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Expect a Hail Mary pass from the Dolphins for Fisher

fisher-jeff-101226 Getty Images

Earlier this week, we pointed out that the Jeff Fisher Leverage Game had begun.  We then observed that the Jeff Fisher Leverage Game was working.

Now, the Jeff Fisher Leverage Game is moving toward its climax.

Friday’s announcement that Fisher will pick either the Rams or the Dolphins narrowed his options, but necessarily publicly pitted two franchises against each other.  Last night’s report from Howard Balzer of 101espn.com that Fisher is on the verge of picking the Rams over the Dolphins likely will prompt the Dolphins to accelerate their efforts to make it rain over Fisher in the hopes of getting him to choose South Beach over St. Louis.

In the end, the question becomes how much money Fisher is willing to leave on the table, if he’s inclined to coach the Rams.

Fisher is wise, or at least shrewd, to make it known at this point that he’s leaning toward the Rams.  Dolphins owner Stephen Ross seems to be more desperate than Rams owner Stan Kroenke to hire a guy with a recognizable name, and it already has been reported that Ross won’t be outbid for Fisher.

So if Ross ups the ante, Kroenke may feel compelled to sweeten the deal.  And Ross could then throw some more cash onto the pile.  With each step in this waltz, Fisher wins.

Even though Ross seems to be willing to overpay for the biggest name on this year’s market in lieu of finding the next Sean Payton or Mike McCarthy or Mike Tomlin from the ranks of assistant coaches, there’s a certain point where the money gap should get Fisher’s attention.  Sure, picking Miami would put Fisher in the same division with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.  But the AFC currently has only three teams that can be regarded as elite:  the Patriots, Ravens, and Steelers.  In the NFC, Fisher would have to deal with a crowded two tiers of teams (Packers, 49ers, Saints, Falcons, Giants, Lions, Eagles, Cowboys) that could take turns dominating the conference over the next five years.

Besides, the NFC West no longer consists of a four-pack of Twinkies.  The Niners will be competitive for as long as Jim Harbaugh is the coach.  The Seahawks and Cardinals finished strong in 2011.  As a result, 7-9 went from being good enough for first place to good enough for third place in only one year.

And so, while Balzer’s report is surely based on legitimate information originating with Fisher’s camp, it’s the flip side of Mike Silver’s report from earlier in the week, which pointed to Fisher picking the Fins.  The carefully orchestrated dance will continue, until Fisher has coaxed the maximum offer out of both owners.  Then, and only then, will we know what Fisher definitely will do.

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53 Responses to “Expect a Hail Mary pass from the Dolphins for Fisher”
  1. dggbfan says: Jan 7, 2012 10:45 AM

    Where’s the story here?

  2. clbrett06 says: Jan 7, 2012 10:46 AM

    Best Option: Pick Neither.

  3. chatham10 says: Jan 7, 2012 10:47 AM

    As I posted before, “Follow the Money”. I still do not understand why Fisher is the top guy but if they want to overspend that is their business. I know the Rams have a qb but in college as in the pro’s he gets hurt so if I was Fisher I would hang my hat on the money not the qb.

  4. 700levelvet says: Jan 7, 2012 10:51 AM

    So……There is going to be a bidding war for an NFL coach who has 120 losses on his resume, and no titles…….Brilliant…..

  5. beckzhere says: Jan 7, 2012 10:52 AM

    Show me the money!!!!

  6. jvw1982 says: Jan 7, 2012 10:57 AM

    If you base your decision on how tough you’re conference is then I dont want you as my coach….

  7. tyelee says: Jan 7, 2012 10:59 AM

    Go up against Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan twice a year in an up hill battle every year to get into the playoff OR basically just Jim Harbaugh…… Chances of multiple trip to the playoff is far greater by coaching the Rams!

  8. ud1hens says: Jan 7, 2012 11:02 AM

    Did someone say Hail Mary?

    -Timothy Tebow

  9. mikeeg says: Jan 7, 2012 11:02 AM

    Fisher = wash up

  10. jimmysimpson55 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:03 AM

    I’m sorry, but Marty Shottenheimer would be a better coach than most of these clowns that are getting all the buzz.

  11. dldove77 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:06 AM

    The top two tiers of teams includes the Cowboys? Really? Based on what exactly…their inability to make the playoffs in a mediocre division?

  12. metalhead65 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:07 AM

    why are the cowboys considered an elite team? based on their name? last time I checked they were 8-8 right? that would be the same record as the bears who are only a year removed from the nfc championship game and would have been a team capable of making a deep playoff run where it not for injuries to key members of their offense. not to mention the fact they have a franchise qb and dallas has tony how can I give the game away this week romo. I do not follow them so I don’t know for sure but have they won a playoff game or been to the nfc championship game lately? like say in the last 5 years? so if you consider them an elite team then the bears should be on the list to.

  13. jayho78 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:07 AM

    Classic Fins offseason once again!

  14. wannstache says: Jan 7, 2012 11:08 AM

    This is just good business by Fisher’s agent. He wants to win and he wants the Rams, but he may end up getting more from them by using dopey Ross to up the ante.

  15. notoriousbri says: Jan 7, 2012 11:09 AM

    Has either team interviewed a minority candidate yet? Hello? Rooney rule?

  16. mthoover says: Jan 7, 2012 11:09 AM

    I don’t know why anyone would want to coach the Rams with those HIDEOUS colors and uniforms. They’re one team Nike can really help next year – they haven’t looked good on the field in their entire existence.

    Still, I think it’s a better situation. The 49ers still have Alex Smith. The Seahawks are the Pete Carroll Seahawks and the Cardinals…again…are the Cardinals.

    If you’re looking for glam with Jerry Jones East, go to Miami.

    If you want to make the playoffs every year, go to St. Louis.

    Then again, who wants to live in St. Louis???

    Fisher will go to Miami. He’s just milking Ross for more money.

  17. cdngatorfan says: Jan 7, 2012 11:11 AM

    As a life long dolphins fan, I’m actually hoping Fisher takes the rams job. I really believe that Philbin would be a better fit as he comes from a proven system in Green Bay. This is not a slam against Fisher as I know Fisher will be great for whoever he coaches for. I just think Philbin will bring with him a winning formula and a clear understanding of what it takes to be dynamic in this league.

  18. bobfultz says: Jan 7, 2012 11:12 AM

    The Phins would be better off with Joe Philbin.

  19. buffalowned says: Jan 7, 2012 11:13 AM

    if matt moore’s throwing the hail mary pass i doubt it’s getting to the endzone.

  20. zimaman says: Jan 7, 2012 11:15 AM

    yeah BUT you need a quaterback and Chad Henne sucks

    how many head coaches have we seen go down in flames becuase of poor quarterback play

    i have lost count

  21. dennis0519 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:18 AM

    I hope Fisher does not come to Miami. He is a glorified Tony Sporano. We need someone who understands that the NFL is now a passing league and can develop a QB.

    Fisher is outdated. Go to the Rams pls!

  22. coderacer says: Jan 7, 2012 11:22 AM

    Fisher is overrated. Average coach, nowhere near one that justifies a bidding war between two franchises.

    It’ll be funny if he’s in the same situation Shanahan is in now a couple years from now…how stupid will these teams look then?

  23. xpensivewinos says: Jan 7, 2012 11:23 AM

    This could actually work out well for Miami despite themselves. Fisher is much ado about nothing. 20 games over .500 in a 16 year career with one Super Bowl loss is not the stuff legends are made of, nor is it worth paying zillions for. Just goes to show once again that Ross is enamored with who he perceives to be stars (just like his minority owners).

    However, for me, the greater issue is why would/did Fisher/Harbaugh not choose Miami? Is it Ross? Is it Ireland? Is it both? It’s easy to speculate and make fun of those guys, but the bottom line for me if I’m Fisher is if I’m signing a contract for an extended period of time (with the obvious expectation of improving the franchise and winning), I’m going to the place where I will have say as to who my GM will be. That guy is procuring the talent for me and he and I need to be singing from the same book.

  24. mpg22387 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:24 AM

    Okay, I am legitimately curious and would love to have this explained to me:

    What is the logic behind these under performing teams trading coaching staff amongst themselves? If a head coach sucked with one team (a team he presumably had several chances to “build” and become familiar with), why is there the widespread belief that this person will be a better fit with a different, completely unfamiliar team?

    Let me put it another way, say each of the 32 teams had to pick an apple out of a barrel. If one of the teams draws an apples with a worm in it, why not go to the apple orchard and get a new one?

    Thanks in advance for the thoughts on this.

  25. xpensivewinos says: Jan 7, 2012 11:26 AM

    ……not to mention.

    If Ross has to convince Fisher this hard by stacking more and more cash on the table, shouldn’t the light bulb go off for Ross to realize, maybe he “likes me,” but maybe he doesn’t “likes me, likes me.”

    If he wanted to go to Miami he would have made a definitive decision already.

  26. micronin127 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:28 AM

    I think St. Louis is the preferable job. If they match the money or come close, then Miami was just being used as leverage.

  27. wryly1 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:28 AM

    Fisher won’t go there. Too many cooks in the kitchen with Dolphins – and the head chef (owner Ross) doesn’t know what he’s foing.

  28. str8up12 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:31 AM

    You do realize the 3 assistant coaches that became “great” coaches all were hired by teams with elite QB’s. When Stephen Ross finds an elite QB, he’ll find a great coach.

  29. oldspice1010 says: Jan 7, 2012 11:45 AM

    Nothing against Dolphin fans, I repeat nothing against the fans, but the owner sucks. This is not the kind of environment you want to work in. GB, Pitt, Baltimore and NE have the best owners and this is coming from a Colts fan. Irsay is not bad, but not in the same class as the above four.

  30. xpensivewinos says: Jan 7, 2012 11:46 AM

    The Dolphins interviewed their interim coach Todd Bowles to fulfill the Rooney Rule.

  31. bobhk says: Jan 7, 2012 12:00 PM

    Firstly Fisher is overrated.

    Secondly, is there an owner more desperate than Ross. Last year a hail mary for Harbaugh, this year Fisher. Actually Kroenke has more money than Ross. But, he’s not going to try to outbid Ross (it seems).

    I think this article is right about NFC being more competitive. You don’t want to go up against Pack, Saints, Lions, 49ers, etc every year.

    People keep bring up AFC East. Folks, while Belichick is great, how many people think Brady will perform at a high level for the next *five* years (he’ll be 35 when next season starts). Very few QBs are at that stage in their career. Jets don’t have a QB and Bills are not that good.

    NFC West has three teams on the rise. Figures to be more competitive division and conference.

  32. maddogcraig77 says: Jan 7, 2012 12:09 PM

    i think you guys forget that, while in Tenn, Fisher wasn’t able to get the ingrediants he wanted. he did not want young, the owner did. IF ross is smart enough to keep his nose out of football operations (which seems unlikely) and give Fisher what he wants, I like my chances of seeing my beloved Dolphins returning to glory!

  33. spfripp says: Jan 7, 2012 12:23 PM

    Didn’t we hear this story before after the 2007 season where Miami pulled out a last minute offer to steal Parcells away from Atlanta? Don’t they ever learn?

  34. goldrush36 says: Jan 7, 2012 12:24 PM

    I don’t care what coach on earth went to the lambs or dolphins. Neither one will be in the playoffs every year. The whole nfc west is improving outside the rams. Yep 49ers still have Alex Smith. Yep that game manager still tied an nfl record for fewest int’s and helped the team to an nfl tied record for fewest total turnovers. That game manager helped them achieve a 13-3 record. Sorry but with the hawks and cards showing vast improvement to finish, the rams are looking at being in the bottom two of the division for several years to come

  35. thefiesty1 says: Jan 7, 2012 12:25 PM

    If the Fins could guarantee RG3 that might trip the balance in their favor.

  36. dd393 says: Jan 7, 2012 12:42 PM

    Minnesota make the same mistake with Brad Childress several years ago. And now Stephen Ross wants to make a “splash.” Ross would be better off hiring a strong football based general manager and getting the hell out of his way. Rock star coaches never work out.

  37. anasdonuts says: Jan 7, 2012 12:50 PM

    It’s like groundhog day with Jim Harbaugh. Minus the lear jet. Plus the helicopter. I don’t know how Stephen Ross became a billionaire negotiating real estate deals. His business saavy definitely doesn’t translate to the NFL

  38. 1dolphinsfan says: Jan 7, 2012 12:58 PM

    When will the Dolphins realize that having Ireland at GM, will chase away most Canidates..??? He must Go.. Pretty Please..

    Sincerely,

    Frustrated Fin Fan since ’82..

  39. sasquash20 says: Jan 7, 2012 1:07 PM

    To all you guys who think Fisher is overrated or wasn’t very good your all clueless.

    How many big time free agents did Tenn ever bring in when Fisher was there? Not many. How many big time free agents did he lose? He lost J.Runyan, J.Kearse, A.Haynesworth, D.Mason, and a number of other solid players.

    He was forced time after time to draft players he didn’t want. Vince Young being the number one guy he didn’t want.

    He coached in a division that first saw the Jags lead by M.Brunell, F.Taylor, J.Smith, K.McCardell, and a solid defense dominate. Then he had to battle the P.Manning lead Colts after that. All during a time when the AFC was the better conference overall.

    While I’m not saying he is the best coach in the league. I do feel if he got the chance to coach with a good owner, who spent money, and keep there nose out of football operations he would be very productive as a coach.

  40. motorcitym says: Jan 7, 2012 1:09 PM

    look for Ross to “lose” this bid and strike big by hiring Les Miles after he wraps up another national championship!

  41. 1phd says: Jan 7, 2012 1:20 PM

    Since we can look to Fisher to have about as much success as Shanahan is having, yo Jeff, take the money and run.

  42. amuzed2dth says: Jan 7, 2012 1:32 PM

    I’m a Phin Phan Phor Phisher, we need some spark and postive national coverage.
    He can work on his tan, chase the South Beach Hotties…. and go 8-8, which would be an improvement.

  43. 69finfan says: Jan 7, 2012 2:12 PM

    During JF’s 17 year stint as HC I’m sure he had lots of obstacles, challenges, problems, trivilations etc as do all NFL HC’s. The fact remains that his team won 54% of its games with 6 winning seasons and a super Bowl LOSS, 1 yrd or 1 mile it’s all the same a big L. Our misfit HC’s during the same time won 52% of their games with 9 winning seasons and no Super Bowl losses, we already have enough of those don’t need another. During that time we played many of the same teams the Oilers/Titans did, we had to contend with the Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Ravens and the list goes on. Is Jeff Fisher really worth all of the hype and all of the money. I don’t think so but maybe he is. Time will tell for somebody. I’m all for Todd Bowles or some other assistant being given a chance at HC for a fraction of the cost to free up money for players. Go Fins

  44. phillyphinsfan says: Jan 7, 2012 2:19 PM

    Belichick was stripped of his title of being a great coach when he was caught cheating. And like the wussy that he is, he couldn’t even be a man and apologize for his mistake. It’s like saying your spouse is a great wife/ husband when they were already caught cheating on you.

  45. wannstache says: Jan 7, 2012 2:33 PM

    Why are some of you people suddenly so excited about Philbin? Do you remember Cam Cameron? Do you realize Mike McCarthy really runs the offense in GB? I would love to have Fisher, but unless Ross has offered more power over operations, he’s not coming. Then it will be Ireland picking some unproven unknown that he can control and rule over. That’s why he doesn’t have Marty Shottenheimer or Brian Billick on HIS list.

  46. llsinning says: Jan 7, 2012 2:43 PM

    @metalhead65 I think he included dallas because they have the ability to go 13-3 or 6-10 year in and year out. They won a play off game in 09. I agree the bears need to be on the list as well. The eagles are also on the list and haven’t made a run in quite some time. I think from a talent prospective all teams listed have a shot, he just forgot the bears.

  47. bigdog214 says: Jan 7, 2012 2:45 PM

    Hopefully part of the “Hail Mary” includes firing Tim “Was you mom ever a prostitute?” Ireland.

    If not, make an offer to Philbin and get this over with.

  48. paulsmith107 says: Jan 7, 2012 2:51 PM

    This guy is just as over rated as bill cowher

  49. kobra71 says: Jan 7, 2012 3:12 PM

    I agree with one of the above posters: If Ross wants a top rank coach like Fisher to come down here he needs to get rid of Ireland! Hell I say just get rid of him anyway! He is bringing this once great football team down. IRELAND MUST GO!!!!!!!

  50. cantonbound13 says: Jan 7, 2012 3:12 PM

    Miami would easily get him if you eliminate Irelan & Peterson.

  51. doob187 says: Jan 7, 2012 3:19 PM

    Miami throwing a hail mary eh? Well if I know my Dolphins like I think I do, they are gonna throw a pick 6.

  52. justentertainingthestupid says: Jan 7, 2012 3:34 PM

    The 2011 season has been one of the most explosive in the air and on the ground in team history. The Dolphins produced 38 plays of 25-plus yards this season, which is the highest total of the past two decades since 1993, when a Jay Fielder offense produced 40 plays of 25-plus yards. The Packers, Saints, Lions, Patriots and Chargers are the only teams that produced more 25-plus yard plays.RB Reggie Bush (1,086 rushing yards) and Brandon Marshall (1,214 receiving yards) became the first duo in team history to go over 1,000 yards in rushing and receiving respectively. Considering the duo is under contract going into 2012 there’s a strong possibility they could repeat the feat, becoming the first pair of skill players to do it in back-to-back seasons.Dolphins center Mike Pouncey became the sixth rookie offensive lineman in team history to start every game in a season. Pouncey was the first to achieve the feat since Jake Long did it in 2008. Outside of Pouncey and Long, the offensive linemen who started every game of their rookie season with the Dolphins were center Samson Satele, and tackles Wade Smith, Todd Wade and Richmond Webb.Only three teams in the NFL were penalized less than the Dolphins, which were flagged 85 times. Green Bay, Indianapolis and Jacksonville received fewer penalties in 2011.

    So what is everyone’s problem with Jeff Ireland? Looks to me like there are A LOT of good pieces here in Miami. I think a balance of patience and perspective would do all of you Dolphins fans some good. Good things are on the horizon.

  53. thom4msu says: Jan 7, 2012 4:19 PM

    I don’t think Fisher is worth a crap as a head coach, but would love to be in his position.

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