Jeff Fisher appears to be at or near the top of the wish list for just about every NFL team with a head coaching vacancy. Which is to say, he should be able to hand pick his landing spot.
Now Fisher seems to have that list narrowed down to two.
Kroenke chose a far more discreet route than Ross — who picked up Fisher in his helicopter to bring him to the team’s facilities — selecting a meeting spot far removed from the team’s base to avoid a media circus.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Fisher is considering returning to coaching in 2012 and will make his decision — between Miami and St. Louis — next week.
The Rams went into the season as a popular choice to win the usually-mediocre NFC West in Sam Bradford’s second year under center. That plan quickly fell apart when the team tumbled to an 0-6 start. The team finished 2-14, and on Monday fired head coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney.
No doubt Fisher would be an upgrade who would bring considerably more experience to the sideline of a team that has had six different coaches since it won Super Bowl XXXIV after the 1999 season.
Fisher’s career record of 142-120 with the Oilers/Titans franchise speaks for itself and he has four 12-win seasons on his resume and came up just one yard short of beating the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.
And as USA Today’s Tom Weir points out, the Rams sideline might suit Fisher better than a Dolphins headset. From 2000-2010, the Titans went 33-11 against the NFC but only 64-68 in their own conference. That’s a testament to Fisher’s defensive approach and his ability to rely on the running game to cover for less than stellar quarterback play.
It will take a lot to out-bid the Dolphins — Ross has said he’s prepared to outbid any other team for the veteran coach — but the Kroenke and the Rams appear to be locked in on landing Fisher. Thursday’s announcement that Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones will follow Matt Barkley’s route back to college for his senior season could provide another strong incentive. With so many teams eager to move up in the draft to nab Robert Griffin III, the Rams’ No. 2 overall pick is skyrocketing in value.
But the bigger question may be whether Fisher is worth all the trouble. Despite his strong overall track record, he has not won a playoff game since 2004, and the Titans’ most recent playoff memory is 2008 when they lost at home to the Ravens in the divisional round as the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
Does Fisher warrant all the love he’s getting, or is he just the only proven option on the market for teams looking to fill their head coaching vacancies?
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