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Thread: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williamson.

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    Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williamson.

    The St. Louis Rams posted a 4-26 record against NFC West opponents over the five seasons preceding Jeff Fisher's arrival as head coach.

    The Rams from 2007 through 2011 lost by 11.1 points per game in division play. The final scores for those games were 25-14 on average. Those figures flipped to plus-five points per game with a 20-15 average final score under Fisher.

    "Fisher is a heckuva coach," ESPN's Matt Williamson said, "but he is behind two of the top five in the league when it comes to ranking head coaches in the NFC West."

    Williamson, who scouts the NFL for ESPN.com, ranked the San Francisco *****' Jim Harbaugh first and the Seattle Seahawks' Pete Carroll second as part of his predraft positional rankings for NFC West teams.

    Despite his 4-1-1 record against the rest of the NFC West last season, Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson ranks Jeff Fisher as the third-best coach in the division.

    We pick up the conversation there.

    Williamson: You have to put Bruce Arians fourth even though Arizona made a good hire. Fisher vs. Carroll is really the only conversation and I think Fisher has done a good job with the Rams, including the team building aspect. You look at the RGIII trade, building this defensive line. And yet I thought Carroll should have been coach of the year last season.

    Sando: We could have made that call on the Russell Wilson move alone. General manager John Schneider was the driving force behind drafting Wilson, but Carroll was the one who decided Wilson should be the starter in Week 1 -- a move I'm not even sure Schneider would have made so quickly. Coaches are under so much scrutiny that it's sometimes easy to make the decisions perceived to be "safest" in the short term. Starting Matt Flynn would have been the "safe" decision last year. It also would have been the wrong one. Carroll trusted what he saw from Wilson and made the call.

    Williamson: He also gets the most from his guys. His team building has been phenomenal, starting with all the changes they made as soon as he got there. And then he brought along Wilson extremely well -- just did a phenomenal job there.

    Sando: Carroll has admitted some shortcomings in the game-management department. He's called it going "hormonal" with some of his decision making. That is one area where I think he can continue to improve. As far as ranking the best coach in the division, it's tough to argue with the results in San Francisco. Harbaugh and staff have gotten more than anyone could have expected they would get from two completely different quarterbacks. The team has won consecutive division titles, reached two NFC Championship Games and gone to a Super Bowl.

    Williamson: I think Harbaugh is the second-best coach in the league behind Bill Belichick. He took over a bad team and was competitive immediately. His offensive mind is off the charts. He got so much from Alex Smith, who I don't think is a very good player. He brought along Colin Kaepernick. They have the most physical and diverse offense. His offensive mind rivals anyone's and meanwhile, they've had the best defense in the league. They've been fortunate with so few defensive injuries, but you can't knock him for that. He was in the Super Bowl last year. He saw that day coming with Kaepernick and he planned for that last season. Randy Moss and A.J. Jenkins and Mario Manningham were not for Alex Smith. Those were all for that day when Kaepernick would start. And meanwhile, he did not hurt himself in the short term until Kaepernick was ready.

    Sando: Putting Harbaugh up there with Belichick is high praise. It's interesting, I think, that Belichick enjoyed tremendous success after moving away from Drew Bledsoe, who was the safe choice at quarterback, and moving forward with a less-proven Tom Brady.

    Williamson: The biggest problem for Seattle and San Francisco is what happens when they have expensive quarterbacks. They have such an advantage right now with great quarterback play costing them nothing. The Patriots won the Super Bowl before Brady was making huge money. There are some parallels that way.

    Sando: The Patriots have been awfully close to winning it all more recently, but there's no question it's tougher building a dominant team when the quarterback's contract is eating up considerable cap space. Kaepernick is under contract through 2014, with a chance to renegotiate his current deal following the 2013 season. Wilson is signed through 2015 and cannot renegotiate until after the 2014 season.

    Williamson: You're really tested two years from now if you win the Super Bowl and get raided like the Baltimore Ravens did and then have to pay your quarterbacks.

    Sando: Fisher inherited a quarterback earning $50 million guaranteed under the old labor deal. Arians inherited Kevin Kolb, whose old contract is eating up $6 million in cap space for 2013 even though Kolb is playing for the Buffalo Bills now. Those situations put Fisher and Arians at a disadvantage.

    Williamson: No argument there.

    Sando: Overall, I'd say the NFC West is in good hands with two head coaches arguably ranked among the top five in the league, plus Fisher and now Arians, who happens to be the reigning NFL Coach of the Year for his work on an interim basis with Indianapolis last season. We'll revisit this one again following the 2013 season.

    I'd tend not to agree with old Matt just yet. After what Fish did with a skimpy toolbox last year, can't wait to see what happens after another draft and our current roster afforded the opportunity to play a second year in the same system. Also not mentioned was Jeff's ability to attract good veteran players. Guys really want to play for him. Would we really have Jake Long or Cortland Finnegan to name a couple without Fish's hard earned street cred?


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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    So, basically... he ranked the coaches in the exact same order as their team's finish last year.

    Yawn.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    This is the same guy that ranked the Seattle defensive line ahead of the Rams....

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    Who cares WHAT THOSE TOOLS SAY? He is number 1 in my heart
    mde8352gorams likes this.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    So, basically... he ranked the coaches in the exact same order as their team's finish last year.
    Probably just a coincidence as he no doubt put in long hours of research and film evaluation prior to his rankings. Ok, I confess to a bit of pot stirring - fodder for the long slow days till Thursday.
    AvengerRam likes this.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    1 great year does not a great coach make, so we'll see how things line up this year.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    Yeah... Obviously this guy has no clue what he's talking about.

    Jeff Fisher out couched Harbaugh and Caroll in the h2h matchups last year. The division record speaks for itself, especially when it's painfully obvious that those two teams were far more talented than the Rams. The only way to go 4-1-1 in the division with a weaker team is if you have better coaching.

    People like this annoy me. He only garners respect because he holds the title "ESPN" next to his name.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    What was this guy smoking--bet it was used cat litter!

    Harbaugh, took over an already finished product; his greatest contribution was Kaepernick. After that what else has Harbaugh changed from M. Singltary? Very Little save he added a measure of sanity in the 49whinner looker room as HC. They where already physical...had many of the weapons already on the team, like Gore & Crabtree

    Seagulls have had two things the Rams haven't, consistant leadership and ownership. Least we forget the Rams where in a state of flux with who would own the team. The best move Carroll did was get Wilson, the hand writting was on the wall with what he already had as QB. But unlike Fisher, Carroll has had the time to build toward something.

    Fisher walks in, and there was a train wreck waiting for him. He had S. Bradford/S. Jax/C. Long which isn't bad to have on your team. And yet there where glaring holes throughout the team. Namely a sub-parr O-line, no real threats at wideouts, didn't have a DC, and had to deal with a culture of loosing.

    What frosts my wheaties about Williamson's statments were that he forgets that FISHER THUMBED BOTH CARROLL & HARBAUGH PERIOD. And did so with a team Fisher, himself, was not happy about in its structure and talent depth. If there is to be a 2012, HC of the year its J. Fisher. Considering what he was up against to end the season 7-8-1 and dominate in division wins, its a no brainer>> MATT WILLIAMSON is one more football wanta-be-experts in the same league as ESPNS John Gruden, Trent Dilfer, and Herm Edwards--my cat is a better expert then all three of these yutzs combine
    Last edited by Ram Dragoon; -04-22-2013 at 09:29 PM.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    espn writers...majority blech....of course most people already know that...another bad one was mcshay last week questioning robert woods' work ethic

    shame so many bad writers are on big networks...

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    I can say with confidence that no other coach in the NFC West looks as calm, cool, and collected as Fisher does at all times. He's a great in game manager, a coach who is adored by his players, and a coach who understands everything from game plans to player health.

    If I had a choice between the four, I'd take Fisher hands down. Call me biased, but I think he's the best.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    Bah! That article sounds like a watered down, lame "NFL Pro Bowl" vote for coaches.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    Ridiculous. Pete Carroll has done nothing to warrant being ranked ahead of Fisher. And let's put away the anointing oil until Jim Harbaugh has a ten year body of work from which to judge.
    laram0 likes this.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    #1 Fisher: Shades, Stache, Steady

    #2 Arians: His Colts were overachievers. This guy scares me.

    #3 Carol: Gum chewing cheerleader.

    #4 Hardboil: Whining, Human Tantrum
    RealRam likes this.
    With all the gravitas of Jackie Treehorn.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    You think I'm worried about this guy?

    live4ramin and San Diego Ram like this.

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    Re: Sando: Fisher ranked as only 3rd best coach in NFC West says ESPN's Matt Williams

    Look, the fact that a valid argument can be made that our HC is as good as any in our division is a HUGE step in the right direction for us. Rankings of coaches is pointless.
    Agrajag likes this.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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