St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke made a rare public appearance on Tuesday to introduce the newest member of his sports empire, head coach Jeff Fisher. Tuesday's press conference to introduce the team's new head coach represents the complete transformation of the Rams as Kroenke's team, one centered around his formula for successful professional sports franchises.
"We've developed a model we have confidence in," Kroenke explained. "At its center is an experienced, confident head coach."
Kroenke employs that model with the NBA's Denver Nuggest, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and, most famously, with his professional soccer team, the Arsenal of the English Premier League, whose manager Arsene Wegner is the most well-known of Kroenke's sports executives.
Fisher himself expressed confidence in Kroenke's model while explaining his decision to go beyond "economic factors" in making the decision to accept the job with the Rams. His timeline for turning the team around will also inspire confidence in a long suffering fan base.
"The decision was simple, based on the vision for the future of this franchise," Fisher said. "There's a tremendous opportunity for this franchise ... the opportunity to the team, over a short period of time, back on a winning track."
Beyond the salary, Fisher commented that he was looking for a team with a good owner and good quarterback, and he wasted no time in assuring the audience that Sam Bradford fit the bill for the later. The new head coach noted Bradford's difficult second season, pointing to the lockout and the lack of preparation time as key factors in stunting Bradford's sophomore campaign with the Rams.
His contract signed five minutes before the press conference began, Fisher's work now turns toward filling out his coaching staff. His long-time friend and ally Gregg Williams is on board as the defensive coordinator. Finding the rest of his crew could take some time as he plans to approach it very deliberately with the goal of "finding the best coaching staff."
"Patience is better than haste when it comes to hiring coaches," Fisher explained.
Fisher's assistants will complement his vision for the kind of team he plans to make the Rams. And what traits will define Fisher's Rams?
"Disciplined, tough and physical" is how Fisher described his approach when asked. Their focus will be on returning to prominence in the NFC West, something that Fisher said "will be a challenge" thanks to the much improved play of the other three teams in the division, including the San Francisco 49ers who are playing for the NFC Championship on Sunday.