Well folks we are faced with what every fan of every team in every sport both dreads and embraces; the search for a new GM and HC. Words cannot express to you how excited I am for the change taking place in our organization. We have a few prospects out there for the recently vacant HC position, and today I would like to put out a little perspective about Jeff Fisher. Hit it!
Do me a favor, try to match the below winning percentages to the coaches listed. Give up? A few are obvious, but they are actually in order. Point being that all have won a Super Bowl except Jeff Fisher and all have had what amounts to just over .500 winning percentages either for their entire career, or at one point or another.
.524 (Overall) /.458 (With Rams)
All of the coaches listed are either in the HOF or are going to be there eventually. Winning percentage is not an accurate reflection of a coach's ability to bring a championship to the team. Just look at our own Dicky V. His WP with the Rams was horrible, but he had what it took, (along with lots of talent and luck), to bring the Gold and Blue a Lombardi. So what makes Fisher stand out from this crowd? The answer is simple, nothing. He is not your average coach however. He didn't stick around for the better part of 2 decades with the same team because management liked him. He put out a consistent product.
With the Houston Oilers in 1994 he started out 1-5. The very next season he makes an immediate turn around and goes 7-9. The team wouldn't see a losing record again until 2001, the year after the team put up back to back 13-3 seasons and an AFC championship. As happens with most franchises, the TT's went into a hangover period, but still managed to cobble a 7-9 record in 2001, followed by 2002, 2003 campaigns resulting in 11-5 and 12-4 seasons. Again turn over in free agency and the nature of the league helped the TT's to 2 losing seasons followed by an 8-8 2006 record. Even with the QB carousel and Fisher's struggles with VY, Jeff managed to get the Titans 2 more winning seasons, a .500 2009, and a miserable 2010 6-10 record.
One could make the case that we should hire the coach that can win consistently. Who is that coach? In this league, winning comes in spurts of 2-3 years, followed by free agent turn over and rebuilding, that's just the nature of our sport. There are few coaches in the NFL who have managed to have winning records for the better part of a decade. The news for everyone is that no coaching candidate is out there who would be willing to come here that has that kind of rare winning streak.
Fisher brings with him experience as a player (DB), coordinator, HC, and committee member that the Rams could benefit greatly from. His teams have always been competitive and they play for him:
“I’ve always respected him so much. He’s been a fixture in my life the last 15 years,” Mason said. “Guys came back for this because they love him. I don’t think too many coaches, once they leave, have guys come back and show how much they appreciate him. I know I wasn’t going to miss this.” http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/19/derrick-mason-on-jeff-fisher-players-love-him/
Will Witherspoon on Jeff Fisher: "I think he'll be back and I hope he’ll be back. I wouldn’t say most (agree). I pretty much say all.’’ http://www.musiccitymiracles.com/2011/1/3/1911600/titans-players-say-they-want-jeff-fisher-to-return
Titans center Eugene Amano told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean he "wanted to see him (Fisher) stick around and finish this thing off and take this team to a championship.'' http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/07/tennessee-titans-players-applaud-decision-to-retain-jeff-fisher/
I'm not going to sit here and pretend that the Rams + Jeff Fisher = Super Bowl Champions. That would be dreamful and unwise. The popinjay HC that everyone wants the FO to hire and lead us to a Super Bowl is a mythical creature akin to the Unicorn or a Republican candidate beating BHO. What I will relate to you however is that Jeff Fisher can be one of the key pieces to getting us there. We still need great scouting, good free agent pick-ups, new player development, and a quality training staff to prevent and heal injuries. Let's not even get into the OC, DC, and STC positions!