It has escaped the notice of no one that after firing Jeff Fisher, a coach regularly lampooned for his 7-9 finishes, the Los Angeles Rams are 11-4 and headed for the playoffs.
It certainly did not escape the notice of Fisher, who last week claimed that he “left them in pretty good shape,” a rather eye-opening comment.
“I’m a huge fan of the Ram players,” Fisher told Nashville’s The Midday 180 radio show. “They’re basically — I don’t want to say my players, but I had a lot to do with that roster. Left them in pretty good shape. And Sean, as he’s proven in this very short period of time, is an outstanding young coach. And he’s got the offense rolling, which they needed.”
That would be Coach Sean McVay, the NFL’s youngest coach at 31. His players took note of Fisher’s words and, after the Rams clinched the NFC West title with a 27-23 victory at Tennessee, they spoke of their success — diplomatically — after last season’s 4-12 finish.
“I would like to say I can speak for the guys who have been here, and everything we went through,” linebacker Robert Quinn said (via the Orange County Register). “With McVay and [defensive coordinator] Wade [Phillips] leading this team, I don’t know what they did, but they just brought the best out of everybody, brought some new guys in, and everybody rose up to the challenge.”
Fisher coached the Rams to a 31-45-1 record from 2012 until after the Week 14 game in 2016, and his offense never finished higher than 21st in scoring. Granted, Fisher was on the premises in St. Louis and L.A. when the team was built around Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald, among others, but so was Les Snead, the general manager. This season, with largely the same personnel under McVay, the Rams have the NFL’s highest-scoring offense at 31 points per game. Rams players didn’t mention Fisher by name, but their praise of McVay seemed interestingly timed.
“It’s just everything he’s done since he got here,” Goff said. “From day one, it’s been so impressive. He hasn’t changed a bit. Same demeanor every day, and goes about his business the same way, and I think it rubs off on the players and rubs off on me, for sure.”
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