Lets be clear, Jeff Fisher has always known talent. He has had his hand in on the construction of some talented rosters. The current Rams roster - in my opinion - might be the best roster (talent) he has had yet. But I also like to think that has just as much to do with Les Snead as it does Fisher.
Snead came from an Atlanta Falcons organization - who under Thomas Dimitroff - has put an emphasis on play makers. But they also have gained the reputation of being less than physical. Fisher on the other hand has had talent in the past, but his teams have been arguably more physical than anything.
Put those two ideas together and you will have a very talented, explosive, and physical team. Hence you have the current St. Louis Rams roster. So why are the Rams losing?
The answer is simple - and Rams fans should know this - as this should feel like familiar territory. Does the name Mike Martz ring a bell? If it doesn't, allow me to remind you...
Mike Martz was the head coach of the Rams for six seasons. During that span, he had arguably the most talented team in the NFL for 5 seasons (four depending on who you ask). Many thought he should have won at least two championships. His biggest obstacle was never the strength of schedule or players not executing. His issue was always his own foolishness.
And here we have Jeff Fisher. Stubborn as a mule and foolish as a mothflying to a flame. Fisher has a career head coaching record of 157-140-1. That's only a win percentage of 52. After nearly 300 games coached 52% is what he has to show.
For comparison sake, Bill Belichick has coached 309 games, and won 65%.
Fisher has long been a coach who gets stuck in his ways. He struggles to adapt. That refusal to make adjustments is the exact reason that he has struggled to build a consistent record. A prime example of a coach adapting and finding success would would Pete Carroll.
If you know anything about Carroll, you know know he didn't have greatest luck as a head coach his first 'go round' in the NFL. He had that same old school stubborn approach. Then he ended up back in the college ranks. He began to switch it up and before you knew it he coached more BCS games than scrimmages. Once he got back in the NFL he continued the new approach of adapting and doing what was best for the team (ie..starting Russell Wilson even after paying Matt Flynn $15 million).
Two things Belichick does as good as anyone is make week to week and in game adjustments. The game plan is never the same as the week before. I'll give you one guess as to what two things Fisher doesn't do so well....
Fisher is also loyal to a fault. But his biggest mistake is his love for like minded individuals. Brian Schottenheimer, stubborn and foolish. Gregg Williams, stubborn and foolish. Only Brian Schottenheimer runs a 5 wide set on the five yard line, with a route concept designed to take more time than ideal to work. Remind you, this has happened multiple times. But the most obvious times have been against the Seahawks in 2013, and in 2014 against the Eagles (long route concept, no backs to block, all out blitz, blind side sack, fumble, no score). Some lessons are never learned.
The moral of the story here is the Rams' 1-3 record has less to do with the players, and more to do with coaching.
Its no coincidence that Fisher coached teams have a long track record of being highly penalized, while those coached by Belichick barely even sneeze pre-snap. Discipline starts with the coach.
The Rams have the talent to beat any team they play. And I don't mean any regular 10 point victory, but a complete ass kicking. Only a special team can mount a comeback attempt like the one we saw against the Eagles. But predictability, lack of imagination, no discipline, and the stubbornness to make changes will always prevail against talent.
Yes, Rams fans have read this book before, and you know how it ends. There will be some good seasons, there will be double digit win totals, and there will be playoff appearances, but will it happen enough to feed the appetite for success? Will it be enough to call this club a winning franchise? Or will it be just a tease of how good this team can be?
Rams fans should continue to expect mediocrity, as Fisher is the epitome of just that....