After hearing earlier in the week that the city of Los Angeles was about to get a second NFL team (the Chargers plan on moving north) the city had to have a little karmic justice thrown its way in the form of a contract extension for the head coach of their Rams franchise. Yes, Jeff Fisher received a two year contract extension that will have him employed in the city of Los Angeles as something other than a dude in an Elmo costume that people take pictures with through 2018 at least. Meanwhile, the only good football franchise in California will most likely be taking their talents to Sin City in the very near future.
While Jeff Fisher has done nothing to earn this contract extension, in my humble opinion, over his tenure as the head coach for the Saint Louis, then the Los Angeles Rams, here’s one thing that could be in Fisher’s favor:
The Rams just spent a lot to move up to choose Jared Goff as their quarterback in last year’s draft. Sure, we can all now see they should have probably looked elsewhere for that all-important position, but the fact of the matter is, Goff is a Ram. If you get rid of the coaching staff that brought Goff in, you are basically saying that this was a wasted year, both in terms of the draft and development. Even the Browns, the lowly, horrible Browns know better than to wipe a whole year from the slate. Goff is not the second coming of Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning. He is not one of those Teflon players that can thrive in a vacuum with everything else happening around him. Those two quarterbacks could have survived a coaching change (and did) while Goff, who is still the future of the franchise despite his mediocre start, is not equipped right out of the gate to do so. I can see giving Fisher a year or two more to see if the quarterback he chose does something to resuscitate the franchise. The problem is that he has been unable to do anything with any of the other players he has brought in under his tenure, so saying “okay Jeff, one more time…” feels a little Stockholm Syndrome-ish.
That being said, Fisher has had an awful long rope with which to hang himself with the Rams. So much so, in fact, that his feet are apparently touching the ground! Fisher is a mediocre coach that got lucky with the Titans Superbowl run, and has been riding that high for his entire career. What should have happened, was a complete overhaul when the Rams moved to LA. New coach, GM, and then if they wanted to move up to choose a franchise-saving quarterback, so be it. Instead, the Rams are acting like they are handcuffed to Fisher for a few years, as if he is using the rookie quarterback as a bargaining chip. No wonder Goff is playing so poorly. If he has not only his job to worry about, but everyone’s above him as well, that can’t sit well.
Let’s not get into the whole Eric Dickerson thing. I can see both sides to that coin. As a franchise, you always want your legends to feel welcome. If Jerry Jones has done nothing more for the Cowboys, he’s made sure all those legends from years past have a home whenever they want. I can also see Fisher’s side. He is coaching a fairly young, 4-7 team right now. His team still needs to learn and focus, or they will not improve next year, and then Fisher really will be looking for work. Distractions for the team are no good, but neither is taking their marching orders from a coach with a resume that would make Chip Kelly cringe.