Very few people in the NFL know the realities and complications of the relocation process quite like Rams coach Jeff Fisher.
But he’s learned from experience that there’s nothing he can do about it, other than focus on his job.
With the speculation at a fever pitch about the possibility of Rams owner Stan Kroenke taking his ball and going to Los Angeles, Fisher hears plenty of questions, but has some variation of the same answer.
“I’m looking forward to this year in St. Louis and hoping we can get things worked out,” Fisher said, via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It makes no sense for me or the players to spend time concerned about it, worried about it. If it happens, it happens. . . .
“You know, I’ve had some discussion with the players. And they’re actually more excited right now about what we’ve done in free agency, and looking forward to what we’re doing in the draft, and looking forward to coming back to work than they are talking about any potential to relocate.”
Fisher had ringside seats for this process once before, as the coach of the Houston Oilers, who left Texas after the 1996 season. They camped for a year in Memphis (1997) and in Vanderbilt’s stadium (1998) before landing fully in their own stadium as the Tennessee Titans. It worked out well, since they went to the Super Bowl shortly thereafter.
“Having gone through it however, I don’t think it’d be fair to compare both situations,” Fisher said. “But the end result was good [in Tennessee]. . . .But going to ’96 and early ’97, we focused on our job. I remember back then telling them don’t worry about it. It’s out of our control.”
That’ll be easier to sell as long as the Rams are competitive this year. But if things turn south, it’ll be harder and harder to keep his players from letting their thoughts drift to the west, or his fanbase from packing it in.