ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez had a brief piece heading into the weekend that dovetailed nicely with FOX’s interview with former Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher. The piece touches on the pressure being put on the team in the last three games post-Fisher’s firing but also spins off the pressure being put on the team in LA.
Rams WR Tavon Austin had this to say:
It’s very tough here. Your rope is very short. I can say that. Your rope is very short. But that’s how I like it, though. L.A. needs to be winners. And that’s where it starts. Us knowing the pressure is on, we have to pick up our stuff.
If something don’t happen right, we all will be out of here. That’s the truth about it. That’s what I’ve learned about L.A.
On one hand, his comments feed the growing perception that LA doesn’t tolerate mediocrity, a perception fed into by the Rams immediate failure in 2016 and the subsequent firing of Fisher.
On the other hand, you have to wonder what kind of culture tolerated things “not happening right.”
Where in the NFL shouldn’t it be tough? Where shouldn’t the rope be short? What’s most disconcerting isn’t necessarily the idea that LA has some different set of standards than any other sports market. What’s most disconcerting is the idea that the Rams didn’t feel those kinds of standards applied to them regardless of where they called home. Only 17 players on the Rams have played for another head coach besides Jeff Fisher (and now Interim Head Coach John Fassel). I think it’s fair to worry that his tolerance for mediocre results has seeped throughout the roster to a degree.
If nothing else, Austin’s comments suggest that perhaps players are waking up to the idea that not everyone is going to land a huge contract extension on the back of a couple of 400-yard receiving seasons and that that’s “tough.”
The bigger problem is that it has taken this long.