Job security is not usually a term associated with NFL head coaches. More often that not, the best descriptor of the position is “scapegoat.” That’s because when an organization struggles to find consistent success and the losses begin to pile up, the brass at the top of the food chain need someone to blame for the team’s shortcomings.
Enter the big boss man on the sidelines, a perfectly expendable piece of the puzzle who’s beyond qualified to fall on the sword for the greater good of the team. In the end, it’s just business, and this is the way things go sometimes. Unless, of course, you’re Jeff Fisher.
Even though Fisher’s resume clearly points to a man who’s more likely to lead his team to a sub-.500 record than a winning season, the guy manages to have more lives than the vast majority of alley cats. While most coaches in his position face the exit door, Fisher somehow received an extension, continuing the unlikely trend of backwards thinking that has summarized his 22-year coaching career.
Yet, just when you think the Rams organization, who have never experienced a winning season under Fisher, can’t embarrass themselves any further, the unthinkable happens — they fire their head coach. Clearly, the Rams aren’t familiar with the phrase, “Timing is everything.”
After the Rams announced Fisher’s firing, team owner Stan Kroenke released the following statement:
Making a decision such as this — especially during the season — is one of the most difficult in sports. I have great respect for Jeff as a coach, person, father and friend.
He has worked tirelessly despite some challenging circumstances. He played an integral role in helping this team make history in returning the NFL to Los Angeles, and we always will be grateful for his commitment and dedication to our organization.
However, this is the right time to make a change as our performance has not lived up to my or our fans’ expectations. We all are focused on improving as an organization and building a team that makes Los Angeles proud. Our mission is to celebrate a Super Bowl title with our fans in Los Angeles. Today is the first step to bringing us closer to that goal.
Let’s be clear: This is the absolute worst time to make this change. We don’t say this because Fisher deserves to be the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams any longer; in fact, that’s the last thing we’re saying. But if you can your head coach, it doesn’t make sense to do it eight days after the media leaked that you signed him to a contract extension through 2018. That’s just plain idiotic. Not even we believed the Rams were this dysfunctional. We won’t make that mistake again.
The Rams were smart to fire Fisher. At 4-9, this year’s team is already guaranteed to finish with a losing record. That and the franchise has gone just 31-45-1 in Fisher’s tenure. But the decision to cut him loose now, considering the circumstances, makes the organization look like a chicken running around with its head cut off.
We thought we’d seen the Rams hit rock bottom before, but this is a new low. It’s almost enough to make someone start rooting for the Browns. Well, almost.