LOS ANGELES CA - FEBRUARY 01: Tim Leiweke President and CEO of AEG during an event announcing naming rights for the new football stadium Farmers Field at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 1 2011 in Los Angeles California. AEG has reportedly sold the naming rights for the proposed stadium to Farmers Insurance Exchange for $650,000 calling the stadium 'Farmers Field.' (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Jeff Fisher is at Rams Park today, getting an inside look at the team ready to make him a big offer to be their next head coach. He even met with quarterback Sam Bradford, and by all accounts, he's leaning toward singing on with the St. Louis Rams. But there's a hang up. Fisher apparently wants more assurances about the team's long-term plans for which American city they'll call home.
According to Jim Thomas at the Post-Dispatch, Fisher has concerns about the team relocating to Los Angeles and the disruption that causes.
Fisher knows a thing or two about a franchise relocating. He started as a head coach in the NFL with the Houston Oilers. Then Bud Adams moved the team when they couldn't get a new stadium to Tennessee. During that span, Fisher and the team struggled, going 8-8 in two seasons after relocating. That relocation found Fisher trying to run his team from a collection of FEMA-like trailers at training camp, not the kind of situation coaches like to deal with in their efforts to field a winner.
Fisher's visit is wrapping up at the moment, and whether or not his concerns about geography were addressed remains to be seen.
Just what kind of assurances Fisher received from Stan Kroenke will also be of interest to Rams fans. It's hard to tell their future plans, but gestures by the Rams bode well for a long term future in St. Louis. The team has gone to great lengths to expand their footprint in the community, doing everything from charity work to buying up tickets to prevent a blackout. They have a February rendezvous with the city's Convention and Visitor's Bureau to talk about plans for an upgrade to the Edward Jones Dome.
Kroenke made his billions in real estate, suburban strip malls anchored by Wal Mart stores. He understands that the real money in NFL ownership is in owning the building, and his best chances for that are in Missouri.