- According to Adam Schefter, the Rams do not have a contract in place with Fisher. “As of this afternoon, two sides had not discussed figures,” Shefter tweeted.
- Jim Thomas (St. Louis Post Dispatch) reports that Rams brass were flying to San Francisco to interview Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer when Fisher made his decision. Miami officials were responsible for leaking the news to the national media. According to Thomas, the Rams didn’t realize the news out until they got off their plane.
Quotes (via Post Dispatch):
“I’m really excited that the Rams are the best fit for me,” Fisher said. “I hope I’m the best fit for the Rams, and am looking forward to finalizing the (contract) details and coming to work.”
“The process has been lengthy, but for good reasons,” Fisher told the Post-Dispatch on Friday afternoon. “I took a lot of time looking at and exploring in detail the non-economic issues of both clubs.”
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, Jeff Fisher has agreed to become the head coach of the Saint Louis Rams.
This news comes after recent speculation that Fisher was actually leaning towards taking the head coaching position in Miami, due to the structure of their organization and franchise stability. It is also believed that the Dolphins were offering Fisher a much more lucrative contract that the Rams were.
The Rams lease on the Edward Jones Dome will expire in the near future and there is speculation that owner Stan Kroenke may move the team back to Los Angeles. Fisher was head coach of the Houston Oilers when they moved to Tennesse following the 1995-1996 season and was concerned about having to go through the relocation process again.
Fisher interviewed with Kroenke on January 5 and toured Rams Park just a few days later. He had already met with Miami owner Stephen Ross and toured the Dolphins facilities when he interviewed with the Rams. According to the Post Dispatch, Fisher intended to make his decision by Thursday or Friday and actually told Kroenke on Thursday that he wanted to be the next coach of the Rams.
Fisher, who spent 16+ seasons as head coach of the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers, ranks third among active coaches in career wins with 147. While his overall regular season record is 147-126, he is just 5-6 in the playoffs, with two AFC Championship game appearances and one Super Bowl Appearance.
Fisher, who won a national championship as a cornerback with the USC Trojans in 1978, was drafted in the 7th round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He played in 49 games over five seasons with Chicago, serving mostly as a defensive back and return specialist.
He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Bears in 1985 as an assistant to defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. Fisher took the role as one of Ryan’s assistants after he suffered what would ultimately be a career-ending ankle injury.
After Super Bowl XX in 1985, Ryan became head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and brought Fisher along as his defensive backs coach.
In 1988, at the age of 30, Fisher was promoted to defensive coordinator, becoming one of the youngest in the league. His Eagles defense led the league in interceptions (30) and sacks (62) in 1989. A year later Philadelphia led the NFL in rushing defense and finished second in sacks.
Fisher bounced around following the 1990 season. After spending a season as defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, he went to San Francisco for two seasons to serve as the defensive backs coach under 49ers coach Bill Walsh.
In February 1994, Fisher agreed to become defensive coordinator for the Houston Oilers under Jack Pardee, replacing Ryan, who had left to coach the Arizona Cardinals.
On November 14, 1994, Pardee was fired after the team stumbled to a 1-9 start to the season and Fisher was promoted to replace him for the final six games of the year.
Fisher was retained as head coach and led the team to a 7-9 finish in his first full season as head coach. Following an 8-8 finish behind running back Eddie George and quarterback Steve McNair in 1996, Oilers owner Bud Adams was unable to get a new stadium deal in Houston and decided to move the team to Tennessee for the 1997 season.
The team moved from Memphis to Nashville and were officially renamed the Tennesse Titans prior to the 1999 season.
The 1999-2000 season was a special one for Fisher and the Titans. The team roared to a 13-3 finish to the regular season and reached Super Bowl XXXIV, where they ultimately lost to the Saint Louis Rams.
Fisher led the Titans to five more playoff appearances, but only reached the AFC Championship game once, in 2002 when the Titans were defeated by the Oakland Raiders.
The 53-year-old head coach was fired following a 6-10 finish in 2010 after sixteen seasons as head coach of the Oilers/Titans.
I will update this post as more details on Fisher’s deal become available.