Jeff Fisher and his new contract can explain why the Rams are terrible
The Rams re-upped both the head coach and general manager responsible for 31 wins in 76 games
Jeff Fisher is 31-44-1 since becoming the Rams coach in 2012. For most coaches, a .414 winning percentage would get you fired, but Jeff Fisher ain't most coaches. This helps explain the two-year contract extension he signed several weeks ago.
There's also this: According to Fisher, there have been extenuating circumstances for all the losing, at least of late.
"I look at this as being my responsibility, the win-loss record," Fisher told reporters Tuesday, before pivoting. "We need to do a better job from a personnel standpoint. We've had some unfortunate things take place with some high picks in Stedman Bailey and Tre Mason and those kind of things you don't anticipate. But we're moving forward."
Bailey and Mason are both former third-round picks who are no longer with the team. Bailey's career ended after he was shot twice in the head last year in Miami; Mason is reportedly struggling with mental issues, possibly as a result of head injuries.
Meanwhile, Fisher wasn't the only person on staff to get an extension; the team also re-upped general manager Les Snead, which came as news to the head coach.
"I'm so busy here, I was honestly unaware that he was extended," Fisher said. "I'm being honest with you. We're just working here."
So why was Snead given a new deal?
"First of all, what it means is, we're not satisfied with where we're at. We've got unfinished business," he told KSPN, via the Los Angeles Daily News. "We think we can get this thing tipped, and that's our goal. That's where all the energy is spent. You're not going to sleep until it gets done. We have great fans and we've been supported. It's unbelievable. Any time you're having a disappointing season, you feel for the fans first, because they come and they spend their energy and passion, and we've got to do a better job."
That's one way of putting it. Here's another:
Fisher and Snead have never had a winning season in St. Louis, and now Los Angeles, and their teams have a .430 winning percentage, 26th in the league since 2012. Just as depressing: The Rams' point differential from 2012-2015 is -145 (it has been negative each season), and that ranks 25th in the league.
And it was clear weeks ago that Fisher wasn't going anywhere.
"Everybody will want to judge Jeff through the prism of just the record, but that's totally unfair when you look at the set of circumstances he was handed this year," Rams COO Kevin Demoff told NFL.com. "It was different than any team in the NFL."
OK, fine, but what about the four previous years? And then there are Fisher's remarks from training camp.
"I'm not f---ing going 7-9 or 8-8 or 9-7 ... we have too much talent here for that," Fisher said during an episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks." "We had some 7-9 s--t this morning and we can't have that. ... That is 7-9 bulls--t and we don't need it."
The Rams are now 4-8 after their latest demoralizing loss, this time to the Patriots. But no need for the long face. In the midst of that beatdown, there was reason to laugh: Fisher couldn't find his challenge flag -- but he can explain!
Fisher and his $7 million salary ranks fourth behind only Sean Payton, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick. One of these things is not like the other.
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