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The Early Lead
Posted at 02:14 PM ET, 01/13/2012

Report: Jeff Fisher accepts Rams coaching job, turns down Dolphins

Jeff Fisher is apparently no longer holding the NFL head coaching search hostage.


Jeff Fisher is headed to St. Louis. (Paul Sancya - AP)
The longtime Tennessee Titans coach reportedly has accepted the head coaching job for the St. Louis Rams, ending weeks of speculation, as first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.

Fisher, 53, posted a 147-126 overall record with the Titans, leading the team to a memorable Super Bowl XXXIV loss to the Rams. For the last week, Fisher had been weighing his options, which he whittled down to the Rams and Miami Dolphins.

Fisher was the biggest name on the market, giving him his choice of desinations with big contracts and a good deal of power coming with each offer. But his waiting game certainly did the Dolphins no favors as team owner Stephen Ross must now recalibrate his search.

The Rams make sense for several reasons. Despite a dismal sophomore season, they already have a franchise-calibur quarterback in Sam Bradford. They also hold the No. 2 pick in April’s draft — a valuable bargaining chip they could deal for multiple high picks to a team desperate to move up to nab Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The long gap between his interviews and ultimate decision led to speculation that Rams owner Stan Kroenke may have been unwilling to match the Dolphins’ reported $8 million per year deal. After his unceremonious departure from Tennessee — Fisher had been the NFL’s longest-tenured coach — the coach was rumored to be asking for an executive vice president title with his new team to have more control over team operations.

The Times-Picayune’s Mike Triplett wrote last weeked that New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams could join Fisher’s staff when his contract ends at the end of the season. Williams coached alongside Fisher with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1994-2000 and the two remain very close.

The Rams went 2-14 in 2011, dealing with numerous injuries to key players but failing to live up to their preseason hype as a potential division winner. But veteran running back Steven Jackson and company seem plenty excited about their prospects next season with Fisher at the helm.

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By  |  02:14 PM ET, 01/13/2012

 
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