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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams' Shaw shoots down rumor about Titans' Fisher

    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    01/08/2006


    Let's get down to business with an update on the Rams' search for a head coach:

    * JEFF FISHER: Over the weekend, reports surfaced on multiple networks, linking the Rams to the Tennessee Titans head coach. It was suggested that the Rams are having internal discussions about whether to make a run at Fisher, who may desire a fresh start after losing 23 of 32 games over the last two seasons for the rebuilding, salary-cap strapped Titans.

    Before the collapse, Fisher had a 93-66 record (including postseason) as Tennessee's head coach, with four playoff trips from 1999 to 2003. Fisher's contract runs through the 2006 season, but the Titans have an option for 2007. Fisher is paid $5 million a year. The Titans are said to want premium draft-choice compensation for Fisher before they'd let him walk to another NFL team.

    OK, here's the skinny: Fisher worked for the Rams as an assistant coach back in the LA days and is friendly with Rams president John Shaw and director of football operations Jay Zygmunt. Are the Rams thinking about pursuing Fisher? When I spoke to Shaw on Sunday, he was emphatic: The answer is no. Shaw was perplexed as to why the Rams were mentioned as a possible destination for Fisher, when the team has had no discussions concerning Fisher. Shaw added that the Rams would not consider offering draft choices in exchange for a coach.

    Here's my theory: Fisher's agent, Marvin Demoff, floated the Fisher-to-STL idea through the media as a trial balloon. Demoff could be attempting to entice the Rams to help him leverage Titans owner Bud Adams into (1) giving Fisher a contract extension or (2) firing Fisher. And Shaw isn't about to get entangled in the Demoff-Adams-Fisher negotiating game. If Fisher is fired, it's a different story, and the Rams would probably take a look at him.

    * INTERVIEWS: As you know, Shaw has met with Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Shaw politely declined to assess the performance of each candidate in the interviews. Next up: New York Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis. Shaw also hopes to interview Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt this week. On the West Coast, there's speculation that the Rams may interview Fresno State head coach Pat Hill.

    * LOOKING TO OFFENSE? In listening to candidates make their pitch, Shaw wants to be sure that the new coach has a firm vision for the entire team - and not just the offense or defense. (Linehan apparently scored interview points in this area.) For Linehan, Whisenhunt or any offensive coach, this big-picture outlook could make a positive difference with Shaw.

    True, Shaw went into the job search looking for a defense-oriented head coach, because the Rams' "D" is so hideously bad. But Shaw's philosophy could change. The Rams want to maintain the high offensive standards established by Mike Martz and can't see the wisdom of bringing in a defense-oriented head coach if he's ambivalent about offense.

    If the Rams hire a defensive coach, he'd have to hire a sharp offensive coordinator. And the Rams would be willing to consider an offense-minded head coach as long as that coach made defense a top priority. Pragmatically, it might be easier to hire an offensive coach and pair him with a strong defensive coordinator, because good defensive coordinators are available. (Names include Jim Bates, Dom Capers, Dick Jauron, Dave McGinnis, Jim Haslett, etc.)

    It's more difficult to find a proven offensive coordinator. So it might make more sense to hire an offense-minded head coach and recruit a prominent defensive coordinator. Shaw wants the Rams to be balanced, with strong leadership on both sides of the ball.


  2. #2
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Rams' Shaw shoots down rumor about Titans' Fisher

    why wouldnt we be interested in fisher? i have a bad feeling that shaw is going to screw this up.

  3. #3
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Shaw shoots down rumor about Titans' Fisher

    I've had a bad feeling about Shaw for 15 years and have no doubt he'll have a great go at screwing it up.

    Isn't Bernie hot at stating the obvious these days?

  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Shaw shoots down rumor about Titans' Fisher

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan
    why wouldnt we be interested in fisher? i have a bad feeling that shaw is going to screw this up.
    The Titans are said to want premium draft-choice compensation for Fisher before they'd let him walk to another NFL team.

    Shaw added that the Rams would not consider offering draft choices in exchange for a coach.

    If Fisher is fired, it's a different story, and the Rams would probably take a look at him.
    Makes sense, and I agree with it completely.
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  5. #5
    Tony Soprano Guest

    Re: Rams' Shaw shoots down rumor about Titans' Fisher

    I dunno.. I have a bad feeling. The two headed monster in the front office is at it again.

    At this point the Ram's better sign Rivera as fast as possible. I can see them losing out on the best prospects while touting their deliberate methodology.

    .

  6. #6
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Shaw shoots down rumor about Titans' Fisher

    At this point the Ram's better sign Rivera as fast as possible. -- TSoprano
    They better! :angryram: "Save face, Johnny Shaw."

    No matter what the FO does, Shaw remains a certified / executive ogre. For the sake of the organization, get Rivera in ASAP and bring honor back to the team. If they don't sign RR, 'why youuuuu'...

  7. #7
    tim Guest

    Re: Rams' Shaw shoots down rumor about Titans' Fisher

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Soprano
    I dunno.. I have a bad feeling. The two headed monster in the front office is at it again.

    At this point the Ram's better sign Rivera as fast as possible. I can see them losing out on the best prospects while touting their deliberate methodology.

    .
    Well they can't until the Bears are out of the playoffs. So as fast as possible could be in February.

  8. #8
    moklerman Guest

    Re: Rams' Shaw shoots down rumor about Titans' Fisher

    Has anyone heard why there's no mention of Al Saunders? With all the obvious ties to the organization it seems like a decent possibility. Seems like Saunders isn't getting much run so far though.

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