No surprise: It’s Fisher or Young in Tennessee

It’s judgment time in Tennessee.

By all indications, owner Bud Adams has decided he wants to keep Vince Young.  And coach Jeff Fisher won’t be back if Young returns to the roster.  NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora has been reporting variations of this story for weeks.

Fisher has a clause in his contract that allows him to choose his quarterback.   Adams has reportedly been advised by senior team officials to let go of Young, but no one expects him to follow that suggestion.

So Adams may not just choose Young over his head coach, but choose to ignore the advice of his upper management.

“Unless Adams changes his mind, it’s over,” La Canfora writes.

If Fisher leaves, the Titans head coaching job will look a lot less attractive because of the Young mess.

52 responses to “No surprise: It’s Fisher or Young in Tennessee

  1. Regardless of whether or not you can put the team on Young’s shoulders (which I don’t think they can) – or if Jeff Fisher is or isn’t over-rated (I personally think he is), this is just bad business.

    To send the message that the QB takes priority over the coach is setting Fisher’s replacement up to fail before Fisher himself is even gone.

    With all due respect to the old-school AFL guys, it may be time for Bud to throw in the towel.

  2. So nobody really believes Vince can win big games in the NFL, and Fisher has 6 winning seasons in 16 years…

    Then it’s basically a question of unproven versus proven mediocrity (worse, really).

    I say keep the QB with the great winning record who hasn’t proven he’s as inept like Fisher has.

  3. What serious HC candidate is going to want to deal with that BS? Basically the supposed “leader” of the team can go right over the HC’s head with any issues. There’s no accountability. What a poisonous situation. It’ll attract only the most desperate HC candidates, those without any other real options. They’re toast for the foreseeable future.

  4. Jeff Fisher is clearly no “elite” Head Coach, but neither is Vince Young an “elite” quarterback. Both, however, are Mensa members compared to Bud Adams.

    He’s ignoring his advisors who are telling him to pick Fisher over Young, he’ll owe Fisher gobs of money if he voids Fisher’s right of quarterback choice, and puts his eggs in the basket of an immature, unstable quarterback of truly questionable skills. Hell, Mike Vick looks like a no-brainer compared to this guy.

    Bud, I don’t know what you see in VY that no one else sees, but put down the crack pipe, ship Young out of town, and get yourself both a new HC and a new QB this off-season and start over again.

  5. this guy is absolutely senile. What a complete mess he has made of this; no turning back now. What a joke

  6. Clearly Adams is wrong to pick Young over Fisher. Clearly if Fisher leaves, the team ain’t going to be good next year. Clearly the next coach is going to be someone who has no gravitas, because no big-time coach is going to walk into a situation where the player most important to the team’s success already knows he’s more important to the owner than the coach.
    Bad business, Mr. Adams. this ain’t the NBA……..

  7. When the players mess up they get cut.
    When the coaches mess up they get fired.
    When the GMs mess up they get fired.
    But when the Owners mess up…..

    Its an Owners league. In the end they are responsible for everything.

  8. @awestcave:
    “if Jeff Fisher is or isn’t over-rated (I personally think he is)”

    i’m gonna second that. 6 winning seasons and only 4 division titles in 17 years? that aint even mediocre, its pitiful. the only reason he’s 22 games over 500 are his 3 13 win seasons and his one 12 game season.

  9. Fire Fisher, he has a slightly above/average win loss record. A Superbowl appearance, not a win. What advantage is he giving your team? The next coach can come in, give his full support to VY, and barring injury can say I used your guy, we won/didn’t win….how’s that?

  10. Another senile owner destroying his franchise. Adams, Al Davis, Ralph Wilson. None of them understand or are capable of managing a successful modern NFL franchise, and no matter what good for the league Davis and Wilson did when they were younger, they are absolutely horrible for it now.

  11. this scenario is turning into as big a mess as the vikings handing over the reins of the team to favre. we all know how that turned out. why don’t owners learn from other owners mistakes? football is still a team game and the qb should not make the decisions that the head coach is responsible for.

  12. #
    rpiotr01 says: Jan 4, 2011 10:37 AM

    What serious HC candidate is going to want to deal with that BS? Basically the supposed “leader” of the team can go right over the HC’s head with any issues. There’s no accountability. What a poisonous situation. It’ll attract only the most desperate HC candidates, those without any other real options. They’re toast for the foreseeable future.

    Completely agree with this post! That means that the next HC of the Titans will be Fassel, or Billick??? Maybe Rob Ryan?

  13. Adams is clearly in a predicament…if Fisher leaves and takes his next team deep into the playoffs, that will drive Adams crazy. However, if Young leaves and takes his next team deep into the playoffs, Adams will have a heart attack.

    Personally, I think Fisher is waaay over-rated; not just as a coach, but as a player mentor. I see similarities between how he treated McNair and how he treated Young. I recall how Fisher constantly puts Chris Chandler in as QB over McNair, back and forth they went…it drove me nuts! Obviously, McNair was more professional in the way he handle Fisher, but I’ll leave that for another discussion.

    As far as players dictating to owners to make a coaching change? I seem to recall a John Elway causing some commotion in Denver that led to the exit of Wade Phillips and the era of Mike Shannahan. That turned out pretty well…(2 SB victories, for those keeping track)

  14. So let me get this straight, rather than admit he made a mistake drafting VY, Bud Adams is going to make the even bigger mistake of sticking with him in opposition to not only his head coach, who by the way Bud Adams has never really given much to work with in the way of a quality roster, but all of his advisors? That’s essentially saying he wants to blow right past “questionable” decision maker straight into the “Al Davis” realm.

  15. Brad Childress has experience both with sitting below the head-case QB on the organizational chart and working with Randy Moss. Just sayin’…

  16. Wonder if Wade Phillips holds off on the Texans defensive coordinator job until the dust settles here.

    The Titans will be looking for a pushover coach with no back bone who wouldn’t say sh** if his mouth was full of it.

    Is ol’ Wade qualified for this job or what? Norv Turner is already employed under the same circumstances, so Phillips gets this one by default.

  17. I’ve said it before, but if Adams gives up a terrific coach for a sub-par qb, it will go down as one of the dumbest ownership moves in recent history. Not to mention, what big name coach will want to go to a team where they know they will have to work with an immature, overrated, and emotionally unstable quarterback.

  18. Ever dawn on anyone that this might all be part of a negotiating tactic? Adams is dragging his feet because Fisher’s leverage drops by the day – he can try to force his ideal situation, which is having both Fisher and Young back.
    Fisher’s leverage is to make this a Fisher vs. Young deal because it makes the idea of firing him completely irrational (even if there is a lot of other evidence that he could be fired). If Fisher really wanted to leave, he could already have forced Adams’ hand – jobs are filling by the minute. At the end of the day, Fisher knows he has a great deal in Tennessee with the respect and power he has – I bet he stays even with Vince and just brings in his own QB. He can use “Young being forced on him” to leverage an extension beyond next year.

  19. Also, anyone actually have any prrof that Adams would fire Fisher just to keep Young? Adams has threatened to fire Fisher many times before after poor performances and has a history of firing coaches. Why does everyone just blindly buy this Fisher vs. Young angle….

  20. sounds like the raiders – al davis – jamarcus – HC of the last few years too … Cable managed to break the mold but it took awhile and the team took a serious mental beating over it.

  21. And finally, pretty sloppy reporting Rosenthal. The direct quote from the article you cited states : Fisher “has the right within his contract to play whomever he wants,”
    That is not the same as Fisher choosing which QB’s are on the roster. So Adams can keep Young and Fisher can play whomever he wants – but it doesn’t let Fisher out of his contract.
    Why don’t you national media guys have any accountability for your reports – that type of sloppy citation would be unacceptable in any other field…you misrepresented someone else’s work…

  22. So how is it working out for other owners who meddle like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder? They may have been very successful building some other business but it doesn’t mean they make rational football decisions. They have all the FU money they need, and that may be what Bud is saying to the Titan fans.

  23. How does Adams have a history of fireing coaches when Fisher has been there 16 years.Fisher hires his own asst. coaches.

  24. I like Jeff Fisher.
    I don’t like Vince Young.
    But that’s moot – what’s best for the team?

    I like Fisher, I don’t like Young ……………..

  25. It’s about the team. VY has divided the locker room and displayed a lack of leadership and maturity. I’ve seen nothing to suggest the players won’t play for Fisher.

  26. rick1922 –
    Fisher is by far and away the longest tenured coach under Adams. Prior to Fisher, Adams was famous in Houston for firing coaches at the drop of a hat. He fired Bum Phillips after three straight playoff seasons. He also fired Jack Pardee after he said the Oilers had to go to the Super Bowl, or he would dismantle the team. They lost in divisional playoffs to the Chiefs and Joe Montana, and he followed by trading away Warren Moon, dismantling the team, and then firing Pardee. So Fisher is the exception, not the rule.

  27. @txttn, Fisher has a clause in his contract, per the post (if you chose to read it), that states he has the power to choose the QB. If Adams wants to force VY to be the QB it will equal a breach of contract for which Adams will have to both honor the remainder of the contract and release Fisher from the contract. Adams has no power in this case, thus no leverage. It’s “take your pick” either honor Fisher’s contract, in which case VY will be sitting the bench, traded or released, or breach the contract and pay Fisher who will then have any number of jobs tossed into his lap. Win = Fisher.

  28. Stiller43 says:
    Jan 4, 2011 10:36 AM
    So nobody really believes Vince can win big games in the NFL, and Fisher has 6 winning seasons in 16 years…

    Then it’s basically a question of unproven versus proven mediocrity (worse, really).

    I say keep the QB with the great winning record who hasn’t proven he’s as inept like Fisher has.
    If you’re judging Fisher by his overall record or winning seasons then you’re pretty short sighted. He’s managed the Oilers/Titans through their transition from Houston to Memphis to Nashville when they were basically NFL gypsies for 2 years. After their playoff run and SB year from 1999-2003 they went through salary cap hell after McNair and Eddie George aged. Fisher got them back to the playoffs again in o7′ and 08′. I’m not a Titans fan but Fisher has consistently been one of the better HC’s in the NFL. The Titans will regret picking VY over Fisher.

  29. @HarrisonHits2

    Most Buffalo fans don’t have a problem with Ralph Wilson. People say that he doesn’t spend money to get the big-name talent, but the truth is that the big-name talent won’t come to Buffalo. Ralph Wilson tried to get Shanahan and Bill Cowher, but neither of them wanted to come to Buffalo (this happens with some players too). Most Buffalo fans realize this….so I don’t see why you think Ralph is a bad owner. Just because he is old?

  30. txttn,

    Remember last year when Bud Adams forced Fisher to play VY? And VY went on a crazy win streak?

    That was the breach of contract that would allow Fish to walk.

  31. rpiotr01 says:
    Jan 4, 2011 10:37 AM
    What serious HC candidate is going to want to deal with that BS? Basically the supposed “leader” of the team can go right over the HC’s head with any issues. There’s no accountability. What a poisonous situation. It’ll attract only the most desperate HC candidates, those without any other real options.

    Hello, Jim Zorn! 😀

  32. diamondduq – I read and responded specifically to the article. The clause, as from the source, says that Fisher has a right to choose who PLAYS. As I said in my previous post, this is NOT the same thing as choosing who is on the roster. Bud can keep Vince on the ROSTER and Fisher has a right to choose who PLAYS. This was very clear in the article and my previous post – if you chose to read them. This article states that Fisher wants Young off the team – clearly because of the locker room problems it would cause – and implies that Bud has to choose to release Vince or fire Fisher.

    VonClausewitz – That specific incident last year was actually discussed on PFT before. Fisher would have had to file for breach of contract at that time. He cannot go back now, more than a year later after collecting pay during that whole time, and claim breach. If Adams forces Fisher to PLAY Vince again, then maybe Fisher has a case.

  33. Why in the hell is there only 3-4 coaches in the world who can regularly take an NFL team to the playoffs? Is this freaking brain surgery?

  34. All of these anti VY comments are hilarious! They don’t have a clue. VY didn’t divide that team. The coach did. All VY has done since becoming a Titan, is exactly what he did at Texas. Win Baby Win! It’s real simple. Totally uncomplicated. Has no racial component to it. Totally understandable. This is and always has been a Mano au Mano tussle between a coach and player who hate each others guts. Fisher has been the weak one in this. He constantly humiliated a bona fide all star player (twice) publicly. And always played the wussy leak to friends in the press smear campaign. VY never “dissed” his coach until he simply couldn’t stomach him anymore (after 4 years of backstabbing abuse). Instead of building VY’s confidence, Fisher consistently stripped it away. VY was not without blame. He reacted immaturely (like most young people do). But his culpability pales in comparison to the Head C oach acting like a wrecking machine!

    Bill Cowher stated a simialr POV a few Sunday’s ago. And Cowher also opined that any coach would love to coach a potential SUperBowl tean like Tennessee that starts with VY, Ken Britt, CJ and a talented defense. Who knows. Maybe Cowher was publicly campaigning for Fisher’s job. But I bet that team is not as divided over this as many you VY haters think. VY and all of the Titan players would welcome a strong Cowher type back right along with VY. But K Collins need to be shown the door right along with Fisher. He too is part of this backstabbing mess.

    Basically it is this. VY never has been Fishers Huckleberry. And VY is definitely going to play second fiddle to a historical inept QB like Collins and be treated like Fishers B!!!tch. VY is way too prideful and competitve for nonsense like this. And 20 other NFL teams would take VY hands down right now over what they have at QB. So everyone stop fooling yourselves. Fisher is toast in Tennessee. And deservedly so.

  35. Where’s Jemele Hill when a black man gets picked over a white man?

    That’s right, she only says something when it’s the other way around.

  36. That’s really too bad for the Titans if Adams is that dead set to keep Young and they lose one of the better coaches in the league for that reason. It’s not like Adams is Jerry Jones….well, perhaps he is more like Jones if he’d stoop to something like this…
    Really puts a stigma on the team and even the players should be wary of an owner like this…

  37. I guess I’m missing something about Jeff Fisher. Anyone who disagrees with him seems to be villains. Vince Young is a villain. Bud Adams is a villain. Bo Scaife is a villain; and in the distant past…Steve McNair is a villain; on and on and on…

    What is it about Jeff Fisher that everyone else is a villain? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Fisher who banned both Steve McNair and Vince Young from Titans facilities (2 separate time frames)? Granted, VY is no McNair; but maybe McNair is just too nice to speak out?

    I won’t go into anymore details / debates about this recent debacle between Fisher and VY…but one has to wonder, is Fisher really worth THAT much?

    Is he REALLY THAT GOOD? If so, where’s the proof? Is Fisher the first coach in NFL history to have to work with a salary constrained team? Is he the first coach to have to work with egos in a team? Is he the first coach to work for an owner to look over their shoulders (NOTE: Bud Adams, in my opinion, have given Fisher a much longer leash than many other owners in the league)…

    On the flip side, is he the first coach to have a talented team and not win in the playoffs? the first to not make the playoffs with talent on the team? on multiple occasions?

    My questions are obviously rhetorical; but the answer to them all is ‘NO’; but the big difference is, for all the other coaches, they don’t get to keep their job…Fisher did. Time for him to go.

    Fisher is at best an average coach; I am not one who believes he will *definitely* have success elsewhere.

    As far as VY is concern…let that be the next coach’s decision. But Fisher needs to go.

  38. baboushka,

    Your argument is full of rationalizations for why VY’s behaviour was ok, how he was perfectly in the right, and why Fisher was the bad guy. And you’re entitled to your opinion. But it’s still rationalization.

    First off Collins has nothing to do with it. He’s just a player. Collins isn’t responsible for who starts at QB. Fisher is. To say it’s humiliating for VY to backup Collins and to say VY is too prideful and competitive to be backup is to say it’s ok to piss on a teammate (whose accomplished more than VY ever has) and be a diva who works when it suits him. I’d guess that there aren’t even close to 2 coaches who want that problem, much less 20.

    Btw, if he were truly competitive he would have gotten better than Collins and forced Fish to start him. Instead he chose to sulk.

    Yeah Fish needs to go. He’s been there too long. And frankly this story needs to go away. The longer it sits out there the more damage Bud does to his team and the reputations of the players on it. VY’s pulled his good-for-one-use-only diva card. Let’s hope it was worth it.

  39. How incompetent can one owner possibly be. oh wait I know that answer I’m a 49ers fan. But none the less anyone that knows anything about this game realizes that Vince Young is a turd. Jeff Fisher isn’t the best coach in the league but he’s far more valuable then Young to the organization.

    Bud Adams is clearly senile.

  40. Time for Fisher to move on but does Adams even know where Young is? There can not be many Titan players happy to have a leader who doesn’t even show up to the last team meeting.

  41. I don’t understand what the controversy is?!?! Before I go on my rant let me inform all who may read that 1st off I have supported VY in the past. I also have deafened Fisher, but enough is enough. If Adams is going to choose between the two then how in the hell does he choose VY over Fish? Forget that he allegedly tried to quit on his team in his first playoff game in San Diego. Also forget the fact that he DID quit on his team against Jacksonville a few years back. He hurt his throwing hand this season, he couldn’t hold on to the ball. He was testing it on the side line, even put on a glove to get some grip, it wasn’t happening. Fish goes with Collins. VY, who never told ANY coach he wanted to return to the game, gets pissed he wasn’t put back in. HE INJURED HIS THROWING HAND!!! An injury that required season ending surgery too! So his response to that is throwing his pads in the stands then cussing his head coach in front of the whole team?!?!?! Again I ask, how in the hell does Adam even think for a second about bringing back VY? He wins games, I understand that. Fisher went 13-3 with Collins. Fisher can win games too, how about that. VY is a spoiled egotistical baby, and when things don’t go his way he shows his true colors. What happens when something he doesn’t like happens if we get a new coach? You think VY will magically mature? Hell no, he’ll pout and cuss and throw his uniform around. Or quit on his team AGAIN. Plus Bud’s senior advisors told him to send VY packing and he’s still not going to?!?! It’s F’ing ridiculous!!! I wish VY was from Alabama or something. The only reason I can think of that he would choose to keep this CHILD on his team has to be the whole Houston connection thing.

  42. @VonClausewitz:

    I agree with some of what you say. But those are just your opinions and rationalizations too. I actually said VY was not without blame on this. He was immature and selfish. But his coach did not help him. He created a Collins/Young/media split on that team which hurt it. And yes. It was very humiliating for VY to be benched for KC with no justification. KC at his best is only as good as VY at his most mediocre. Like it or not VY is a winner and has huge potential and upside. Collins and Fisher have none. Every franchise QB has bad games & stretches. Brady, Manning, Brees, Ryan, Rivers et al. But do you see their coaches publicly humiliate them like Fisher has consistently done with VY. Never! They build confidence with them. VY is no more a “Diva” than any of the aforementioned QBs. He was just managed differently by Fisher!

    OilerFan above got it right IMHO.

    And yes indeedy. There are 20 or more teams out there who would jump on VY in a Texas second if Bud Adams is stupid enough to keep Fisher around. Especially after the Mike Vick explosion this year. And VY has much more upside and potential than Vick! Again, in my opinion. He just needs to be with a coach he respects/likes and who believes in him. Like Mack Brown at Texas. By the way. Brown has publicly stated, for the record, that Fisher is the villain in this matter. He claims that Fisher provoked the incident.

  43. Adams “advisors” are simply Fisher stooges that were put into place after Fisher got GM Floyd Reese fired. It is hardly a surprise they are taking Fisher’s side. Vince Young has the highest winning percentage of any QB Fisher has coached, including Steve McNair. Fisher has no credibility here. To the poster above jokingly suggesting Wade Phillips might be the next Titans coach, would you believe Phillips has a higher winning percentage than Fisher? He does, but somehow the media rips Wade and swoons over Fisher.

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