Wilson Post Blogs
Fisher goes to the Rams
In somewhat of a rare departure in this era of take the money and run, former Titans football coach Jeff Fisher chose the fit over fortune.
In taking the St. Louis Rams offer, Fisher may have left some money on the table in Miami. He may have missed out on scenic sunsets and warm winters, but Fisher made the right choice.
You take a legal pad, draw a line down the middle and put the pluses and minuses down for both teams and St. Louis, downtrodden as it has been since 2007 (15-65), comes out on top.
One advantage Fisher will have in St. Louis, is he will not only have a vote at the table when the new general manager is hired, he could cast a decisive vote when it comes to draft choices and the 53-man roster. Miami would not give him that perk, backing current GM Jeff Ireland.
St. Louis has a former first-round draft pick in quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford is a promising young player, but needs weapons at the skill positions and an offensive line that will prevent his premature death.
St. Louis has more cap money than Congress. It has the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft and could use Heisman winner Robert Griffin III as bait to gain even more quality draft picks.
If the current draft order stands, the Rams will also have the first pick in the second round, having swapped that pick with Indianapolis.
Logic tells you Fisher can turn St. Louis around quicker than Coach Fill-In-The-Blanks can in Miami. Miami has to swim with the sharks in the AFC East (Patriots, Jets, Bills). The NFC West champion 49ers proved you could turn around a franchise if you find the right coach. Arizona and Seattle are franchises in flux. San Diego underachieves.
Fisher will be reunited with Gregg Williams, the former Titans defensive coordinator who is leaving the Saints to join his old boss.
Fisher can’t afford a mistake with hiring an offensive coordinator. He knows that his old Eddie right, Eddie left, Eddie up the middle and kick field goals doesn’t work in today’s wide open game such as the one the Saints lost, 36-32, to the 49ers.
Another monster plus was Fisher’s comfort level with Rams owner Stan Kroenke. Kroenke owns multiple pro sports teams. His philosophy is to hire good people and let them do their jobs. You wouldn’t see Kroenke picking up the phone and tell the head coach: “VY is my guy.’’
There are reports the Rams lease at the Edward Jones Dome is up after the 2014 season and that if Kroenke can’t get substantial upgrades, he could move the team to Los Angeles.
Fisher would not welcome another franchise move, but it’s unlikely he will have to face that.
A lot of Fisher critics call him “Coach 8-8,’’ but three of those 8-8 seasons came while the team was a lame duck in Houston, commuting from Nashville to Memphis and finally a season at dear old Dudley Field.
Fans no-showed by the thousands in Houston. It was worse in Memphis, as the city was miffed it didn’t get an NFL franchise. And many fans by-passed the NFL experience at Vanderbilt, a glorified high school stadium.
They practiced on a makeshift field in Bellevue. Offices were in trailers. Players dressed in trailers before Baptist Sports Park was completed.
It was a miracle Fisher got them to 8-8 during those seasons.
True, he went to only one Super Bowl in his 16 years here. But the team had not made the Super Bowl in the four decades it was in Houston.
Fisher will be a good fit in St. Louis. He might have to get over seeing all the pictures at Rams Park taken during the Rams win over the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.
That should be even more reason for Fisher to get his Rams back to the dance.
by Joe Biddle