In a conference call with New England reporters Wednesday, Jeff Fisher displayed an apparent lack of full comprehension of who the Patriots’ primary running backs are these days. Which wouldn’t normally be a major problem, but Fisher’s Rams happen to be playing the Patriots in four days.
“And as they rotate through, different guys play in different situations, and they do a good job with it,” Fisher continued. “He knows where the ball’s going to go, and the guys are very, very disciplined.”
So far, so good, but then things got pretty shaky. “I’ve been impressed with Brandon and what he’s done out of the backfield,” Fisher said.
Brandon? As in Brandon Bolden, who is a Patriots running back but plays mostly on special teams and has just one carry and two receptions this season? But, wait, Fisher wasn’t done.
“You’ve got to deal with him, in addition to Danny,” the coach continued. “You’ve got playmakers all around, so we have to play sound defense.”
Danny? Could Fisher possibly have been referring to Danny Woodhead, who hasn’t played in New England since 2012? Woodhead has spent the past four seasons in San Diego, and oh-by-the-way, suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear in Week 2.
The Patriots have a Danny, but it’s Danny Amendola, who is a wide receiver. Fisher would know that — one would think — because he coached Amendola in 2012 while the latter was with the Rams.
All in all, this hasn’t been the best week for Fisher in terms of running backs. His gaffe Wednesday comes on the heels of a feud with Eric Dickerson, a Rams great who accused the coach of trying to punish him for critical comments about the team.
There certainly is plenty of reason to be critical of the Rams, who, at 4-7, are well on their way to a fifth straight losing season under Fisher’s guidance. Fisher himself is just two losses away from tying Dan Reeves for the most defeats ever by an NFL head coach. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is the week’s biggest underdog, with host New England favored by a whopping 13.5 points.
The size of that spread may have something to do with the fact that Bill Belichick’s teams have outscored Fisher’s squads 104-7 over their past two meetings. Hey, who wants to bet that Belichick knows exactly who the Rams running backs are?