Most expect Jeff Fisher to choose between the Miami Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams today. Maybe. Almost two weeks into this, what's another 24-48 hours, huh? Despite all the public whispers about money and relocation and all that other jazz, it looks like the biggest issue may be one of power and control, the lingering result of something that happened in Tennessee that ultimately ended Fisher's seemingly endless run in Music City.
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Fisher, Vince Young and getting what he wants ... after the jump.
The Titans drafted Texas quarterback Vince Young with their first-round pick in 2006 at the behest of owner Bud Adams. It's not at all who Fisher wanted to draft, and in the years that followed Fisher and the Titans brass skirmished over Young. At one point, Fisher was finally told to play Young. He did, and got results. However, it ended badly with the very public meltdown between the coach and his quarterback in 2010. We covered that here.
Fisher's holding out for control. He wants veto power, at least, over personnel, wanting to avoid another situation like he went through with Vince Young in Tennessee. That's what was suggested in Adam Schefter's conversation on Miami radio, summarized by Tevin here. Bernie Miklasz and I also discussed that same topic last night on Twitter, as well as the potential risk posed by too much power for the head coach.
Handing over that much control to a head coach is a concern. The biggest question is how the balance of decision making is shared under such a structure. An organization needs a power structure, with an end point of accountability. That's Stan Kroenke for the Rams, the owner who doesn't seem to meddle much, making his standard for success the bottom line and the win-loss record.
That's okay too, but the Rams cannot afford another situation that turns into complete dysfunction at Rams Park. And there's nothing that says an exalted status for Fisher on the org chart would result in more of the same. I don't wonder if the matter isn't more to do with the financial decision making as it relates to the personnel side. The Rams are willing to spend money on free agents, but with a very sensible approach, one that doesn't get them stuck with dead cap money. Is Fisher so hungry to win that he wants to blow big bucks on free agents, compromising the bottom line and risking the team's future?
Let me be clear, I'm just speculating on the financial aspects of the personnel power for Fisher. It is pretty clear that Fisher is holding out for the title and the power it confers, and that's what all the public back and forth is about here, not relocation or quarterbacks or even salary dollars, which would most certainly have to be even ... though I think the Rams might be smart to put some conditions on the salary numbers, i.e. get the playoffs, get a big bonus.
There's precedent with what FIsher wants inside Stan Kroenke's sports empire. Arsene Wegner, the coach and head honcho for the Arsenal of the English Premier League.
The Gunners get some flak for not being big spenders, preferring an approach that Kroenke himself compares to that of Billy Beane. Though the team is certainly willing to carry a payroll. That's the vision Kroenke has for the Rams, made abundantly clear in our cap conversations with COO Kevin Demoff. Fisher would likely have that same level of control, providing he buys into the same vision.