isn’t likely to be that madly fluctuating coach. He’s steady, not erratic, and steady’s a good thing.
“We have a philosophy here in the building and we’re going to follow that philosophy,” Fisher said. “I’ve been doing this a long time and we’re going to get it done, and we’re going to have their focus on the *****.”
But something does have to change. Too many silly penalties. Too many physical losses in the trenches. Too many bad angles, dropped passes, odd coverages, strange play calling.
A lot went wrong on Sunday. I mean a whole lot.
And at times like this, you really do want steady. But you also want someone who knows the difference between steady and stubborn.
Re: Burwell: Fisher has a chance to show why he gets the big bucks
Good article, thanks for posting this Maui. I believe it will be more than Fisher in getting the ship righted. It will be the players who have to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are giving their best. These are grown men who will not depend on a coach telling them to shape up. That happens in college. In the NFL you either give everything you've got or you are benched or cut. So while Jeff Fisher is the right coach to steer us out of the ditch, the players will have to find the right motivation to pick-up the slack that's been evident from game 1. There are very few excuses such as injury or suspension, so I trust these players will find themselves in time to rescue this season. The opportunity is there and beating a division foe on Thursday would be an excellent achievement.
Re: Burwell: Fisher has a chance to show why he gets the big bucks
I agree with the article wholeheartedly. "Good teams bounce back, bad teams dont." He is so right on that one. If we are who we desire to be this season, we HAVE TO FIND A WAY to beat the Niners on TNF at the EJD. Fisher and the Rams cannot afford to drop this contest at home. Plus they are missing both of their best players on defense so that makes it considerably easiER ( NOT EASY)
And the penalties, IMHO, are the most frustrating and difficult thing for us to deal with. Waaay too many too frequently, we need to clean that up as well.
If we cant do any of above mentioned, we might as well just pack up this season and start thinking long term, AGAIN.
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