Will Jeff Fisher return to the NFL?

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For years, former Titans and Rams coach Jeff Fisher chugged along as an NFL head coach, without much scrutiny or criticism for the typically average performances of his teams. And then it happened; a 3-1 start in 2016 followed by an extended losing streak and a feud with Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson made Fisher into a punching bag for NFL fans, with Fisher eventually being run out of L.A. during the team’s first year back in their former long-time home.

Suddenly, the guy who won 171 career games and took the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV (where they nearly forced overtime with the Rams) became the leader of the gang that couldn’t coach straight. A football pariah. A laughingstock.

After his final loss with the Rams, Fisher tied Dan Reeves atop the all-time coaching losses list with 165. But at 171-165-1 in the regular season, along with a 5-6 record in the playoffs, Fisher has coached 348 NFL games. So he knows a thing or two about getting a team ready to play, week after week and year after year.

I want to get back on the sideline,” Fisher said in the final episode of the second season of Amazon’s All or Nothing. “Not going to happen this year, obviously. We’ll just see what happens.”

Yes, we will. Especially once NFL owners start firing NFL coaches. Fisher’s name already has bubbled up in connection with college vacancies, most notably when rumors flew that UCLA was interested in hiring him. Fisher presumably remains more interested in returning to the NFL.

His cause won’t be aided by the success of the Rams and quarterback Jared Goff without him, or by the success of former Rams quarterback Case Keenum in Minnesota. But Fisher’s audience isn’t you or me or anyone who doesn’t own an NFL team looking for a head coach. And if/when Fisher gets an interview, Fisher will talk a very good game — selling his strengths, excusing his weaknesses (e.g., “I wanted to roll with Case but they made me trade up for Goff”), and touting a very real connection to the league office that gives whichever team hires him a chance to gain most favored nation status with an embattled Commissioner who is about to get a contract extension through 2024.

Ultimately, Fisher’s fate depends on how many current coaches get fired, and whether at least one of them isn’t willing to roll the dice on a coordinator who has never coached a single NFL game — and who instead would be more comfortable entrusting the team to someone who has coached nearly 350 of them.

73 responses to “Will Jeff Fisher return to the NFL?

  1. If owners fall for the talk instead of looking at the actual product on the field, they deserve to go .500.

  2. Will Jeff Fisher get back on the sideline? Not if any team has any sense. Looking at Jared Goff and the season he’s having is as clear an indictment of Fisher’s lack of coaching acumen as anyone needs.

  3. And then it happened; a 3-1 start in 2016 followed by an extended losing streak and a feud with Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson made Fisher into a punching bag for NFL fans,

    —-

    Lol, Fisher had been a punching bag for NFL fans for years prior to his final season with the Rams. Most fans were baffled the guy wasn’t out of the NFL 5+ years ago.

  4. “excusing his weaknesses (e.g., “I wanted to roll with Case but they made me trade up for Goff”),”

    Except even after he was fired, he still publicly took all the credit for trading up for Goff.

    If he’s making excuses for losing(and we all know he is) it will be the hassle of the Rams relocation, something he’s done publicly as well.

    “Ultimately, Fisher’s fate depends on how many current coaches get fired, and whether at least one of them isn’t willing to roll the dice on a coordinator who has never coached a single NFL game — and who instead would be more comfortable entrusting the team to someone who has coached nearly 350 of them.”

    As Fisher’s tenure with the Rams proved, how many games you’ve coaches doesn’t translate into success. And as Sean McVay’s success proves, a coordinator who never coached a single NFL game can still do better than a coaching dinosaur.

  5. I like to think the billionaires with at least 1,000 million dollars each are smart enough to not pick a coach as mediocre as Jeff Fisher. But I’m sure I’m wrong about that, given the current state of the NFL.

  6. Jeff Fisher is 1 game from setting the record for the most career losses. That is why the Rams fired him when they did. They didn’t care how many games he lost, they didn’t care that he ran the most vanilla, unimaginable offenses, they didn’t care that he couldn’t work with multiple first overall QBs and develop them but apparently they did care when he was about to set the all time worst record and the bottom line about to go deep in the red.

  7. I think that the dramatic improvement in the Rams in general, and Jared Goff specifically, should give pause any owner considering Fisher. But I can totally see Marvin Lewis getting canned (finally) in Cincinnati and Fisher landing there.

  8. I can see him back with the iggles once Pederson is fired for coughing it up in the playoffs in a year that it hasn’t been easier to win a Super Bowl

  9. If an owner is interested in getting an HC who will lead his team to mediocrity with stupefying regularity, Jeff Fisher is his man.

  10. The Giants or the Browns could be good spots for him. Getting Cleveland to mediocre would be a tremendous improvement. If he could bring in a decent OC (looking at you Norv Turner!) He could make the Giants a play off calibre team. I also think he could win in Dallas but they probably won’t get rid of Garrett who’s also a mediocre coach at best.

  11. It should be blatantly obvious by now that rich != smart. At least half of NFL ownership are buffoons. Of course Fisher will work in the league again.

  12. Well, he did go to the Rams, which were in a pitiful state before he got there..plus the Rams owner wasn’t even trying to win because he was planning on abandoning St. Louis.

  13. The uber-success of the Rams in 2017 is evidence that Jeff Fisher should be no where near a NFL team in 2018 …

  14. Always looked up to Jeff as elite – .500 in this league is a gold standard, almost impossible today because too many coaches get fired before they can build that success, but you gotta aim high.
    – Ben McAdoo

  15. If he can make good teams go 8-8, maybe his powers also extend to making bad teams go 8-8? Put him on the Browns in the name of science!

  16. Will Jeff Fisher return to the NFL? Look, you and I may think it’s strange for a former head coach who has made millions of dollars to want to be a popcorn vendor. But this is America, damnit, and if Jeff Fisher wants to sell $7 popcorn to football fans while wearing a bright yellow “STAFF” polo then we should let Jeff Fisher follow his dreams.

  17. The Browns should hire them as his tendency to make his starting QBs look bad and deliver a record of 7-9 would be an incredible improvement over what they’ve had the last few year 😉

  18. Another reason I watch less and less of the NFL (kneeling has nothing to do with it). Over-saturation, idiot owners and a buffoon commissioner; there is the trifecta.

  19. Jeff Fisher is kind of the standard in the NFL. Former player, was head coach of a consistent team for many years. But they had numerous failures on the playoffs and only one SB–another loss.

    Is sent packing after feuding with ownership over his next QB. QB does flame out in NFL, but the damage is done.

    Only a handful of NFL head coaches are successful in their 2nd act. Fisher is not one of them. Yes he took over a bad Rams team. But his main contribution was to make them more “physical” code word for dirty. Hired defensive coordinator that became infamous for recording comments about players testing injured knees and other body parts.

    And the Rams were always meh to average, and thats about it. He got more media around the league for his team getting in trouble for penalties and personal fouls than wins. His main contribution to Case Keenum was not realizing he had a concussion and let him fumble a game away.

    And I would totally agree–that the Rams offense is SO much better with McVay, right after he was fired, is a testament to how bad his staff was in getting Goff ready to play. Or even giving him an offense that was functional.

    So yah, if you want a head coach that runs an overly conservative offense, has his defense play dirty in a time in which those head shots are usually personal fouls, and never has sniffed the same success as his first job. Go for it.

    He will get another job. But its much more due to connections and a track record than any good reason. Even an average or bad track record seems to work with owners.

    Countless coaches around the league deserve a shot more than Fisher.

  20. If there’s one thing we fans have taught the owners this year, it’s that winning isn’t everything. We would rather have our team lose, than employ a certain championship caliber QB. The owners hear us loud and clear. Don’t be surprised to see Jeff Fisher on the sidelines next year. There’s more to life than winning football championships. Fisher is “one of us”.

  21. I’m sorry. Who, exactly, wasn’t paying attention to this fraud before the 2016 season? Rip Van Winkle? Six winning seasons out of 22. Six. And the last winning season happened in 2003. And that SB never happens without the Radio City Miracle. Without that play, he has two playoff wins in 22 seasons.

    So yeah. Keep trying to tell yourself that he was some kind of great coach who was only upended by that crazy 2016 season.

    The guy defines mediocre. And has for a very long time.

  22. If any team hires this incompetent its fans should run screaming into the night, refuse to renew season tix and leave the stadium empty of home fans.

  23. He really is the definition of mediocrity. Not sure why any team would hire him when there are clearly young guns out there that can make a difference..but as we have learned…common sense doesn’t always prevail.

  24. If a team is ready to hire him with his record then shame on them……its not his fault if they want to give him millions to suck…..

  25. If my team fired the current head coach and hired Fisher, I think I’d have to find another team to root for. At least Martyball teams were good during the regular season, whereas Fisher has less creativity in his offensive scheme than an 8 year old.

    Actually, I’d apologize to all 8 year olds, no reason to demean them with an insulting comparison like that.

  26. Fisher did take a team to a SB.

    The Rams were really a bad fit for him. You need to think about that.

    He is a decent HC. And likely will get another gig. Cincinnati might be a good place for him. Owner doesn’t care about press reaction…

  27. The firing of Jeff Fisher was a sad day for Seahawks fans.

    He kept that team down. Look what is happening in LA since his exit.

    It sucks. Haha! Good on them though… although I’m not sure if the people of LA deserve a good team… in fact I’m pretty sure they don’t.

  28. The entire reason this was written was to elicit 100 anti Jeff Fisher responses. Hard hitting, hot issue, sports journalism going on here….

  29. So they talk about how he’s tied for the most losses all time for a coach, then boast his ability to “get teams ready to play”……..so you’re saying just showing up is an accomplishment? Because that’s basically all his teams have done for years. Show up and underachieve in amazingly underwhelming ways. They make it sound like he gets the most out of his teams and prepares them for battle. Just because he coached for a long time (very poorly for the most part) doesn’t make him qualified to continue doing it. That is such an absurd attempt at analysis, but that kind of antiquated thinking is why he stuck around as long as he did in the first place.

    Any team clueless enough to hire this guy doesn’t deserve success. Simple as that.

  30. I’m sure he can get a job in NFL, just not as a head coach. I’m sure there’s a special teams coach opportunity that will open up. I’m sure he has some value to a team. Just not as a head coach.

  31. “Fisher did take a team to a SB.”

    Uhhh not really. He was there but he doesn’t deserve the credit as if he single handedly took them there or devised master plans to overcome a lack of talent or anything. Give me a break. Not to mention, this was 18 YEARS AGO. And that’s the best credential you can think of for why he’d be one of the 32 best football coaches in the world in 2018? So i guess we should get Brain Billick and Barry Switzer and give them another gig while we’re at it, huh? Let’s get rid of the Sean McVays and Doug Pedersons, there’s no room for these guys with all these old “Super Bowl coaches” sitting at home being unfairly shunned lol

    Steve McNair and Eddie George and Javon Kearse had far more to do with their success than anything Jeff Fisher did from the sidelines. If you think he’s anything remotely resembling a good HC then you have no business commenting on anything about this game. If “oh he went to a SB, he’s good” is all you can base your analysis off, then seriously don’t even bother.

  32. Sadly he’ll probal be the next head coach of my team the Cowboys. The boys go from average coach to below average coach. This guy should not get another shot as a head coach.

  33. As a Pats fan, i have had fluidity for years. However, i really do not see any team hiring him, unless its a yes sir/yes maam organization. Living in Chicago where my wife is from, the Bears come to mind because the McCaskeys care about someone who will tell them what they want to hear, and he was on the 85 bears. He might appeal to Uncle Jerry as well. Other than those 2 teams, i cannot see any other team offering him a job.

  34. I would LOVE one of our division opponents to hire him.
    How is it that Goff and the Rams stank last year and are good this year?

    He would do well in Cleveland, helping then get another #1 pick each year he coached.

  35. I’ve been a Rams fan since I was a little boy growing up in LA during the 70’s and 80’s, I remained a fan when the moved to STL, through all of the terrible seasons I still remained a fan. Last year was the first time in my life I was ready to jump ship if he wasn’t fired. I watched him make idiotic decision after idiotic decision. The game has passed him by, he might be a good defensive coordinator but that’s about it. You cannot win in this league without great QB play, my first question to him if I was an owner and he came in for an interview would be “how could you not get Goff ready to play in ’16 when you had him there from day 1?”

  36. Did you know that Fisher had a year long affair with Blandino’s assistant? There was nothing subtle about it. She tagged along to every owners and competition committee meeting to be with him. Complicated web of hormones at the league office. She is one of many women there that “date” coaches and players. Anything for morale…

  37. Fisher will land a job somewhere in the NFL. Maybe not as a head coach, but as a coordinator. After all, he is part of the “Good Old Boys” network that keeps recycling coaches who have been fired multiple times.

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