ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The Rams, perhaps just owner E. Stanley Kroenke, reached an agreement with new head coach Jeff Fisher to become the sixth man hired since the franchise moved to St. Louis in 1995. This marks the first significant hire by Kroenke as majority owner of the Rams after letting go the last leadership group consisting of head coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney.
According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch/KMOX Rams Insider Jim Thomas along with Kathleen Nelson of the Post-Dispatch, Fisher had a timetable in mind to make the decision before the weekend while St. Louis was nervously waiting after his interviews a week ago. Fisher also personally informed Kroenke of his decision sometime on Thursday, but an official agreement was not reached at that point.
Fisher told Thomas and Nelson that the Miami Dolphins did set a Friday deadline for his decision. When Fisher’s agent Marvin Demoff, the father Rams VP of Football Operations/COO Kevin Demoff, informed the Dolphins of his client’s decision, they the ones that apparently leaked the information on Friday morning. The Rams made an attempt to keep the information quiet as they were on a place heading to San Francisco to interview New Orleans Saints assistant coach Aaron Kromer.
Since Spagnuolo and Devaney were let go on January 2 following a 2-14 season, Jeff Fisher became the most prominent candidate for the Rams. On January 5, he met with owner E. Stanley Kroenke in Denver. Last Sunday on January 8, he then visited the Russell Training Center in Earth City meeting with front office representatives and team personnel including quarterback Sam Bradford.
Once the longest-tenured coach in the NFL before Tennessee declined to renew his contract last January, Fisher took the 2011-12 season off following his departure. From 1994-2010 as the head coach of the Houston/Tennessee franchise, Fisher led them to Super Bowl XXXIV along with five additional playoff appearances.
Over nearly 17 full seasons, Fisher had a career record of 142-120 plus a playoff record of 5-6. His worst season came in 2005 when the Titans finished with a 4-12 record. However, in 15 full seasons as the head coach of the Oilers/Titans, there were only five seasons when the team finished with a losing record. The Rams have not had a winning record since 2003.
Most of his successful teams were known for their rush attack and tough defense. In his most successful seasons that include 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2008, those Tennessee teams finished at or near the top of the league in rushing offense and total defense, more so with rush defense.
Before arriving in Houston in 1994, Fisher had spent a season with the Rams franchise as the defensive coordinator in 1991 when the franchise was based in Los Angeles. He’s also been a coach with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.
As a player, Fisher spent that short part of his NFL career with the Bears from 1981-84 as cornerback. A native from Southern California, Fisher was a standout defensive back for the USC Trojans and help them win a national championship in 1978.
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