The Los Angeles Rams fired head coach Jeff Fisher on Monday, December 12, after the team suffered an embarrassing 42-14 loss at home to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14. The Rams are 4-9 entering their game at Seattle this Thursday.
Fisher was hired to bring this franchise back from the depths. It hasn’t recorded a winning season since 2003 and hasn’t even finished with a .500 mark since 2006. This once-proud franchise has been an embarrassment for much of the last 26 years. Its only reprieve was the “Greatest Show on Turf” years. Fisher was supposed to right that ship.
Instead, Fisher compiled a 31-45-1 record in just under five years at the helm. He never won more than seven games, while fielding one of the most undisciplined teams in the league during his tenure. In recent weeks, Fisher bungled the situation with running back Eric Dickerson, and his team was outscored 117-49 in its last three games.
The Rams feature one of the worst offenses in the league and have done so throughout Fisher’s tenure. There are going to be experts that question the wisdom of firing Fisher with a game on Thursday, but the Rams are a mess. It needed to happen. Fisher is a good man, but it was clear that he had lost this team. After nearly five years under Fisher, the Rams were heading in a downhill trajectory. It was time to stop the bleeding.
There are pieces in place for the Rams to be successful sooner rather than later. They have some of the best special teamers in football and several young, talented stars on defense. The offense will take some time to fix, especially with few picks available in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. Moreover, the team lacks true veteran leadership. With $42 million or more available this offseason in cap space, the Rams will have to make it work through the free agent market.
Finally, the Rams must spare no expense in building a coaching staff that will be innovative offensively while building discipline on both sides of the ball. It was clear from the get-go that the Rams had no idea what to do on offense in 2016. That has to change, and it needs to happen now. The potential is there for a quick turnaround in L.A., but it will take a true commitment from the franchise to make it happen.
Los Angeles is expected to look at various offensive-minded coaches, including Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, to replace Fisher. The opportunity is there. It’s time for the Rams to get their act together and make it work.