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Thread: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

  1. #1
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    Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- One day after the NFL announced the four-game suspension of St. Louis Rams starting linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, coach Jeff Fisher expressed his disappointment in Dunbar and made it clear that his starting spot may not be waiting for him upon his return.
    Dunbar received a suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances Wednesday afternoon. Fisher did not comment after it was announced but said he spoke to the team about it Wednesday night.
    "First and foremost, we are very, very disappointed in his choices and his decisions," Fisher said. "It's selfish, it hurts the team but we also see it as an opportunity to learn from a mistake, so we discussed it with the entire squad last night and I think everybody understands the responsibilities that each and every player has as far as taking care of themselves and what you can do and what you can't do."
    Fisher went on to acknowledge that the Rams have known about the suspension for some time, including before they signed veteran linebacker Will Witherspoon on July 22. Witherspoon is the expected replacement for Dunbar and took the bulk of the repetitions with the first-team defense in Thursday's practice.
    Fisher also said that when Dunbar is able to return to the active roster on Sept. 27, the team would evaluate whether Witherspoon would continue as the starter or Dunbar would return to his original spot.
    "It would make total sense for us right now to move Will Witherspoon up," Fisher said. "We're glad he's here. He's started a lot of games and then we'll make a decision when Jo-Lonn comes back as to who is going to take that position."
    Dunbar remains eligible to practice with the team but his practice workload will not remain as heavy as it was before the suspension as the team prepares for the season opener on Sept. 8 against Arizona.
    Witherspoon is expected to join rookie Alec Ogletree as new starters at linebacker, flanking middle linebacker James Laurinaitis.
    "(Dunbar) is going to get plenty of reps but more than likely it's not going to be with the starting unit," Fisher said. "Just because we are going to have to get Will ready to go and get familiar. For all intents and purposes, we'll have two new faces at the linebacker position this year."
    Dunbar started all 16 games in 2012, finishing second on the team in tackles with 115. He's in the final year of a two-year deal and scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
    Witherspoon is entering his 12th NFL season and is beginning his second stint with the Rams. He played for Fisher in Tennessee in 2010, starting 16 games and finishing with 99 tackles and two interceptions.
    Witherspoon, who will turn 33 Sunday, spent last year with the Titans primarily in a backup role. He played in 14 games with five starts as he finished with 47 tackles, a sack and an interception.
    Moving forward, Fisher's message to the team wasn't much different than what it would be had someone suffered a serious injury.
    "We're looking at this as it's behind us now," Fisher said. "We are going to learn from the mistake and unfortunately in this business, sometimes you have a player that goes down because of injury and we look at it that way."



    I understand Witherspoon can probably handle the OLB duties, but we need Dunbar and demoting him to a back-up role is selfish in regards to coach Fisher who is trying to prove a point and possibly killing our team....and that's the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so.
    Last edited by Stone Cold Tavon Austin; -08-15-2013 at 10:12 PM.


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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    "...Everybody understands the responsibilities that each and every player has as far as taking care of themselves and what you can do and what you can't do." -- Coach Fisher
    Being selfish on the part of JDunbar is one proper and correct way of describing the player's mistake.

    SCTA, I really don't see Coach Fisher being 'selfish' in handling this incident so detrimental to the team. IMO, he's serving justice towards an irresponsible decision and/or attitude. I would think that Dunbar himself will have agreed to this disciplinary action.

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone Cold Tavon Austin View Post
    I understand Witherspoon can probably handle the OLB duties, but we need Dunbar and demoting him to a back-up role is selfish in regards to coach Fisher who is trying to prove a point and possibly killing our team....and that's the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so.
    I disagree with this sentiment whole heartedly. "Possibly killing our team" is a bit dramatic, and in reality I think its exactly the kind of lesson that needs to be taught to a team with quite a few players who have had character concerns in the past. These guys need to realize that Coach Fisher will take a shot on them, give them a chance to play in this league, and give them every opportunity to succeed. But if they break the rules and do something that is detrimental to the team, what Fisher giveth, he can taketh away. Things like that are going to make players respect Jeff Fisher and respect his rules and expectations.
    thoey, r8rh8rmike, viper and 5 others like this.

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    "First and foremost, we are very, very disappointed in his choices and his decisions," Fisher said.
    Judging by Fisher's reaction, it doesn't sound like he's buying Dunbar's “I mistakenly took something that prompted a failed drug test." excuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    I disagree with this sentiment whole heartedly. "Possibly killing our team" is a bit dramatic, and in reality I think its exactly the kind of lesson that needs to be taught to a team with quite a few players who have had character concerns in the past. These guys need to realize that Coach Fisher will take a shot on them, give them a chance to play in this league, and give them every opportunity to succeed. But if they break the rules and do something that is detrimental to the team, what Fisher giveth, he can taketh away. Things like that are going to make players respect Jeff Fisher and respect his rules and expectations.
    Good points. I'm sure Fisher is getting tired of the string of drug related suspensions, and is laying down the law.


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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    fisher is just doing what SHOULD be done in cases like this

    someone breaks a rule, they get punished, not coddled like most starters get

    i respect that and GLAD he's doing it...don't want that to happen, don't use drugs
    ManofGod likes this.

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    Good to know Fisher's a great disciplinarian. Seeing that Jenkins hasn't been getting into trouble and Givens is determined to better himself after those two got suspensions against the Whiners, Fisher has shown he's more than capable of keeping the boat afloat when there are holes needed to be plugged.

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone Cold Tavon Austin View Post
    I understand Witherspoon can probably handle the OLB duties, but we need Dunbar and demoting him to a back-up role is selfish in regards to coach Fisher who is trying to prove a point and possibly killing our team ... and that's the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so.
    The 'bottom line' is Dunbar blew it.

    I think we can all rest assured that the entire team supports Coach Fisher's measures on this and sees no "selfish" motives on his behalf.
    mde8352gorams likes this.

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    I actually want to change my opinion after reading what everyone has posted.....I was not thinking of how great a message this sends to the players that team comes first and no player regardless of talent is bigger then the team...........So as for the "bottom line" of my last post, I was mistaken and Stone Cold appreciates other members opening his eyes. Now if you disagree with the great posts above me I will stomp a mud hole so deep in your chest that you will be able to eat food off of it like an otter.....and that's the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so.
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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    Regardless of what Fisher says, what are the odds he's starting week 5?

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    While Fisher is saying all the right things the better player will be starting in week 5 or 6 depending on when Dunbar is ready to go. Fisher would be sending the wrong message if he came out and said Dunbar's position is his when he returns from his drug suspension. This is the sign of a good leader. If Witherspoons play is less than stellar I bet Fisher will not hesitate to insert the player who gives this team the best chance to win.
    Just Fix It

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    A few points...

    1. Dunbar screwed up, and deserved to be called out.

    2. If Alec Ogletree is who the Rams think he is, Dunbar would be a 2 down OLB - not exactly the most difficult role to replace.

    3. I'm willing to bet that Fisher has made no real decision about Dunbar's post-suspension status, apart from the clear message that nothing will be handed to him - he'll have to earn his spot.

    4. Anyone unclear on who's the Alpha Dog on this team?

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    Quote Originally Posted by Flippin' Ram View Post
    Good to know Fisher's a great disciplinarian. Seeing that Jenkins hasn't been getting into trouble and Givens is determined to better himself after those two got suspensions against the Whiners, Fisher has shown he's more than capable of keeping the boat afloat when there are holes needed to be plugged.

    Coach stuck up for his team by berating Kosar.......and he publicly calls out a selfish act. I think this makes me respect Fisher even more. Time to move on and get the show on the road !!
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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Regardless of what Fisher says, what are the odds he's starting week 5?
    That really depends on how well Spoon and Ogletree are playing. If our defense is top five and they both are playing well do you think he gets his job back? I for one hope it's a tough call to give him a his job back.

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    Jeff Fisher's actions are totally consistent with everything else he's done since becoming the Rams coach and probably preceding that as the Oilers/Titans coach. He's smart and no nonsense. I am glad he's with us.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Fisher calls Dunbar Selfish and may lose starting job

    The point is well made, just about anyone can be "replaced"...Dunbar did Yeoman's service in 2012, but the NFL is the iconic "what have you done for me lately" business. Dunbar, 2013, can say I got suspended 4 games which doesn't marry well with the NFL business model. It is possible Ogletree may permanently relegate Dunbar to #2 in depth and why would the Rams want to keep paying that kind of money for a backup?

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