Are our expectations of the Rams running unrealistically high? I don't think so. I have been a long time Fisher fan and watched the Titans for over decade. A few important things to note about his Titans tenure.
1) His overall record with the Titans was 142 to 120. While this is none to shabby, it masks a few issues. Most importantly, the lack of a quarterback after Steve McNair. During the McNair years - 1997-2005 - Fisher was 81 and 63. Even more impressive, During McNair's healthy years - he missed significant time in 03 and 04 because of injury - the Titans were 72 and 40. After McNair, the Titan's featured Billy Volek, Kerry Collins and Vince Young. The Titans were still a formidable team, but when Fisher has a quality quarterback, his teams are consistently first rate. When he said one reason he wanted to come to St. Louis was for a quality Quarterback, what he meant was - "I can win a lot of games with Sam Bradford." Now, will Sam prove to be as good as McNair? We'll have to wait and see, but Fisher is staking his legacy on Sam.
2) Fisher stays focused on the division. If anyone doubts this, look at last years record. The shortest route to the playoffs is through the division - just ask the 7-9 Seahawks - and once you are in the playoffs anything can happen - just look at Giants and the Ravens. So whatever else happens, St Louis will be a force in the division.
3) Perhaps most importantly, and this became clear during the Vince Young years, the players work for him. Football may be the ultimate team sport, and Fisher brings the whole team to every game. I think the counterexample here would be the recent Cowboys. Is there a team there? If so, they do a good job of hiding it. Think of how he covered for Scott Wells when he was in Africa adopting children. That kind of action resonates with every player on the team.
Obviously, I think Fisher brings a lot to the team. But the reverse is true, there is a team here, and a great tradition, supportive ownership and what appears to be a first rate front office.
In short, I think the Rams are going to be perennial playoff contenders as long as Sam is playing well.