Fisher Ready For Challenge Of Rebuilding The Rams - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Fisher Ready For Challenge Of Rebuilding The Rams

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(Image courtesy stlouisrams.com) (Image courtesy stlouisrams.com)

ST. LOUIS (AP/NewsChannel 5) – Jeff Fisher was formally introduced as the new coach of the Rams on Tuesday. He said he was ready for the challenge in St. Louis.

He also interviewed for the head coaching job at Miami, but went with the rebuilding job in St. Louis.

Fisher said his decision was an easy one because he and the owners share a "collective vision" on how to restore the Rams to what he calls a place of significance.

The Rams went 2-14 last season. Fisher replaces the fired Steve Spagnuolo.

He coached the Titans for 17 years, including a Super Bowl matchup against the Rams in 2000 in which Tennessee fell 1 yard shy of forcing overtime in a 23-16 loss.

Fisher was the Rams defensive coordinator in 1991 when the franchise was in Los Angeles.

St. Louis went 2-14 this season, leading to the dismissal of head coach Steve Spagnoulo and general manager Billy Devaney.

Fisher and the Titans ended their relationship at the end of last season. He still had one year left on his contract, and had previously expressed interest in staying with the Titans for the rest of his career. At the end of the season, Fisher met with owner Bud Adams, and at that time it appeared that Fisher would return for the 2011 season.

His time with the Titans began in November of 1994, when the Oilers fired head coach Jack Pardee and Jeff Fisher was elevated from Defensive Coordinator to Head Coach for the final six games of the season.

The next year, the Oilers retained Fisher as head coach and he would have mild success over the next two years. His leadership would provide stability to a franchise that was moving from Houston to Tennessee.

For the next two seasons, the Tennessee Oilers would call the Liberty Bowl and Vanderbilt Stadium home. The Oilers would finish with back to back 8-8 seasons. In 1999, the franchise made the switch from the Oilers to the Titans and opened the season in a new stadium in Nashville.

Fisher would lead the team to a 13-3 season and Music City would host their first playoff game that included the memorable Music City Miracle.

The Titans would go on to win playoff games at Indianapolis and Jacksonville.

For the first time in franchise history, a Bud Adams owned team found themselves in the Super Bowl. It was the final play of the game that defined Super Bowl XXXIV, when Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson being tackled by Rams linebacker Mike Jones at the one-yard line, preserving a 23–16 Rams victory.

The next season, the Titans proved to be equally as formidable by finishing with another 13-3 record. After receiving a first round bye in the playoffs, Fisher's squad would host the ravens. The Titans defense would hold Baltimore to just 134 yards and six first downs but turnovers doomed the Titans.

After a 7-9 season in 2001, Fisher and his team would make back to back playoff appearances.

In 2002, the men in blue finished with an 11-5 record, and an overtime win over the Steelers put the Titans into the AFC championship game at Oakland. Against the Raiders, turnovers again cost the Titans a victory and a trip to the Super Bowl.

Fisher led the team to a 12-4 record in 2003. After winning the first round playoff game in Baltimore over the Ravens, the Titans lost to the eventual super bowl champions, the New England Patriots in Foxboro.

Over the next three seasons, the team saw the departure of key veterans like Eddie George, Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle and struggled with just 17 wins in three years.

In 2006, the franchise drafted Vince Young number one out of Texas- a quarterback that head coach Jeff Fisher did not want.

In 2007 and 2008, Fisher again took the Titans to the playoffs. In '07, the Titans lost to the chargers in the AFC wild card game.

And in 2008, despite tying the franchise record with 13 wins and earning a first round bye in the playoffs, Fisher and his squad fumbled away their chances at advancing to the AFC championship game, losing to the Ravens 13-10.

With high hopes coming off the 13 win season, the start to the 2009 campaign was a disaster. Fisher's team couldn't buy a victory and start 0-6. Titans owner Bud Adams tells fisher to give backup quarterback Vince Young more playing time. The coach obliges and V.Y. helps the team win 8 of the last 10 but fails to make the playoffs.

The 2010 season provided yet more team chaos: an injury to Vince Young in the Redskins game, followed by a verbal tirade from the fifth year quarterback in the locker room after the game.

Fisher and the team place Young on injured reserve for the rest of the season. The two parties never speak again, leaving the owner to make a decision: find a new head coach or a new quarterback.

Fisher is the NFL's longest-tenured coach with his current team, having just finished his 16th full season and coached his 273rd game with the Titans.

Tennessee started last season with high expectations and was atop the AFC South at 5-2 before losing eight of the final nine games to finish 6-10.

Fisher was under contract for 2011 at a tab of $6.5 million and the Titans will pick eighth overall in the draft.

(The Associated Press/NewsChannel 5.)

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