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Thread: Spin is on as Rams, Dolphins eye Jeff Fisher

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    Spin is on as Rams, Dolphins eye Jeff Fisher

    Bernie Miklasz / St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    ST, LOUIS — It’s been fun to sit back the last couple of days and watch the pursuit of coaching candidate Jeff Fisher. Virtually every NFL pundit between New York and California has installed the Rams as favorites to land Fisher.

    Team Fisher surely is aware of this.

    Wednesday we were treated to some new twists, seemingly designed to create leverage for Fisher. A story on Yahoo Sports, written by Fisher confidante Mike Silver, tried to reset the odds. It was reported that the Miami Dolphins [team stats] have the "upper hand" in the competition for Fisher.

    The story even included a line about how Fisher wasn’t necessarily sold on the Rams’ Sam Bradford as a franchise quarterback. This dollop of speculation undoubtedly elevated the Bradford haters into a full state of arousal.

    Yahoo Sports helpfully disclosed that Fisher left Miami with a positive impression after his formal interview with Dolphins executives.

    Another story, in the Miami Herald, stressed that Dolphins owner Steve Ross was so determined to secure Fisher, he’d top any financial offer made to the coach.

    A year ago the same headlines were written to describe the Dolphins’ aggressive pitch to Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh. But he picked the San Francisco ***** over the Dolphins.

    An obvious message is being delivered to Rams owner Stan Kroenke: take nothing for granted. If you want Fisher, be prepared to go all in.

    Fisher would be a good choice for the Rams. Kroenke prefers a confident and experienced coach, much like he has in two of his personal favorites: George Karl and Arsene Wenger. Karl is the coach of Kroenke’s NBA Denver Nuggets. Wenger is the acclaimed manager of Kroenke’s Arsenal soccer club in the English Premier League.

    Fisher is a proven leader. Some are busy nitpicking his overall record (142-120) with the Tennessee Titans [team stats]. I find that hilarious given that the Rams have had four winning seasons since 1990, and are 15-65 since 2007. And Fisher isn’t worthy of the Rams’ job? Please.

    "It would be a major coup for the Rams to land Jeff Fisher," said Dan Dierdorf, the Pro Football Hall of Famer, who has extensive experience in covering Fisher through his work as an analyst for AFC games on CBS. "As down as the Rams’ franchise has been, getting Jeff Fisher would make it clear that the Rams are serious about winning."

    We need to look under the surface numbers to see the quality of Fisher’s work.

    No. 1, Fisher worked for one of the league’s worst (and cheapest) owners in Bud Adams. Ol’ Bud didn’t hesitate to meddle, forcing the Titans to draft quarterback Vince Young over Fisher’s objections.

    No. 2, in his first four full seasons as the coach of the Oilers-Titans, Fisher’s teams played "home games" in four stadiums, in three cities, in two states. The Houston Astrodome in 1996, Liberty Bowl in Memphis in 1997, the Vanderbilt University stadium in Nashville in 1998, and the new stadium in Nashville in 1999. The Titans remained competitive. Fisher calmly coached through the chaos.

    No. 3, the Titans were fifth in the NFL in victories over a 10-season period (1999-2008) after finally getting settled in their new Nashville home. Only Indianapolis, New England, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia won more games.

    No. 4, Fisher rebuilt the Titans on the fly after core-nucleus veterans were cleared out during a salary-cap purge. After retooling during two losing seasons (2004-2005), the Titans improved to .500 in 2006 and made the playoffs in ’07 and ’08.

    No. 5, over Fisher’s 16 full seasons, his Oilers-Titans had the NFL’s seventh-best winning percentage. They were sixth in rushing and fourth in stopping the run. They were fourth in sacks and third in preventing sacks. They had league’s 10th-best touchdown/interception ratio.

    Fisher had five 8-8 seasons. But three came when the Titans were in their transient phase before 1999. Another 8-8 came during the rebuilding process (2006.) The fifth 8-8 mark occurred in Fisher’s next-to-last season, 2009.

    "Tell me how many times Fisher had the most talented roster," Dierdorf said. "The answer: he didn’t. What people may fail to realize is that some of those teams should have gone 5-11 or 6-10. Fisher coached his tail off just to get them to 8-8."

    You don’t last 16 seasons in one place unless you’re good. Fisher’s teams were physical, edgy and nasty. They were never easy to beat. Fisher maintained a consistent approach for a long time. The Rams have been anything but stable and could use Fisher’s firm leadership.

    I don’t know if the Rams will get Fisher. Maybe he’ll be reluctant to sign on with a chronic losing franchise that chews up coaches. Maybe Dallas owner Jerry Jones will have a late change of heart, fire Jason Garrett, and bring in Fisher. Maybe Indianapolis will get involved. Perhaps Fisher will prefer Miami. Who knows?

    If he comes to St. Louis, Fisher will have a direct line to Kroenke. But Kroenke is no Bud Adams and will let the coach do his thing. If he comes to St. Louis, Fisher will play a major role in selecting a GM. The other teams chasing Fisher already have GMs in place.

    In St. Louis, Fisher would have a built-in ally in Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff. (Son of Fisher’s agent, Marvin Demoff.) Fisher won’t have to worry about front-office sabotage. It’s a nice setup for a coach.

    What if the Rams lose out on Fisher? Yikes. They could hire a GM first, then dive back into the coaching pool. The Rams could surprise and hire a college coach. They could take their chances on a coordinator and give him his first head-coaching job. The Rams tried that with Scott Linehan and Steve Spagnuolo and struck out. But nine of the 12 men that made the playoffs this season are first-time head coaches.

    Fisher is a safe and solid commodity. "Plan B" would be a venture into the unknown. And that’s scary. So we’ll see if Fisher can leverage the Rams into getting everything he wants.

  2. #2
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    Re: Spin is on as Rams, Dolphins eye Jeff Fisher

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Bernie Miklasz / St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    The story even included a line about how Fisher wasn’t necessarily sold on the Rams’ Sam Bradford as a franchise quarterback. This dollop of speculation undoubtedly elevated the Bradford haters into a full state of arousal.
    I don't want to think of anything associated with arousal and Bernie... ugh...

    His points on that somehow we think that Fisher is not good enough for the Rams is spot on though, as are all the examples of how he was successful for the Titans, and which are the same points I was making.
    I believe!

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    Re: Spin is on as Rams, Dolphins eye Jeff Fisher

    Bernie actually made some good points about some of his stats and records.With all the Fisher doubters I was suprised to see that the Titans have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL.We need to land Fisher asap.

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    Re: Spin is on as Rams, Dolphins eye Jeff Fisher

    Kroenke just needs to put his fat wallet and checkbook on the table and reel in this big FISH er

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    Re: Spin is on as Rams, Dolphins eye Jeff Fisher

    Regardless of where Kroenke meets Jeff (Denver or St. Louis), I don't think it matters .. What does matter is this: Jeff needs to hear (both through his ears and his gut instincts) that Stan is truly committed to winning, and that he (Jeff) will have a say in who he wishes to work with with regard to a GM and personnel evaluators ..

    I'd say the odds are in the Rams favor right now - helicopters and fancy meals aside. Jeff will have an opportunity here that Miami can't match. High draft picks this year, a good young qb, some budding stars on defense, and miles of cap room. Couple that with an opportunity to write his own ticket as he's never been able to before (not just the money, but direct input on FO hires and an owner who'll stay out of his hair), and it's a pretty sweet deal for just about any bonafide NFL coach .. My two cents anyway ...
    laram0 likes this.

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    ZiaRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Spin is on as Rams, Dolphins eye Jeff Fisher

    Wow nice jobs on the stats bernie. Actually pretty impressed with him way more than I was.

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