LOS ANGELES -- Here's a recipe for curtailing ineptitude and incompetence: First identify and eliminate the problem. Then, with a forceful change of direction, recalibrate what you've been doing.

One down for the Los Angeles Rams. One to go.

Jeff Fisher, fired Monday as the Rams coach, was the problem. Jim Harbaugh, who needs to be his replacement, is the only adequate solution.

In his tenure as Rams coach, Fischer had graduated from being painfully mediocre to something much uglier, a fact that was underscored in Sunday's 42-14 embarrassment at the Los Angeles Coliseum against the Atlanta Falcons.

His firing Monday is, finally, a move by Rams owner Stan Kroenke worthy of this city and the expectations that must be met when you uproot a team from a town that wholly supported it and plop it into a place that sees the world as split into two distinct categories: Winners, and all those losers who couldn't get it done.

That's what Fisher, and because of him his Rams, had become in a city that scoffs at failure. Losers. Ugly, humiliating, irrelevant, effortless losers. Literally. They have lost eight of nine games, including Sunday's brutal beatdown. Fisher had lost the locker room, and that locker room and the team it represented had lost the city it had just returned to in record time.


That barely scrapes the surface of how poorly Fisher fared in his task to not just win football games but win this market and make the Rams an integrated part of the sporting and cultural fabric of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles doesn't tolerate losers, which is why Jeff Fisher had to go. USATSI

Instead, Fisher openly feuded with a Rams legend, kept inactive the QB his organization traded the future away to draft No. 1 overall, lost game after game after a 3-1 start, forgot the names of the running backs playing for the opponent in an upcoming game, ran an offense his running back accurately compared to that of a middle-school football team and generally presented a version of the Rams that could kindly be described as a dumpster fire.

Much rode on Fisher's tenure and ability. Kroenke has a gleaming and high-priced stadium opening in Inglewood in 2019, a massive investment not just for the Rams owner but for the NFL itself and the collection of owners who approved it. The Shield can't again fail in Los Angeles.

With the San Diego Chargers likely joining the market next season, and the fickle nature of what holds the imagination in this city of stars and sunshine, there was no time for more mediocrity. Let alone a bungled second beginning in La La Land.

You must win, and do more: Be interesting, have a star to sell, compete with the glorious history (and rising prospects) of the Lakers and the deeply felt emotional connection (and overwhelming financial might) of the Dodgers, and do it in a way that fits this town.

That's why the failure of Jared Goff is almost as galling as that of Fisher. You can't trade the future away to move up for a guy who is both, at least so far, utterly incapable and about as exciting as a Jeff Fisher offense.

If you're going to fail here -- and again, you shouldn't -- you better do it with fireworks.

If you do fail, better to do it with a Manziel or an RG3 than, say, than a Goff.

But whereas Goff still has time to find himself, turn it around and be a star, Fisher doesn't. Because Fisher never had that in him.

Which is where Harbaugh comes in.

The idea of the temperamental and brilliant Michigan coach being a legitimate target for the Rams first emerged this week after Colin Cowherd's national radio show Friday. Cowherd lives in L.A., is well-connected to the sports vibe on the West Coast, and dropped this nugget on his show after the MMQB's Albert Breer joined the show:

"By the way, Albert Breer on the way out said that Jim Harbaugh to the Rams rumor is a very real thing," Cowherd said at the end of Breer's segment.

It better be. This is a perfect fit, one Kroenke and the Rams can't miss. This is L.A. No more half measures. No more mistakes. No more Jeff Fishers.

Even the things that are supposedly Harbaugh's baggage would be a boon in this situation.

His temperamental, grating approach that no one can get along with for more than a season? Perfect. This the city of the Real Housewives, Kobe Bryant and Kanye. Not getting along with people isn't just OK, it can be a mark you belong.

Jim Harbaugh's act would be embraced in a town that loves its stars. USATSI

His larger-than-life personality, with its idiosyncrasies and attention-grabbing braggadocio? Thank God. The Rams don't have enough personality to meet the media and fan needs of Mayberry, let alone Hollywood.

The fact Harbaugh supposedly can't work with a single general manager without it becoming World War III? Hallelujah. Les Snead, the genius who thought Goff was the next great QB, probably needs to follow Fisher out the door. And we saw with the Niners what happens when you choose peace and your GM over heartburn and Harbaugh.

And that's the so-called bad stuff.

Harbaugh is a proven QB-whisperer, and maybe the most qualified football man on earth to either make Goff and the Rams huge investment work -- or to pull the plug because it would never work.

He's acidic, combative, funny and brilliant -- all just right for this town, especially with Kobe Bryant no longer filling that role.

And he is a stone-cold winner. Front offices and other personnel who work with Harbaugh tend to hate him? Who cares? Fans love winning. Which is why fans love Harbaugh.

Harbaugh might cost $10 million a year? Do it. Do it if that price climbs to as high as $15 million per year. No, really. Kroenke has the cash, and that's the cost of trusting Jeff Fisher with the keys to an L.A. kingdom that could be unprecedented in its financial potential. If that's the cost of making the NFL work in L.A., Stan, then you pay it.

There's a price to pay for trusting the Rams' return to this town to Jeff Fisher.

Kroenke paid half of it Monday by firing Fisher. Now it's time to pony up and complete the turnaround.