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Rams Coaching Situation: Don't Hire Jeff Fisher

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After Jeff Fisher week ends in a few days, I'm sure I hope we will finally know which team Fisher chooses, and hopefully, it won't be the Rams. It's tough as a Rams fan to not want Fisher; out of the pool of head coaches, he obviously has the most experience. But the last time I checked, experience isn't everything.

Note from Van: I bumped this up a half hour, because I think it's a good point-counterpoint piece with VT's from earlier this morning.

The first problem I have is that everyone seems to think he is the best coaching candidate out there, but he isn't. Have you wondered why Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher and to a lesser extent Jon Gruden are standing pat and waiting for a perfect opportunity to come their way if they want to coach again? It's because they've actually won something. Fisher hasn't. I don't mean that in a mean way, as Fisher clearly has shown he can lead a team to a division title, and even to a Super Bowl (once. Out of 16 full seasons). But when everyone thinks Fisher is some elite coach - he really isn't. He's above average and that is mostly because of his longevity with the Titans.

To drive that home, let's look at his records and more importantly, his team. He led the Titans to a 142-120 record In his time there. You say: "that's better than Spagnuolo!" and you'd be right. You know who else was better than Spagnuolo? Everyone. So forget about comparing the records between the two.

Hit the jump if you haven't been stuffed with Fisher-esk kool-aid.

What of the Titans (and Oilers) defense and offense? Well, I did you a favor and went all the way back to 1994, his first year with the team, to look at Football Outsiders advanced metrics. Here is what I found:

Year Offense Rank Defense Rank
2010 20 8
2009 15 27
2008 16 5
2007 20 1
2006 24 20
2005 20 30
2004 18 24
2003 4 11
2002 6 18
2001 7 24
2000 16 1
1999 3 20
1998 7 27
1997 12 16
1996 15 18
1995 26 7
1994 28 25
AVERAGE 15.12 16.59

What a surprise...completely average. I'll admit, they had a good run back in the day when they went to the Superbowl. But Fisher's longevity has given us an interesting look into statistics. I'm no math major, but I'll take a stab and say a great coach would deviate towards losing (with bad offensive and defensive units), while a decent coach would deviate towards winning (with great offensive and defensive units). Overall, what group would you put Fisher in?

The fact about is, Fisher hasn't done anything extraordinary. Great coaches deserve extraordinary benefits and praise. Ordinary coaches do not deserve Executive Vice President of Football Operation titles. If the Rams give this title to Fisher, then any "stability" they hope to achieve will be at the mercy of the almighty Fisher. Just because you were forced to draft Vince Young does not give you the option to whine about not having full control.

If you want to give Fisher close to 10 million dollars to basically control the team, then by all means, carry on. But it sure seems stupid for a fan base so angry that the team is poisoned with a losing mentality for that same group of people to accept an average coach - pay him exuberant amounts of money - give him total control over every facet of the team, and settle for stability?

I'm sorry, but I thought the whole point of finding a new coach is to win. I find it a little ridiculous to be clamoring over a coach that hasn't done much winning. He's not a bad coach; he's just not amazing. He's above average at best and has parlayed the weak coaching pool to maximize his profits by yanking around teams that are in the dumps. Nothing more, nothing less.

Final point: If you are O.K. with Jeff Fisher's six winning seasons in seventeen years of coaching, then you should be completely fine with the St. Louis Rams, as they've had four winning seasons in the seventeen years they've been in St. Louis.

If you're OK with those numbers, by all means, clamor over him.