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Rams in Need of Changes, Starting With Head Coach


Tim Godfrey
Time is all the Rams and Jeff Fisher have had, yet all they have to show for it are losing records and moral victories. | Photo Credit: Associated Press

Other head coaches have found success and playoffs in less time, but not Fisher

 

The words of Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher are anything but inspiring.

"You can take the 32nd in the league and write all you want about it," Fisher said. "But this offense is improving."

Fisher said that great line after his team had their three-game winning streak abruptly cut by the visiting Buffalo Bills. In that game, the Rams offense had season-high 345 yards and 23 first-down conversions. So, Fisher isn’t wrong about the offense improving.

They did score 19 points on a defense that didn’t allow the New England Patriots to score any the week before. A bit surprised Fisher did not lead the press conference with that fact.

The Rams offense, although improving, is still ranked last in the league overall, including point-per-game, which stands at a healthy 16.4.  

But Fisher clarified his statements, as not even he could praise such an ineffective offense, or team for that matter.

"I’m not pleased with where the offense is at," Fisher said. "I’m not pleased where the football team is at -- offense, defense or special teams. The total rankings are based on the last five games, and we had some difficulty the first two, three, or four, with respect to total yards. So, we’re going to have to have a 500-, 600-yard game to jump into the middle of the pack. It’s going to take some time.”

Time is all the Rams and Fisher have had, yet all they have to show for it are losing records and moral victories.

Fisher has been with the Rams for four-years-going-on-five. In that time, the Rams have never made the playoffs or even had a winning record.

Ron Rivera and his coaching staff took the Carolina Panthers to the playoffs in a little more than half that time, in 2013. It took three seasons for the Panthers to not only make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, but they won 12 games that year with third-year quarterback Cam Newton.

John Fox, who was fired and replaced with Rivera, went to the Denver Broncos, who had been enduring five seasons of mediocre football. Sound familiar?

The Broncos were a middle-of-the-pack team, always finishing near .500 and never made the playoffs. In one season, Fox and the Broncos made the playoffs in 2011, with a much worse quarterback than Case Keenum: Tim Tebow.

The Broncos were 3-13 before Fox and their eventual playoff run, by the way.

What irritates me about Fisher is he appears content with his low ceiling. Following a home-loss, Fisher starts out the press conference by highlighting the meager stats of his offense, which is ranked dead-last overall.

He speaks of how the Rams were unable to run the ball for 100 yards, and how Todd Gurley, who ran for 72 yards, is looking a lot more like his 2015-self.

The Rams offense also looks more like their 2015-selves, as well. They are still unable to have an effective red-zone offense and they rely heavily on their kicker to get them points on the board.

But at least they give credit where credit is due; Greg Zuerlein is the highest-scoring player on the team.

 

 

Assuming Fisher is like all coaches, he is not someone who likes to lose. But his actions and words to the media following those losses could suggest otherwise. It’s the same problems for Fisher and the Rams every week, and no matter what he or anyone else says, the problems are never solved.

The last time Fisher solved reoccurring problem was when he cut linebacker Ray Ray Armstrong for committing too many penalties on special teams. Not much changed for the team after that.

The Rams still cannot block for Gurley and Keenum, they still turn the ball over too much, and they shoot themselves in the foot by committing too many penalties. The reason why no one has been cut for the latter is because you cannot cut an entire offensive line.

You can, however, part ways with a head coach.

Just something the Rams front office might want to consider if they want to avoid their city being labeled a “baseball town” due to low attendance numbers.

Tim Godfrey is a Featured Analyst who covers the Los Angeles Rams for Pro Football Spot. Follow him on Twitter @MrTimGodfrey


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