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Thread: Travis Fisher
-10-18-2006 #61STLRAMSFAN Guest
Re: Travis Fisher
Fisher does have 0 INTs this year and last. He has 0 INTs in his last 15 starts. He has 1 INT in his last 25 games started covering the end of 2003 and all of 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons. At this rate he is a bonafide Hall of Famer. Maybe if they only threw at him a little more he might have more INTs.
I bet Fisher would be good with horse shoes and hand grenades.
Last edited by STLRAMSFAN; -10-18-2006 at 08:51 PM.
Re: Travis Fisher
over the past two years i have made so much money off of travis fisher, every time the ball is in the air i bet one of my friends the reciever will come down with it, and 99.9 % of the time i am right travis fisher =$$$$$$
Re: Travis Fisher
In general terms, I do recall plays where he's in zone coverage looking back at the QB, and I would contend that when he's backed up off the line of scrimmage in loose coverage he has (or should have) his eyes on the quarterback as well as the receiver since both are in front of him in his line of sight. That being said, when he turns his back to the QB to run with a receiver in man coverage down field, I really don't expect him to look back simply because his focus needs to be on staying with his man. He can judge if the ball is coming by watching the receiver and looking for cues from him.
Okay, so I'm simply asking for that which such an opinion is based on so we can go back and take a closer look. If people are basing their opinions on less than reliable cumulative memories, then I would suggest that they perhaps not present such an opinion with the kind of certainty that we've seen in criticisms of Fisher and perhaps also be open-minded to changing those opinions when reliable accounts of plays are brought up that counter the opinion.
I mean, we're now on page five of this thread and how many additional examples have we accumulated outside of the two that AlphaRam brought up earlier? Not very many, I don't think. If anything I've probably been posting more specific examples of poor play by Fisher than anyone, and for some reason I'm getting criticized for not acknowledging his faults in the process!
I understand that people don't all have access to additional resources, but if a person thinks the guy's been playing poorly, it's based on something. I don't think I'm asking a heck of a lot when challenging people to recall those plays.
Posters should recall the position I took in the spring regarding our secondary and its relation to our draft strategy - I was in favor of drafting players like Michael Huff or Tye Hill because I viewed our secondary as having a number of solid players but no true playmakers or game changers. I would suggest Fisher falls into the realm of being a solid player.
Again, I agreed with Alpha about the pass interference call and how Fisher needed to do a better job of looking back if he was going to get tangled up with Branch. This is the second time I've specifically reminded you about this yet you continue to look over it.
Furthermore, I acknowledged the legitimacy of Utter's complaint about Fisher breaking on balls in the air and also brought up criticisms I myself had about his reaction time. I responded to HUb's comment on the Detroit game by bringing up both positive AND negative plays made by Fisher, in fact I believe I specifically commented on three negative plays, and categorized his game performance as simply being okay or solid because he had some bad plays to go along with some good ones.
To sit here and imply I've not been flexible in admitting when Fisher has made mistakes or has faults is factually inaccurate and a complete misrepresentation of what I've presented in this thread. I've now not only summarized the instances in which I've discussed Fisher's mistakes and faults, but I've provided links to the individual posts in which they occur. That should hopefully shut the door on such implications.
As for the pass interference call, I agree that Fisher could have intercepted that pass had he turned around and found it because the ball was underthrown. However it's because we know the ball was underthrown that we can conclude Fisher could have intercepted it. It's a bit of a hindsight argument. When you're man to man on a guy streaking down the field, taking your attention off that player to turn around and look for the ball is not a strategy I would suggest doing.
It's easy to sit here and say he could have made a play if he'd have done something different because we have a clear knowledge of how everything transpired, but if that pass is on the money like you have to assume it's going to be and Fisher turns back to try and find it, he likely gives up space to the receiver and takes himself out of the play. I draw that conclusion because I've seen other defensive backs on our team do just that when turning to look back for the ball, and if necessary I can provide examples of that.
Also I previously said that if he's going to get tangled up with Branch like that he needs to at least turn his head in some manner to make it appear as if he's playing the ball so as to not draw the flag. I don't think it's reasonable to ask him to turn completely around in that instance, but at least turn your head in some fashion.
I don't think asking someone to defend their opinion with details and specifics is at all a negative thing. If anything, that kind of detailed analysis should serve to improve the quality of the board as a whole, I would think, because it means we're taking a closer look at what our team is doing and drawing conclusions directly from the specific things we see on the field.
However, I would contend that where a player lines up on the field and how far or near he lines up to a man he's covering is not one of those decisions solely left up to him but is rather part of the scheme Haslett has instituted and is drilling into our players (and as you said is probably being handled primarily by Robinson the position coach), and it very likely depends on what part of the field they're on on any given play as well as the situation and specific defensive play called.
I just cannot buy into this idea that a defensive back is solely responsible for how near or far he is from his man on the line of scrimmage, nor have I seen a very compelling argument to convince me of such a claim. Furthermore for those that think it is the cornerback's responsibility, I have yet to hear the criticism of this nature made about our other DBs, who if you watch the tape are equally as guilty of lining up well off of receivers in certain situations. The vast majority of criticms is thrown Fisher's way, which is entirely unfair. It's because all of our guys do it that I believe you can't blame the player for it but rather need to look at it as a coaching issue.
Re: Travis Fisher
I think I've said almost as much as I want to on this topic. I'd like to point out however, amidst some of the very interesting technical points that have been raised, that no-one has yet said that Travis Fisher is an all-pro or anything near it.
All that those of us who think that the vilification of Fisher is simplistic have tried to point out is that Fisher's performance depends to an extent on the performance of the front four. To hold Fisher accountable in this fashion isn't helpful in my view because it tends to ignore other issues that we have to the extent that we become almost blind to them. Were Fisher to suffer an Ahmad Carroll and be released tomorrow I would wager that his replacement, whether Bartell or Hill, wouldn't be the cause of a leap up the defensive rankings.
We have to consider that in earning the starting job, Fisher proved something to the coaching staff above and beyond what either Bartell or Hill have offered. Nick's detailed breakdown of the game film and his corresponding judgement on it is probably closer to their judgement than those who feel Fisher to be the sole problem.
It's a sobering thought but perhaps Fisher is the best that we have at this current moment in time in the opinion of the coaching staff and that is why he's starting every week. The same Jim Haslett who was earning rave reviews for his turnaround of our once pathetic defensive unit is the same Jim Haslett who starts him every week.
The overall talent of our defensive group does not allow us to a Denny Green and scapegoat people every week.
-10-18-2006 #65rampete Guest
Re: Travis Fisher
what may've been more appropriate to raise as a discussion,imo, is the definition of what consitutes a "bad" corner...once an agreed-upon definition has been established then it may provide more insight into what we are really trying to express...
-10-18-2006 #66AlphaRam Guest
Re: Travis Fisher
I will be offering the Cliff Notes booklet for the precis of this thread. Send a damp, self-possessed envelope to...never mind, you cheapskates won't buy it, anyway.
Re: Travis Fisher
I'm not saying it's the exact same philosophy. What I'm saying is, the D gets the play and lines up. You seem to think Fisher lines up too far away. I've seen the other DBs line up far away from the WRs at times to, so to me that says it's the scheme and play called by Haslett. It's not just Fisher. I'm saying he's lining up where the play called puts him.
They freelance a bit, moreso after the play starts or if there is a shift in formation, but if Fisher was freelancing as much as people say he lines up too far from the WRs than Haslett would have a fit. If Fisher was lining up far off the WRs when Haslett wanted him up close, don't you think the coach would tell him, line up where I tell you and run the play, and if he kept doing it he would be on the bench.
-10-18-2006 #68RamOfDenmark Guest
Re: Travis Fisher
I've never felt that Fisher was a good corner, I'm not really sure if I would even call him adequate. That goes back to every year he's been with the Rams, I briefly gave him a chance through the first 4-5 games of this season to prove me wrong since the coaching staff talked enthusiastically about him during training camp, but he has only confirmed what I've always thought about him this year.
Regardless of whether he was playing injured or not (an excuse often brought up I think) - if you're too injured to play well, take yourself out of the lineup and heal before you come back. He does seem injure prone, never played a full season I believe (15 games in 2003 at the most) and he seems to get increasinly banged up as his career progresses.
He hardly ever gets any turnovers either: 7 int's in 53 games over his career, and only 1 interception in the last 3 seasons (2004, 2005, 2006). And only 2 forced fumbles in his career.
I don't think he does a good job of breaking up the pass either, that one pass against Green Bay where he deflects the ball appears in fact to be his only pass defensed this season in 6 games, and only 22 throughout his 5 year career.
If there's one redeeming thing I have to say about Fisher it would be that he does seem to fit the bend-don't-break mentality somewhat. He seems to give up a ton of plays underneath for 10, 12, 15 yards, but rarely many deeper passes. However I don't think he's a very good tackler either, so unless a safety or LB gets in there quickly it seems to me that Fisher's receiver usually picks up YAC minimizing the effectiveness of the bend-don't-break philosophy.
All in all I see a pedestrain corner that doesn't make any big plays and gives up lots of plays, and that's not exclusively based on this year, but rather his entire career. He's not a playmaker, but his fundamentals, covering and tackling aren't sound enough either IMHO, so I wouldn't call him solid. Mediocre perhaps.
As for our other CB's, I remain convinced that Butler is still a better option than Fisher, just like he's practically always been. Brown is better too. Hill is a toss-up I think, but I make no secret of the fact that I cut Hill (a rookie) considerably more slack than Fisher (5 year veteran) when it comes to mistakes, that's only fair IMHO. Bartell I'm really not sure, haven't seen him play corner enough to say if he's better than Fisher at this point, but I would be happy to roll the dice and let Bartell start a game or two to see what he's got, I can't believe he could be substantially worse than Fisher.
I would start Butler any day of the week, and I'm still surprised he doesn't seem to figure in our plans this year at all. Wonder if he is in the doghouse, I remember Steven Jackson talking in one interview (prior to the Green Bay game) like he was, and when both Brown and Fisher are out and he *still* doesn't play all that much you have to consider the possibility I think.
(On a small concrete note: didn't Fisher get flagged for 2 costly pass interferences against Seattle? Or was the 2nd one against someone else?)
Last edited by RamOfDenmark; -10-18-2006 at 11:13 PM.
-10-18-2006 #69STLRAMSFAN Guest
Re: Travis Fisher
Can anyone provide any stats that prove over the last three years that he is not a bad CB. Tackles dont count IMO because that can be deceptive for a corner seeing how if they deny the ball to their person they won't get the tackles. How about average # of attempts thrown at per INT. How about pass breakups per attempt. Any proof that he is not as bad as almost everyone says. Can anyone that thinks he is not a bad CB provide proof to the many that think he is bad. They have provided the stats as well as their opinions after watching him play since 2002.
Even if he were there stride for stride on every play that does no good if the guy catches it or its a bad throw and it hits him and he can't get the INT because he don't play the ball. If he wants to be stride for stride every play and not make the play he should be in the escort business.
If some people want everyone to prove that he is a bad CB before making their statements. Then they should lead by example and provide proof that he is not a bad CB before refuting others opinions.
1 INT over his last 25 games started and 0 this year. I am sorry but that is horrible for any CB let alone one that gets thrown at a lot.
Last edited by STLRAMSFAN; -10-19-2006 at 12:43 AM.
-10-19-2006 #70LaRamsFanLongTime Guest
Re: Travis Fisher
This secondary as a whole has not been playing very well. They are not finding the ball in the air.You have to turn your head around and find the ball period. What I notice about Fisher is his boys seem to get open alot on crossing patterns . When we played Detroit Mike Furrey made him look like a fool a couple times. I just dont think he seems to be in the position to make the play very often. When he is in position he does not turn his head. Then again neither does Tye Hill, Corey Chavous, Atogwe, the whole Rams secondary. If you dont turn that head around you are gonna rack up penalties and plays against you. If you are in that secondary your job is to find that ball.
I dont know I still have a very positive outlook for this teams future this season but if they dont get some support from the secondary the games are gonna stay close. When a game is close we all know what could happen.
I do get what you are saying about the pass rush but cmon both those second half TD's should have been batted down. Especially the 56 yarder. All the Rams defenders had to do was turn their heads. Our secondary is ranked 21st it needs to improve and I dont care what players are in Fisher or Bartell they need to execute they are in the NFL getting paid alot of money.
Originally posted by Nick
... when he turns his back to the QB to run with a receiver in man coverage down field, I really don't expect him to look back simply because his focus needs to be on staying with his man. He can judge if the ball is coming by watching the receiver and looking for cues from him.
Last edited by LaRamsFanLongTime; -10-19-2006 at 12:21 AM.
-10-19-2006 #72norcalramfan Guest
Re: Travis Fisher
Re: Travis Fisher
Or maybe Haslett doesn't think he's stinking it up? Food for thought.
Interestingly enough, the statistical edge goes to Fisher in this category.
As for providing other evidence that he is not a bad corner, I believe I've been attempting to do that in both this and other past threads by going back and looking at film for this season and providing an analysis based on what I see. I've really tried to shy away from making points simply with stats because statistics for corners, as you said, can be quite deceptive at times, and since I have the game tape to for this season, I might as well use it. Other threads in which I've provided some detailed thoughts on Fisher's play based on direct observation have been here and here, and I plan on posting an article tomorrow in which I analyze Fisher's contributions in the Seattle game from last weekend.
That being said, when a cornerback is stride for stride with a receiver, I think that's pretty good coverage regardless of the outcome. The completion of a pass against that coverage does not negate the fact that the player was right there with his man, and I really don't think you gain an accurate picure of a DB's play by concluding that he's playing poorly if someone simply catches a ball against him. That happens even against elite corners in this league. One must examine why such a pass was completed against that coverage - was the pass simply perfectly thrown and the receiver lead well, or did the corner truly make a mistake that allowed the catch? That's where looking at the game tape comes in handy.
I have been providing specific examples to support my opinion. I'm still waiting for someone on the other side to really start doing the same to try and convince me.
Turning to find the ball is hardly an automatic success for DBs, and can sometimes completely take a guy out of the play because he's inaccurately judged where the ball is going or has lost good position on his man by focusing on something else.
So why would you not turn to look for the ball? Because Branch is hardly running out of field and with no safety help you have to make sure you're on him tight. If Fisher turns to find the ball and that half step becomes one and a half steps as Fisher not only locates the ball but sees it's being thrown perfectly and he has no shot at it now, then there would really be a case to be made about poor coverage on that play.
As it stands though, I don't think you can ask him to do more than he did.
What's interesting is that if you watch the play and keep an eye on the other DBs in man coverage, they're not turning back and looking for the ball either. All we can really see of Hill is that he gets a hand on his receiver and then turns to run with him with his back to Hasselbeck. It doesn't appear as if he's turned to watch the throw. Chavous is on the tight end and is watching his receiver the whole way. He's looking at the guy he's covering and, based on his reaction, can tell the ball isn't coming that way. I don't think Chavous turns to look elsewhere until the ball is halfway toward its target and by that time he already is pulling up because he knows that's not the man he's covering.
When you run a defensive scheme that's as aggressive as this one, you're going to get burned from time to time. It's the nature of the scheme.
-10-19-2006 #74LaRamsFanLongTime Guest
Re: Travis FisherPerhaps it's a coaching issue then?
When? When we played Detroit and Fisher was covering Furrey, Mike had 3 catches for for 33 yards. That's hardly a performance that should embarass Fisher. I would think the people who were closer to looking like fools from the Detroit game would be Fakhir Brown and Tye Hill, who both allowed touchdowns to Mike Furrey.
Maybe we as a collective need to stop saying "Its Fisher" step back take a breath and think well maybe this secondary is not that great. I really do not think we have a solid core back there. Every team we have played with the exception of the Broncos has been able to have their way with our secondary.
Im a beleiver in Haslett Im still not completely there on Linehan but I do like where he seems to be taking this team. The new Staff inherited one of the worst defenses in the history of football so I am gonna just try and be patient with all this.
P.S what is up with Butler I will be honest im ignorant to what is going on with him at the moment. I have always liked him and want him back and healthy.
Re: Travis Fisher
I think though that if a seasoned Pro Bowl vet like Chavous is doing this as I pointed out about the second Branch TD play, then maybe it's really not that horrible of a strategy? I certainly don't think he came here and completely relearned how to play the position, including this new tactic. Heck, I've watched Chris McAlister do it on a recently televised Ravens game. I just don't think it's that abnormal nor do I feel it's a bad strategy when used correctly, and in the case of Branch's touchdown catch, I think Fisher was using it correctly, especially since he wasn't the only DB on the field doing it in that situation.
That being said, when you run an aggressive scheme that is centered around pressure and forcing mistakes, I don't think you need an all-star Baltimore Ravens-like secondary. What I think you need and what is essential in this kind of scheme is the ability to consistently get that pressure.
For us, I think that means another defensive lineman who can regularly take advantage of the double teams Little is commanding. So that would be my first priority, with additional upgrades to the secondary appearing later on the list but not at the top.
Furthermore, Haslett's aggressive scheme requires his corners to blitz on occasion, something we've seen less of with Brown being injured. You've got to be physical when you blitz, because you may have to take on and shed a running back or a tight end to get to the QB. Butler, IMO, is just not a physical player. I've watched him shy away from contact and hesitate to fill holes in the running game.
The best specific example I can remember of Butler's lack of physicality is actually from the last game he played in before his big injury - the 2004 Atlanta playoff game. Score is tied 7-7, and Butler had a chance to bring down Warrick Dunn to prevent a big run but his attempt at a tackle more closely resembles someone playing touch football (visible at the 2:28 mark in this video, be careful because the sound is waaay too loud but keep watching after the play because they show a closer replay).
So it would seem between not making a strong special teams contribution combined with not being the kind of player that fits well with what Haslett wants his DBs to do, Butler just isn't going to see a lot of time on the field. It will be interesting to see what happens to Butler in the offseason. He's not getting used here, but could have value elsewhere, which means a trade may be possible.