It’s been a bumpy road for the Rams franchise and Head coach Jeff Fisher but it appears the Rams organization feels as though Fisher is going to lead this team back to the playoffs.
Fisher is reportedly going to sign a three-year contract extension to continue coaching the Los Angeles Rams. Which I am not adamantly against but I do have some disagreements. Lets dive into the Good, the Bad and the flat out Ugly of this scenario.
I think Jeff Fisher overall is well respected among the league as a players coach so right off the bat that lures free agents which is key in this day and age. Fisher is great in controlling himself and has a great reputation as a respectful and intelligent guy by the press conference media (not ESPN or NFL Network). Another thing I like about Fisher is his defensive mentality and it shows with his teams. He and general manager Les Snead have drafted two absolute studs in the interior of the Defensive line (Aaron Donald & Michael Brockers), a franchised Cornerback (Trumaine Johnson), a stud hard-hitting Safety (T.J. McDonald), a now-Middle Linebacker looking to become one of the best in the league (Alec Ogletree) and a sixth-round diamond in the rough (E.J. Gaines).
His connection to Tennessee may annoy many and to be honest it’s annoyed me most of the time because of moves like paying 10 million dollars annually to over-the-hill Cortland Finnegan and constantly being linked to ex-Titans because of Fisher’s history of coaching or drafting them. However, it brought the Rams their now-starting Defensive end Will Hayes and number one Wide receiver Kenny Britt so those have panned out.
As a fan who watched Steve Spagnuolo and liked him to an extent, one thing that drove me nuts was how he was always extremely conservative and would always punt. That’s something I like about Fisher that is a quality of his, he does go aggressive at times and goes for it on fourth-down in a situation some coaches might not.
The last good point on Fisher is that if he were to be fired you run the risk the next Head coach that comes in blows up the team and starts over. With the new move back to Los Angeles that wouldn’t make any sense.
Fisher as far as his record goes is about a mediocre of a coach as you can get. His years with the Rams:
2012 – 7-8-1
2013 – 7-9
2014 – 6-10
2015 – 7-9
2016 – 0-1 (so far…)
When Fisher took over in 2012 for the Head coach of the Rams after a year away from coaching. Some say he turned around a 2-14 quickly winning five more games but the sad reality is this. Spagnuolo took a year to go from 1-15 to 7-9. The next season the Rams had brought in a new Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels to replace Pat Shurmer who went off to coach the Browns in 2011. The Rams set records with an absurd amount of injuries and unfortunately it caused the Rams to fall back to the 2-14 record they were in Scott Linehan’s last year. With Spags fired Fisher came into a team that probably was on their way up if it weren’t for such an unlucky injury ridden season. To give Fisher credit for winning seven games the next season seems unfair since it’s not like Spags hadn’t done that.
On top of his lackluster record he has a history of giving players or many would call his “favorites” more chances than the rest. For two quick and perfect examples Fisher has given Brian Quick now in his fifth season chance after chance despite him not being able to eclipse 1,000 yards in his entire career. However, a guy like Austin Pettis who had the best hands on the team in 2014 was cut for being late to a team meeting. I like the no tolerance attitude but you have to be consistent.
Another thing Fisher is bad at, developing offensive talent. Mainly at Quarterback which could pose a problem in the future since he just happened to draft rookie QB Jared Goff. Now I don’t blame Bradford’s lack of development on Fisher but I do blame drafting a sixth-round pick in Garrett Gilbert and not developing him, picking up a quality UDFA QB Austin Davis and giving him few opportunities to develop and giving up on him early but, the big one is the third-round pick Sean Mannion that hasn’t started in an NFL game even in a season where the Rams had dreadful performances out of Nick Foles and mediocre at best performances out of Case Keenum.
Fisher is 77-82 all-time career record as a Head coach in the NFL on the road. That is flat out horrible. The Rams achillies heel has been their inability to win consistently on the road. Here are the Rams road record with Fisher as their Head coach:
2012 – 3-4-1
2013 – 2-6
2014 – 3-5
2015 – 2-6
2016 – 0-1 (so far…)
So that’s not it unfortunately…Fisher has only had six winning seasons out of the 21 full seasons he has coached. He is a 6-10 season away from becoming the all-time leader in losses for an NFL Head coach. Not good at all that is some serious shade for Fisher. Hopefully Fisher and the Rams turn the tables on the naysayers but for the time being there’s some reason to worry.