Thursday, December 15, 2016

4 comments The Rams Have Been Saved! Jeff "8-8" Fisher is Gone!

I figure I may as well acknowledge that Jeff "8-8" Fisher has been fired by the Rams. It's well over due and I don't know, other than Fisher's relationship with Kevin Demoff based on his father being Fisher's agent, how he lasted this long. Even by Jeff Fisher's mediocre standards, the Rams have been bad this year on offense. He's had nearly five seasons to fix it and has pumped out more excuses than wins. The most shocking part is the Rams had just given Fisher an extension a week before they fired him. I'm a jaded human being, so I can't help but wonder if the extension wasn't a way for Kevin Demoff to do his father a solid and allow him to churn some more commissions off a coach that was a dead man walking. A son would never help his father out though, would he? The excuses Fisher had were hilarious.

"We had a lot going on this offseason, a lot of stuff going on."

"WE WERE SO BUSY!"

But sure, you also had a month head start on some teams to sort through this stuff because your team didn't make the playoffs. Moving is a big deal, especially when Jeff Fisher is the one driving the truck from St. Louis to Los Angeles. He was the guy driving the truck, right? That's how it sort of seems. Expecting his team to tune out distractions and win games, while using those distractions as an excuse for his failures is peak Jeff Fisher.

We’ve been through a lot. It’s not an excuse, but we’ve been through more than any other team in the National Football League this offseason and the moves and the travel and all those things. We’re dealing with those as best we can.”

Yes, that is an excuse. The Rams have not been through as much as Fisher wants to believe. Essentially, the entire team got traded and had to move. This happens all the time in the NFL, players and coaches moving teams. It's never an acceptable excuse. I can see a player telling Fisher,

"Well, I just can't focus because I'm looking for an apartment and I still have some stuff back in St. Louis. It's a lot right now."

How do you think that would go over?

“There was constant pressure. The coverage didn’t allow it. We had some shots. He (Goff) made a good throw to (WR) Kenny (Britt), and we didn’t come up with the ball. We would’ve liked to have seen pass interference called on that play, which is a field position change.” 

“Yeah, statistically, we had 10, I would acknowledge maybe six of them,” the coach said

Jeff Fisher is basically a comment section 10 minutes after the game is over, bitching about the officiating while trying to make it sound like's not blaming the officiating for his team losing.

Traveling to London is no quick hop. Fisher brought out his standard chestnut to excuse his team’s play after a trans-Atlantic flight.

Jet lag, travel, adjusting to the time change. “That’s the hard part of international games.” Fisher had that one in the bag

Did the Rams scrimmage themselves in London? If not, there was another team that had to adjust to jet lag and the time change. Also, HE IS BLAMING JET LAG AND THE TIME CHANGE! IF ONLY THERE WERE A WAY TO PLAN FOR THESE THINGS BEFORE THE TRIP OVERSEAS!

Why did no one tell Jeff Fisher about world time zones? He was so busy personally moving the entire Rams team from St. Louis to Los Angeles he didn't have time to research and understand basic World Geography. 

There are plenty of other excuses, especially based on the Rams roster, a roster he specifically had a hand in choosing of course. But nevermind that, it's not relevant. The key point is the Rams and their fans don't have to hear Fisher's bullshit excuses again. He was disengaged as a coach for the past year if you ask me and the fans deserve better. I would give the Rams front office credit for firing Fisher, but they gave him an extension a week earlier, so the broken clock principle applies here. 

Before I go any further, I wanted to highlight one of the paradoxes of this blog. I don't have a hand in getting any of these coaches or sportswriters fired of course. But when they are relieved of their duties, it gives me less to write about here. Gregg Easterbrook has been through three sites with his awful TMQ column, Jay Mariotti has shit all over nearly the entire online and print media industry during the time I have written here and Joe Morgan was relieved of his duties as the Sunday Night Baseball analyst for ESPN. This meant no more JoeChats, which really stunk. I don't think he deserved the Sunday Night Baseball gig based on his JoeChats, but they sure made for good material. 

I think the JoeChats are my favorite running item I had (have) on this blog. They were so awful and I was so underpaid, underworked, undervalued and any other "under" you can use in the realm of a job that I was able to get very inspired and focused writing them. Then Joe's contact wasn't renewed, I found a different job, and then found a different, different job and it's hard to find time to identify an analyst so bad at his job at the same moment I have time to write about how bad he (or she, women can suck at being an analyst too) is at his job. 

And yes, I know "Fire Joe Morgan" did JoeChats before I did. I don't think I've ever indicated I'm breaking new ground here. I was still inspired writing them, but then Joe abandoned us for a radio show and hating inconsistency on a different medium. Losing punching bags on this blog is not easy. Dylan always wanted to do podcasts, and I enjoyed doing them, but I think I would enjoy doing them more now than I did then. I'd love to do podcasts and post them here, but don't for several reasons: 

1. I have no idea how to set up a podcast to record, etc. 

2. I don't know if anyone cares at this point, mostly because I don't listen to podcasts myself. 

3. Time. I want to do them, but when would I REALLY do podcasts and who would I do them with? 

On that last note, before I continue bashing Jeff Fisher, I will share a regret I have. I had a couple "real" writers propose to do a podcast with me so we could discuss what I had written on this blog about what they wrote (after an email discussion about what I wrote about what he/she wrote) and I think I could have had some writers (featured here and not featured here) on a podcast to discuss sports issues, bad journalism, etc. if I cared enough to ask them. Okay, I would have mostly talked about the bad journalism. I didn't pursue it when I corresponded with these sportswriters for a couple of reasons: 

1. Again, I had no idea how to set up a podcast and was too lazy to figure it out. 

2. I felt it would be a betrayal of this blog's purpose. 

I had no urge to talk to sportswriters about their jobs, sports, etc because I felt speaking with them was selling out and not critiquing them like I wanted to do. It's a double-edged sword. To get a guy I bashed on the podcast and allow him to explain his reasoning for a column could be seen as me being soft. I've written what I thought already and then if we come to an understanding about what was written then I'm just Bill Simmons, a person who backs down when the person hits back against my critique. Still, at times it seemed fair to do the podcast, but I never did.

BUT, to invite a sportswriter I like on the podcast then I would see myself as a kiss-ass who simply writes on this blog because I secretly want a career in journalism and critiquing sportswriters is my bizarre way of getting attention for myself. This is, of course, not true at all.

Hey, I'm not saying it makes sense. I never cared to be a sportswriter and I saw interacting on this blog with sportswriters or journalists as a compromise against what I wanted to write. I write all of this while doing a cameo on my own blog to say I think I disagree with my line of thinking at the time and wish I had engaged more sportswriters when I had the opportunity, simply because it would have been fairly interesting content to post here. My wish to simply write and then be done with it, along with the concern that any interaction or feature from a "real" sportswriter" would diminish the intentions of past, present and future posts, prevented me from posting interesting content. I regret that to an extent. 

I bring this all up as a way of reinforcing the point that the content I post (posted/will post) here is reliant on the very people that I write about. Jeff Fisher gets fired, well there goes the Jeff "8-8" Fisher jokes. Joe Morgan is finally seen as the incompetent I viewed him as, well there goes a weekly post about his chats. I never wanted this to be about more than me writing on a blog about sports with no real long-term intentions, so I guess I succeeded in that goal. This all sounds like a eulogy, but it is not. 

Soooooooooooooooooooo...back to Jeff Fisher. There is a picture of me on my mom's fridge at home at a Charlotte Knights game in 1993. I had no NFL team at the time and didn't really watch football. I did love playing Super Tecmo Bowl and the Houston Oilers were my team on the game. So one day I saw a Houston Oilers shirt at the mall and had to have it. I bought the shirt and was wearing it to this Charlotte Knights game where the picture was taken. Maybe the reason I dislike Jeff Fisher so much is because there is an alternate universe where the Carolina Panthers never exist and I become a Tennessee Titans fan once I fell in love with football. In that alternate universe, Jeff Fisher is my head coach. Maybe that's why I don't like him and mocked his mediocrity. It could also be that Jeff Fisher has an extremely powerful agent who (I believe) encourages his sportswriter clients to only write positive things about Fisher in return for access to Demoff's other clients and Fisher's team. I tend to not like these types of things.

So here are some of the things I've written about Jeff Fisher through the years. Interestingly (okay, it's not interesting), there is no "Jeff Fisher" tag on this blog. I have 146 posts that mention him though, so it seems like I should have added a tag at some point. My comments at the time are in bold red italics and new comments are in non-bold normal font. I was probably harder on Fisher on Twitter than I was on this blog, but a lot of what was covered on this blog shows why Fisher was allowed to last as long as he did.

December 2008:

TMQ likes Jeff Fisher not only because he's the NFL's longest-serving coach, he is among the few who consistently gives straightforward answers to media questions. Against the Texans, the deciding down came when Tennessee, trailing 13-12, faced fourth-and-3 at the Houston 32 at the two-minute warning. Rather than let Rob Bironas attempt a 49-yard field goal, Fisher went for it and the Titans failed. The Reliant Stadium roof was open, and Bironas would have kicked into a swirling wind; he'd failed on long kicks in that direction during warm-ups. After the game, Fisher, who at halftime had the choice of the wind in the third quarter or fourth quarter, explained that he'd chosen the wind in the third quarter "because I thought by then we'd have the game locked up," and should have made the conventional choice of saving the wind for the fourth quarter.
Few coaches would be honest enough to admit they underestimated their opponent --

Notice how Easterbrook does not mention THAT is what happens when you go for it on fourth down all the time, you end up screwing the pooch a few times a year. I like how Jeff Fisher is complimented here for admitting he underestimated his opponent and making a bad decision that cost his team the game,

Even back in 2008, Jeff Fisher was not properly preparing to face his opponents. He's literally not changed. He does not plan before, during or after a game. It's inexplicable the amount of job security he had.

January 2012:

Simply put, Fisher wanted to avoid another situation like he had in Tennessee, where owner Bud Adams, if he chose, could tell him what to do on personnel. Adams told him in 2006 to take Vince Young in the first round. Fisher didn't want to do that, but it was Adams' call.

I think I would not give Jeff Fisher power over personnel. Ever. I am not normally a fan of coaches having power over personnel, except in specific cases and Fisher isn't one of those cases. So Fisher is bitter that Adams told the Titans to take Vince Young? Fisher does realize Young won a bunch of games for the Titans, right? It isn't like Young was a complete failure on the field. If "I didn't want Vince Young" is the main criteria for why Jeff Fisher should have the ability to get some control over personnel then I'm not sure I like his odds as a player evaluator.

Oh yeah, Jeff Fisher also blamed his failures with the Rams on the personnel he was given. Except, he took the Rams job because he wanted some control over personnel decisions. I can't make this stuff up. It's right here, as explained by Peter King, who as I have described repeatedly has the inside track on the Rams and Jeff Fisher. Jeff Fisher didn't want to draft Vince Young. Young burned out of the NFL, but I think this goes to Fisher's inability (along with his entire head coaching history) to effectively evaluate quarterbacks.

January 2012:

After spending five hours at the Rams' practice facility in suburban Earth City, Mo., Sunday, the former Titans coach returned to Nashville to consider his options. By Tuesday, I expect he'll have figured out whether St. Louis or Miami is the best place for him; and his agent, Marvin Demoff, will begin negotiating with one team, or both if it's every close. Expect a resolution by Thursday.

I always love it when coaches "retire" or leave a team before they have gotten fired. It feels like many of these coaches end up wanting to coach somewhere else. Teams are always after these coaches because they did the unthinkable and didn't leave their last team because they got fired. Jeff Fisher has a lifetime record of 142-120 and a career playoff record of 5-6. He coached for 16 years and made two AFC Championship Games and made the playoffs six times. He's not a bad coach, but is this the kind of coach a team should pay $8 million per year and also hand over personnel decisions to? I just don't think so. He's available though and since Cowher isn't coming back anytime soon, the fact Fisher has had more .500 or below .500 seasons than above .500 seasons doesn't seem to scare teams off that much.

Three things:

1. Peter King wrote the first part and the fact his agent, Marvin Demoff, was feeding him this information is so crystal clear. Demoff used Peter King (and others) to drive up the competition for Fisher.

2. I said Fisher was "not a bad coach" which is accurate...I guess.

3. I thought Fisher's record was bad back then. Little did I know how his mediocrity would continue and he would somehow manage to never have another winning record.

November 2012:

"It was two-fold,'' said Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who suspended Jenkins and Givens for an unspecified violation of team rules Saturday. "They weren't going to play, so they needed a workout. And I guess you can say it was part punitive. We still have to sort some things out about what happened, but hopefully this helps them get the message.''

"I didn't even know that happened,'' said St. Louis receiver Danny Amendola.

Well then, message received loud and clear.  

Jeff Fisher sent a message through actions his team didn't know occurred. He's the best. This is leadership.

March 2013:

Miami was in on Long aggressively, and one Dolphins official Sunday seemed confident Long would return for a sixth year. But no. And the Rams Sunday night were giving the credit for the migration to coach Jeff Fisher. "One of our players texted Jake and told him he'd retire if he had to play for any other coach besides Jeff,'' Rams GM Les Snead texted me late Sunday night. "Jeff gets veterans to Sunday ready to play ... Gets them to December ready to play ... So yes, he knows how to keep vets fresh physically, mentally and spiritually as good as anyone in the NFL."

The Rams are the only team with three picks in the top 50 of the draft (16, 22, 46), and they'll need a receiver upgrade after losing two in the first five days of free agency. Tight end signee Jared Cook is an expensive question mark, though Fisher had him in Tennessee and loves him.

Stop it Peter! Is Jared Cook's agent paying you to say nice things about him? If not, focus more on Jeff Fisher.

I am making this more about what I've said about Peter King than what I've said about Jeff Fisher, but they kind of go hand-in-hand. Jeff Fisher gets players ready to play in December, not January, because Fisher's teams don't often play in January.

April 2013:

I was here to write a story on the Rams for this week's issue of Sports Illustrated (shameless plug -- on iPads Wednesday and newsstands Thursday!).

So we get a preview of the article on the Rams in MMQB AND we get an entire full article in "Sports Illustrated" this week? It's going to be interesting to read about the Rams war room, but it is such a coincidence that Peter was embedded with Jeff Fisher's team. I'm interested to learn more about Jeff Fisher's plan to go 8-8 this upcoming year. I am kidding of course, the Rams seemingly did a great job in the draft and it is just a coincidence Peter breathlessly reported on Fisher's decision between the Dolphins and the Rams over a year ago. It was just a coincidence and had nothing to do with Peter throwing his agent a solid by driving up the interest in his client.

Well, I lucked out, as you'll read in the story this week, because GM Les Snead, coach Jeff Fisher and COO Kevin Demoff made stuff happen.

Wait, wait...Kevin Demoff? That must be a misspelling because there is a Marvin Demoff that represents Fisher and Peter King. It turns out this is not a misspelling and Kevin Demoff his Marvin Demoff's son.

So for those of you keeping track, Jeff Fisher was hired by his agent's son and now that same agent has another of his clients who is a respected reporter in the Rams war room reporting on the Rams draft day dealings and selections. A more jaded person would say Marvin Demoff worked this all out so his client, who is a reporter, could report positive things about another one of his clients, Jeff Fisher, so that his son who happens to be the COO of the Rams would look good. I am not jaded and would never suggest anything like this was ever thought nor happened. It was all just a coincidence.


You saw the Rams trade twice -- from 16 up to eight, to take wideout/returner Tavon Austin, and from 22 down to 30, to take versatile linebacker Alec Ogletree -- but what you didn't see was the glee in the room when both picks were made.

You also won't hear from Peter about the red flags that came along with Alec Ogletree and how Austin is a bit of a risk because he put up his fantastic numbers in a very wide receiver-friendly college system and is not built like the typical #1 wide receiver.

Of all the shady situations Peter King has been in over the years I wrote on this blog, his being embedded with the Rams for the 2013 NFL Draft is a close second to the time he wrote an article explaining exactly how opposing teams could match any offer the Browns made to Alex Mack (who was a restricted free agent at the time) when it comes to "conflicts of interest caused by Peter sharing an agent with the person he is writing about."

May 2013: 

Time will tell if they're right on the Jenkinses and the Alec Ogletrees, and I could be throwing stones at them in coming years. The Cardinals don't have a track record for taking questionable character guys. They thought the talent of Mathieu was worth the risk. That's one I think the team will end up regretting.

Jenkins has already missed a game for violating team rules, so we have evidence he hasn't stayed on the straight and narrow, but Peter thinks Mathieu was the bad risk. It's his opinion and he is entitled to it of course. I think Jeff Fisher could draft Jodi Arias and Peter wouldn't criticize the selection.

I cringe at the Jodi Arias reference, but I don't cringe at Peter saying the Cardinals would regret drafting Mathieu. This shows just how much deference Jeff Fisher was given over the years by sportswriters and why his firing was a year or two too late. And it's not a coincidence to me that most of the Jeff Fisher references can be found in MMQB, which is written by Peter King.

August 2013:

8. I think I keep hearing great things about two offensive weapons: St. Louis utility star Tavon Austin 

I've never heard of this Tavon Austin fellow. Why hasn't Peter mentioned Austin or what a great offensive weapon he could be before this very MMQB?

and the guy who, to me, is a sort of Tavon Austin Jr., Jacksonville wideout/multipurpose player Ace Sanders.

He's like Austin, but nowhere near as good as Austin is, right? How could he be?

The Rams practiced in the Edward Jones Dome Saturday and gave local fans a whiff of what to expect from Austin, playing him at several spots. “You’re going to have to come out, watch and see what we do with him,’’ said coach Jeff Fisher. “Obviously, there’s things everybody does across the league in camp that they don’t show until the regular season.” During draft prep in St. Louis, the Rams privately knew if they somehow weren’t able to get Austin, they’d have gone after Sanders, who is emerging in camp as the kind of versatile weapon Jacksonville hoped it was drafting last April.

So if Jeff Fisher had not drafted and then misused Tavon Austin, he would have drafted a guy who made little impact in the NFL and was out of the league in two years. But again, Jeff Fisher had no control over the personnel issues he insisted he have when signing a contract with the Rams.

August 2013:

Then there is this column. Just, pretty much any part that dealt with Jeff Fisher is what should be read. Peter calls out Bernie Kosar for being a drunk and marvels at the weapons that Jared Cook and Tavon Austin are. It's inexplicable how anyone can't see Peter is propping up Jeff Fisher.

November 2013:

o. Zac Stacy, proving the Rams were lucky Steven Jackson walked. Hope he’s okay after leaving with a head injury.

Zac Stacy was drafted by the Rams and the Rams are really good at drafting! You should read this article Peter wrote in May about how good the Rams are at drafting. They are on the right track to becoming a really successful team under Jeff Fisher. It's a rebuilding process though, so give Fisher another year or two after this year once he decides Sam Bradford isn't his quarterback of the future, at which point Fisher will be buying himself more time by pointing out Rams fans shouldn't expect immediate success with a new quarterback at the helm.

This is EXACTLY what happened! The Rams traded Sam Bradford to the Eagles and then Jeff Fisher started talking about how many young players the Rams had, while also holding back Jared Goff in order to fake there was some hope with him (Fisher) at the helm.

By the way, the amount of times I have gone out of my way on this blog to bash Jeff Fisher or call him Jeff "8-8" Fisher is tremendous. I would be embarrassed, but I'm not.

July 2014: 

It’s hard to find anyone to knock Fisher’s coaching ability, some of the great teams he put together in Tennessee, the identity they forged, or even the early results of the current reclamation project in St. Louis. It’s harder to explain how he only made the playoffs six times, and had six winning seasons, in 17 years with the Oilers/Titans. The record needs to catch up with the reputation at some point.

IT'S BEEN 17 YEARS!

This is the world we lived in. The jury is still out for Fisher's success to catch up with his reputation, but children are being born and getting ready to go to college while the jury on Fisher's coaching ability is deliberating. It's hard to knock Jeff Fisher's coaching ability, despite the fact his teams on average were not successful. And "the early results" of the reclamation project in St. Louis resulted in ZERO winning seasons. But still, it's hard to knock a record like that.

July 2014:

Might not show up in the record, but the Rams are going to be hell to play, and they’ll be a playoff team if Sam Bradford plays the way he was drafted to play.

Read that sentence and try to tell me Peter's relationship with Marvin Demoff doesn't come into play when he discusses the Rams. "It may not show in the record." He's already making excuses even if Fisher doesn't make the playoffs this year. For what Jeff "8-8" Fisher gets paid to coach the Rams, the team's talent sure as shit better show up in the record. Fisher gets paid enough for that to happen.

Almost three years later and I'm still stuck on this "might not show up in the record" comment. On what, pray tell, should Jeff Fisher be judged? He isn't judged on his win-loss record, so how should he be judged? By the manliness of his mustache? By how many excuses he could put forth before he got called on his bullshit? For a guy who worships the ground Bill Parcells walks on, Peter sure forgets the "You are what your record says you are" mantra Parcells preached...but only when it is convenient to forget it.

August 2014: 

“We don’t have any glaring holes. We do have a glaring lack of experience.”

—Les Snead, the general manager of the Rams, to me. St. Louis had the youngest roster in the NFL last season, and likely will again this year.

This is just a reminder Snead and the Rams have been using the same excuses for multiple years as to why the team couldn't succeed. Apparently the Rams organization believes the players on the team would never age, so this excuse could always be used to explain away the team's mediocrity under Jeff Fisher.

August 2014: 

“We’ve got to go on,” Fisher said, “and that’s basically what I told [backup] Shaun Hill. Shaun shifts gears, and we go. I told him, ‘This is why you’re here. Let’s go.’

Hill is 34. He’s started 26 games (13-13) with San Francisco and Detroit—but his last start was four seasons ago.

This is part of my issue too. Hill isn't the present or the future. The future at the quarterback position isn't on the Rams roster most likely. Jeff Fisher just bought himself three more years. He's a "name" coach who has suffered some bad luck and honestly hasn't done much to help his luck at the quarterback position, but that doesn't matter. The Rams are probably going to draft a quarterback in the upcoming draft, which they probably should have done this year, and Fisher will start over. I don't hate Jeff Fisher or the Rams, but Rams fans deserve better than this. Fisher is incredibly overrated as a coach. He's not a bad coach, but he and Snead have made crucial personnel mistakes at the most important spot on the roster. They've built a really good team around a quarterback who can't stay on the field. Logic would dictate the best backup plan isn't Shaun Hill. Hill is an okay backup and he very well may succeed this season. I feel like Fisher and Snead are getting a pass for completely counting on a injury-prone quarterback who may not even be very good when healthy. I'm not sure I could even tell you what kind of quarterback Bradford is because he can't stay on the field. That's the point. I would feel better about this situation if the Rams had a younger guy they wanted to see play (I don't think Austin Davis counts as that guy) if/when Bradford got hurt. It would give that younger guy a chance for some snaps to see if he can stick with the team.

The Rams are in the toughest division in the NFL. Don't they realize if they really want to compete they can't rely on Bradford so much? Why does this frustrate me so? It's just proof to me of how untouchable Jeff Fisher and Les Snead are. It's the third year of the Jeff Fisher era, where he is 14-17-1, is he really that cocky or unconcerned about his job security that he felt comfortable relying on Shaun Hill as the backup if/when Bradford gets injured? I guess he knows his buddies in the media will go to bat for him. Can't be on the hot seat if no one reports that he is on the hot seat.


October 2014:

q. Tre Mason. Not a lot to like about how the Rams are playing as we approach midseason, but the rookie has a burst and some power to him, as shown against Seattle.

Team...on...the...rise. See, no one should accuse Jeff "8-8" Fisher of not knowing what he's doing. The Rams drafted Isaiah Pead in the second round, then drafted Zac Stacy in the fifth round and pretended to want to play him, but Fisher really was sandbagging and wanted to have Tre Mason be the starter. It's just like how Fisher made idiots like me think he had built his team around Sam Bradford when that wasn't AT ALL his plan. He was really getting ready to build the team around the Rams' third-string quarterback, Austin Davis, and wanted to mask his plan by starting Sam Bradford and signing Shaun Hill to be Bradford's backup.

Another running back that Peter describes as having "speed/burst and power" because that's what Jeff Fisher wants in a running back. Of course, we will later learn Peter doesn't believe the Rams ever found the right running back until Todd Gurley came along. Despite the fact his words (at the time) said differently about Mason and Zac Stacy.

November 2014: 

b. Austin Davis continues to show he belongs, and not just as roster filler.

Look Jeff, Peter tried to hype these guys up. It's not for lack of trying.

November 2014: 

For the record, with all of the mayhem around Robert Griffin III and his fate in Washington, here is what the St. Louis Rams received in return for trading the second overall pick to Washington so Washington could select Griffin in 2012. Turns out to be an 8-for-1 trade, with five starting players (as of today) but no superstars harvested by Rams GM Les Snead. But any team that thought it had its long-term starting quarterback (as St. Louis did with Sam Bradford in the spring of 2012, pre-double-knee-injury) in the house would absolutely have made the trade if told this: Trading the number two overall pick will yield five starting players three seasons down the line. Amazing, to me, that as it turns out, St. Louis traded the number two overall pick in 2012, and got the number two overall pick in 2014—and seven more choices:

Again Jeff, Peter tried to hype your team up as if you were geniuses robbing other NFL teams for draft picks to build up a soon-to-be-great team. Jeff, you blew it.

And just because the Rams got "starters" out of the draft picks doesn't mean those "starters" would start for a team that could actually make the playoffs.

December 2014:

9. I think Rams owner Stan Kroenke must be thinking (though how would we know what he thinks—the man never speaks) this after the team’s 11th straight non-winning season:

Why am I paying Jeff Fisher $8 million per year and not getting good results?

Of course not! It's not Fisher's fault and isn't Les Snead's fault and certainly isn't Kevin Demoff's fault. Nothing is.

 
I empathize with Jeff Fisher never having a good quarterback situation to deal with.

Really? You empathize with Fisher that he and Les Snead have chosen to do nothing with the quarterback position and continue to rely on Sam Bradford, a guy the Rams aren't even certain should be the quarterback of the future, to be the starter going into the season with little competition for his job? The conscious choice to waste the time and money of Rams fans by relying on a player who consistently can't stay healthy, you empathize with Jeff Fisher about that? I personally think decisions like that are why coaches and GM's get fired. There would be a good quarterback situation to deal with if Fisher and Snead had not relied on Austin Davis and Shaun Hill to be the options at quarterback if Bradford got injured.

April 2015: 

One big problem: coach Jeff Fisher was against drafting Young.

Jeff Fisher is never wrong and you take it back right now.

Still, Young often made me look pretty good. He was offensive rookie of the year. He made two Pro Bowls. He went 30-17 as Tennessee's starter.

And that's really what this is all about isn't it? Which quarterbacks made Skip look good and which quarterbacks didn't make Skip look good. Vince Young did have success for a while, but this doesn't mean Skip was right about him. I think Mario Williams was the right pick for the Texans. 

But predictably, he often clashed with Fisher. It appeared Fisher helped turn some in the local and national media against Young. His skin grew thin.

This is a reminder that Jeff Fisher didn't want to draft one of the two quarterbacks he actually had some semblance of success with as a head coach. This feels important to me.

June 2015:

St. Louis has been dying for a franchise running back. Since Steven Jackson left for Atlanta two years ago—and even before, actually; the Rams thought Jackson was declining in 2012—coach Jeff Fisher has wanted a back like Gurley.

It sounds like the Rams are a team on the rise. Next stop, Jeff Fisher's first playoff win in a decade. You can feel the tension in excitement in Los Angeles St. Louis as the team is ready to finally be the team on the rise that Jeff Fisher has always promised they would be. Jeff Fisher has always wanted a running back like Todd Gurley and he finally has him.

Fisher is a throwback coach.

"Throwback" meaning "Go back in the past to find where he has been successful, but only pay attention to the seasons where his team made the playoffs and ignore the vast majority of the seasons where his team had a .500 or losing record."

Most of the league craves an offense with a 60-40 pass-run split. Fisher would love it to be 50-50, or even 55-45 run. He likes to play offense with a back capable of wearing down defenses with long drives early in games and eating the clock in the fourth quarter.

And yet, it's taken Fisher four years to get to that point with the Rams. It must be nice to have such job security to know as a head coach you have four years to get the team you are coaching to resemble the team you would like it to resemble. I'm hard on Jeff Fisher, but at no point does Peter King acknowledge that Fisher has had three full seasons to get the Rams team how he wants it and has so far seemingly failed to do so? Why is this not a relevant point? Peter presents it as Fisher accomplishing the equivalent of a coup to get Todd Gurley so the Rams team can run it's offense how he wants it to. IT TOOK THREE FUCKING YEARS THOUGH! Why? Is this not a question that should be asked while up the organization's butt hole for drafting Gurley? What took so fucking long? It's the same thing as the quarterback position for the Rams. I feel miserable for Rams fans to have a coaching staff that seems happy to dick around for a few seasons knowing there is job security.

There are quite a few times I noticed in MMQB (as I was reviewing them for this post) that Peter referred to Zac Stacy as "the type of running back Jeff Fisher loves." So as I said earlier, it seems Peter will just forget he said that and keep moving the goalposts for Fisher, as if he had no control over which players the Rams drafted.

October 2015:

Now we know why Gurley went 10th

I'm not smart at all, but I knew why already. He's a stud. You know what I'm going to say about the Rams. Team on the rise! Give Jeff Fisher that contract extension and it's all downhill from there. I mean, uphill, it's all uphill. Wait, if it is "downhill" then that means things are bad, right? But going "uphill" means things are more difficult. Now I'm confused. Just give Jeff Fisher a contract extension.

“I got one game ball!” St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said in the Rams’ locker room. “Where’s 30? Thirty! Come up!”

Fisher handed Gurley, No. 30, the football.

“This is just the beginning,” Fisher said.

JUST THE BEGINNING, RAMS FANS! JUST THE BEGINNING!

(The Rams pack up their bags and leave for Los Angeles)


(Shrugs) It happened, right?

Now the reign of Jeff Fisher as an NFL head coach is over...at least until a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars wants a head coach with experience and inexplicably hires him at a salary of $7 million per season. Let's hope this doesn't happen. Actually, maybe I should hope for it to happen, as it is good for the jokes.

I'll try to make the gap between posts shorter in the future.

4 comments:

Steve said...

I've been a Rams fan ever since I started watching the NFL as a kid back in the mid 90s. Moving the franchise back to LA didn't bother me much even though I would have preferred if they had stayed in STL. The thing that really angered me about Fisher is that he didn't have any urgency to win games. I could go on and on but you have done a great job documenting how awful he is. I felt idiotic supporting the team this year and am sooooooo glad he's finally gone. I hope another team doesn't hire him for the sake of that fan bases sanity.

Bengoodfella said...

Steve, the writing was on the wall that the Rams were going back to Los Angeles. I would hate it, but I guess you learn to accept the move at a certain point. He had zero urgency. I'm not talking about being in a panic or getting angry when the team loses games, but just the way he acted about personnel decisions and running the team in general. It was like he did have no urgency because he figured he would have time to turn it around.

The way he wants to build a team, with a quarterback who is just competent enough to win games, just doesn't work as well in today's NFL. He has mismanaged the QB position for so long now, if you ask me.

I don't doubt his name will pop up as a rumored name for other open spots. I feel bad for that fan base.

Ericb said...

I had a feeling that this would bring you out of hiding. Don't you think he should have been up/downgraded to Jeff "7-9" Fisher by now though?

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, I thought about this but I've called him Jeff "8-8" Fisher for so long now that I feel like I would jumping on the bandwagon to call him "7-9" Fisher. Plus, he's gone 8-8 five times and 7-9 four times, so I feel like "8-8" still best represents his mediocrity.