From lame excuses to not seeing eye to eye with Rams icon Eric Dickerson, Jeff Fisher has had a number of missteps in 2016.
Waiting too long to start Jared Goff
The Rams paid heavily last April to move up from the 15th pick to the No. 1 spot in the draft to select Jared Goff but for some reason Jeff Fisher opted to start Case Keenum under center for the first 10 weeks of the season. Fisher finally inserted Goff into the starting lineup, giving the 22-year-old quarterback some much-needed on-field experience. But why did it take so long to pull the trigger?
Not knowing the Patriots running backs
As the Rams prepared for their Week 13 matchup with the Patriots, Fisher was asked about New England’s backfield. It’s a topic a head coach should be able to discuss as his team gameplans for the opposition. One problem: He made reference to players not on the Patriots’ roster. “I’ve been impressed with Brandon and what he’s done out of the backfield,” Fisher said. “You’ve got to deal with him, in addition to Danny. You’ve got playmakers all around, so we have to play sound defense.”
One could assume “Danny” was in reference to Danny Woodhead, who left New England after the 2012 season, and “Brandon” was a nod to Brandon Bolden, who has just one carry this season.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY SportsKyle Terada
Eric Dickerson debacle
It’s never a good sign when one of the franchise’s iconic players doesn’t feel welcome on the sideline. When former Rams running back Eric Dickerson made that accusation and had some pointed criticism of Fisher’s coaching acumen, you could feel the writing was on the wall.
Not getting anything out of Todd Gurley
You know it’s bad when your star running back compares the team’s offense to one from his “middle school” days. Todd Gurley was expected to have a huge sophomore campaign after rushing for 10 touchdowns his rookie season, but the 22-year-old back hasn’t taken the next step. In fact, he’s regressed from averaging 4.8 yards per carry in 2015 to just 3.3 this season.
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Squandering a 3-1 start
The Rams gave Los Angeles fans hope after winning three in a row to bounce back from their season-opening loss to the 49ers. Then their season came crashing back down to earth, having lost eight of their past nine with little signs of hope.
Fisher's infamous 7-9 quote
Fisher must have thought he was inspiring his troops when he was ranting about “7-9” effort. Little did he know that he would be begging for that kind of record at this point. Fisher hasn’t won more than seven games in a season since he began his tenure with the Rams in 2012, posting three such win totals in that span.
Awkward press conference announcing new deal
It doesn’t bode well for you to admit you didn’t know your general manager – your direct supervisor – received a contract extension the same day the team was announcing your own. “I’m so busy here, I was honestly unaware he was extended. I’m being honest with you, we’re just working here,” Fisher said of Les Snead’s new deal earlier this month.
From the team’s relocation to player injuries, Fisher had an excuse for every Rams loss this season. That lack of accountability probably didn’t build confidence among his players and likely didn’t sit well with ownership.
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Seven times this season the Rams have scored 10 or fewer points. The team hasn’t had one player rush for 100 yards in a game and only once has a quarterback thrown for more than 300 yards (Keenum in Week 6). The Rams weren’t expected to be an offensive juggernaut but they have enough talent to be more lethal than they’ve shown in 2016.
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Awful Week 14 loss to Falcons
The death knell. The Rams had lost seven of eight coming into Sunday and the game couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start for Los Angeles. Michael Thomas fumbled the opening kickoff, which the Falcons recovered at the 3-yard line. One play later, Atlanta was up 7-0 just 10 seconds into the game. It would get out of hand from there as the Rams lost 42-14 in what would be Fisher’s last game as head coach.
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