Fisher debate (Zooey, and whoever)…jump in

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  • #77509
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    Zooey

    Problem with Fisher…the NFL passed him by. He was a Buddy Ryan guy. Knew about defensive players and schemes, and how to find the right people.

    He simply didn’t know how to find the right people on offense. He knew about OL – got good players and coaches there. Knew about RB and TE.

    Did not know about WRs or the passing game, and didn’t find someone who did know. I think his critical mistake was simply having no clue about offense in the modern NFL. Boras? Really? Why would you hire a TE coach as OC? And it wasn’t just Boras. Fisher couldn’t find an OC who didn’t favor “three yards, and a cloud of dust.” He was a Frozen Tundra coach in an FieldTurf world.

    His players always liked him. He was no Linehan. I will never forget the “They’re celebrating!” line. His players were loyal. He was good as a leader.

    I think he was a crappy offensive tactician, and didn’t recognize the need to get someone in who was good at it.

    I keep hearing that. And, I don’t buy it.

    Here’s why.

    NO ONE WINS under these conditions:

    1. the OL is extensively injured, too inexperienced as a group, or both. Let me drive that home—this is not your standard “but all teams have injuries” thing—this is the OL reduced in effectiveness by multiple injuries.

    2. you start #2 caliber qbs for half a season or more.

    That’s those 2 things combined.

    You know how many games from 2012-15 the Rams played with both a #1 caliber starting caliber qb AND a relatively healthy, at least moderately veteran OL?

    It’s 15 out of 64.

    IMO a lot of people mistake THAT situation (playing #2 caliber qbs behind busted OLs) for “offensive philosophy.” Or “coaching.”

    As a matter of fact teams win all the time with ball control attacks that set up deep play action shots (which btw is the real description of a Fisher offense).

    My premise is this. The fundamental problem with the Fisher Rams from 2012-15 was the double whammy condition I describe. I say no one wins with that, no matter who they are. Heck a lot of guys can’t win with just the busted OL (see Linehan 2007). That consideration lies deeper and has more influence over the outcome than anything else. To me it stands to reason that if Fisher had relatively healthy OLs and a starting caliber (non-rookie) qb most of the time, the Rams would have won more.

    I don;t know how much more. I don;’t know HOW MUCH better they would have been. But in fact I think going 7-9 under those conditions is something of an achievement.

    BTW just to give you a hard time? Who hires a TE coach as a coordinator? Jay Gruden did in Washington when he promoted his TE coach, Sean McVay, to coordinator. Anyway I couldn’t resist that one BUT no I am not comparing Boras to McVay. If nothing else, Boras’s big problem was adjustments, while McVay is a master at adjusting on the fly.

    That’s my 200 cents. All posters and all views welcome.

    #77512
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    I agree with that, and that’s why I am not a Fisher Hater. I don’t know that I would have fired him, actually.

    But. In addition to playing with backup QBs and having unbelievable catastrophe on the OL, he also never showed much in the NFL with a passing game. Even when he had decent OL in Tennessee, and McNair, and George. He coached the Rams 5 years and the best WR he acquired was probably Britt who isn’t anybody’s idea of a quality WR. And he never brought in a good OC. Where are Brian Schottenheimer and Rob Boras now?

    I know he was snakebit with the Rams. I respected him, and thought he did a lot of things right.

    I think he is also responsible for the fact that he never put together a good offensive scheme, or assembled good WRs. And at this point, I’m not sure I would trust him to ever do that.

    I’m not just complaining that he LOST. That isn’t my opinion AT ALL. I am saying he couldn’t put together a winning offensive scheme.

    #77514
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    I agree with that, and that’s why I am not a Fisher Hater. I don’t know that I would have fired him, actually.

    But. In addition to playing with backup QBs and having unbelievable catastrophe on the OL, he also never showed much in the NFL with a passing game. Even when he had decent OL in Tennessee, and McNair, and George. He coached the Rams 5 years and the best WR he acquired was probably Britt who isn’t anybody’s idea of a quality WR. And he never brought in a good OC. Where are Brian Schottenheimer and Rob Boras now?

    I know he was snakebit with the Rams. I respected him, and thought he did a lot of things right.

    I think he is also responsible for the fact that he never put together a good offensive scheme, or assembled good WRs. And at this point, I’m not sure I would trust him to ever do that.

    I’m not just complaining that he LOST. That isn’t my opinion AT ALL. I am saying he couldn’t put together a winning offensive scheme.

    This kind of disrespectful personalized petty bickering is not going to get us anywhere.

    Anyway I see Fisher discussions all over the net, and, I thought, why not one here.

    Consider it an informal poll.

    #77522
    joemad
    joemad
    Participant

    Fisher’s ceiling is 8 wins

    16 of 22 seasons Fisher was .500 or much less

    Fisher needed ideal conditions to win and never had a good plan B

    Enough of this guy.

    #77523
    Maddy
    Maddy
    Participant

    Fisher on defense liked the hard-hitting, risk-taking schemes and squads. We got some very good defense in the Fisher years, but some reckless, penalty prone defense as well. He went and got good players on that side of the ball.

    Special teams were solid under Fisher.

    I felt like he was the reverse Martz when it came to offense. He wanted clock management and no turnovers. He wanted to run and set up the play action. That’s fine, and when it occasionally worked, it seemed sensible. But whatever role he played in drafting offensive talent did not pay dividends. My sense was that he handcuffed his offensive coordinators, or Shurmer anyway, who I felt wanted to do some things he was not allowed to do.

    I am probably swayed by the fact that, in one offseason, a rookie head coach identified receiver and tackle as offensive needs, and was able to get it done. The new guy also opened up the offense and it hasn’t killed the defense, because he went and got a guy who’s good at defense, and let him do what he knows how to do.

    That may not be fair to Fisher, who may not have had the same opportunities to get players, and who suffered through rashes of injury, but there it is.

    #77524
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    Well, No-one on this board would ever say, “Fisher would NOT have won more games, if he had a No.1 QB starting and an uninjured OLine”

    Of course he would have ‘won more’. But thats pretty vague stuff — he ‘would have won more’. Sure. He would have won ‘more’.

    My thing on Fisher is not that he was horrible or a terrible coach etc. I think you can lump him in with dozens and dozens of “ordinary, garden-variety, average NFL coaches”.

    I saw nothing SPECIAL about Fisher other than one quirky thing — trickery on special teams. Fake punts, that sort of thing. Other than that, he just seemed “ordinary”. Which means he could be outcoached by the really good ones imho.

    Now when i watch McV i see…special. I see a guy who knows how to get weapons OPEN. Also, the team seems to commit fewer penalties and comes out of the gate ready to play. They were ready to play after the bye. They were ready to play in London. Mainly though its his offensive scheme and the fact he put together an awesome coaching staff. And he works well with Snead apparently. And he was smart enough to keep Fisher’s special teams coach.

    Fisher = ordinary
    McV = Much higher ceiling, maybe even elite coach.

    These are my impressions. Not sciency facts. Not trying to ‘persuade.’

    I think people are too hard on Fisher, and too breezy about their analysis of his tenure, and they ignore all the circumstances — but still, i think he was nothing special. And McV is special. I’m a believer.

    PS — in the end Fisher HAD to go. Even if one believes he’s totally just a victim of bad luck, sometimes a team just needs a new spark, the fans need a new spark. I was sick to death of lookin at him. He became a symbol of futility. like…um….Milli Vanilli, or Theon GrayJoy.

    w
    v

    #77526
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    Fisher = ordinary
    McV = Much higher ceiling, maybe even elite coach.

    These are my impressions. Not sciency facts. Not trying to ‘persuade.’

    In terms of just that? I don’t agree with Fisher as ordinary…I think he was a cut or 2 above that. But that’s just different votes.

    On McVay? In the running for best Rams coach ever. That’s at least a real possibility. So I don;t disagree with you on McVay.

    In terms of this (and bear in mind I am just discussing in an over beer, kind of free association way, not nailing no theses to no church door.) –>

    Of course he would have ‘won more’. But thats pretty vague stuff — he ‘would have won more’. Sure. He would have won ‘more’.

    Well there are people who deny that though. They do it by completely overlooking the premise: that in fact what you;re judging is an offense hampered by conditions no one wins with. They then list things like offensive philosophy, and so on, which are then said to be inherent Fisher flaws. This then allows people to not factor in the actual situation, which again consisted of things that no one wins with.

    I am not precise because it is impossible to be precise on this issue. So someone who dislikes Fisher will say well he wouldn;’t win THAT much more. And someone who DOESN’T dislike Fisher (no one LIKES Fisher) will say, yes he would win quite a few more. Some people say, well, he had a primitive idea of offense, so, no he wouldn’t have won that much more. And some say, you can win with ANY kind of offense in this league if you have players that fit your system and execute, and so like any coach he would need THAT–players and execution. Etc. It would go on…pure debate, different views, no resolution.

    And that debate would be fine with me. In fact, it would be interesting.

    It’s way better than the “worst coach of all time” rhetoric that swirls around. And I don’t say that cause it’s “anti-Fisher.” I say that cause it’s anti-analysis. Even then I am aware that people can just plain go ahead and not care if it’s anti-analysis or not–there’s plenty of room for gut reactions.

    Either way I think “well HOW MUCH more would he have won,” for all its sheer speculativeness, is still a better conversation.

    I actually did the math on something like this once so here’s a repost on that.

    I look at 4 categories

    1. Games from 2006-2017 where Rams play either a back-up caliber #2 qb or a starting caliber qb, AND an extensively injured and/or very inexperienced OL: overall W/L record
    2. Games from 2006-2017 where Rams play a back-up caliber #2 qb and a relatively healthy, intact and veteran OL: overall W/L record
    3. Games from 2006-2017 where Rams play a rookie qb w/either a beat up line or a relatively healthy line (they’re all losses so it doesn’t matter): W/L record
    4. Games from 2006-2017 where Rams play a starting caliber qb and a relatively healthy, intact and veteran OL: overall W/L record

    Category 1: 28/81 — 25.7% winning percentage
    Category 2: 8/10 — 44% winning percentage
    Category 3: 0/12 — 0% winning percentage
    Category 4: 24/20/1 — 57.3% winning percentage

    Note: Goff even as a rookie wasn’t Berlin or Null, so that one comes with an asterisk. That is, just him being a rookie is not in itself the cause for the record

    QBs in category 1: too numerous to mention.
    QBs in category 2: Clemens 2013, Keenum 2016, both of whom went 4-5.
    QBs in category 4: Bulger (last 6 games of 2006), Bradford (2010, 2nd half of 2012, 2013), Goff (2017)

    #77527
    Agamemnon
    Agamemnon
    Moderator

    I though Fisher was an average NFL coach. You have to be a good coach to be an average NFL coach. Of course, you want better than average to be your coach. 😉

    Agamemnon

    #77564
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    Everyone who thinks the Rams would be 7-2 right now if Fisher was still coach…raise your hand.

    #77565
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    Everyone who thinks the Rams would be 7-2 right now if Fisher was still coach…raise your hand.

    Name any coach in the NFL right now, who if they coached the Rams, they would be 7-2.

    I don’t think it’s many.

    .

    #77567
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    Belichek, Payton, Carroll, Arians, Shanahan, Gruden, McCarthy, Rivera, Tomlin, Pederson, Zimmer, Pagano.

    Dunno.

    I think this is a tangent that isn’t helpful, however.

    #77568
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    Belichek, Payton, Carroll, Arians, Shanahan, Gruden, McCarthy, Rivera, Tomlin, Pederson, Zimmer, Pagano.

    Dunno.

    I think this is a tangent that isn’t helpful, however.

    I would say Bellichick and Zimmer. Rams have talent but IMO they don’t have “7-2 in the first year of a new regime with ANY good coach” talent. I think McVay supplied that extra percentage.

    #77571
    InvaderRam
    InvaderRam
    Moderator

    i liked fisher. if he could have found a coordinator worth his salt like vermeil did before 99, i think we coulda seen a similar turnaround to the one we are seeing this year. maybe not quite the fireworks we’re seeing right now and maybe not exactly 7-2 but close.

    as it is i wouldn’t trade mcvay for any of that. i think mcvay is the better decision now and for the long-term. he’s squeezing every bit of potential out of the offense, and i like sonofbum more than i like gregg.

    #77572
    Herzog
    Herzog
    Participant

    Fisher relied on unreliable players. Perpetually “developing talent”. That was his fatal flaw.

    #77573
    Eternal Ramnation
    Eternal Ramnation
    Participant

    I couldn’t stand him and his hand picked team was one of the healthiest teams in the league in 2016 and he went 4 and 12. I think he’d make a good DC or DL consultant but as far as a coach he rarely got it done. You have to give him credit for the core defense Brockers , Donald , Tree , Joyner , Trujo and the Barron trade.

    #77576
    nittany ram
    nittany ram
    Moderator

    i liked fisher. if he could have found a coordinator worth his salt like vermeil did before 99, i think we coulda seen a similar turnaround to the one we are seeing this year. maybe not quite the fireworks we’re seeing right now and maybe not exactly 7-2 but close.

    I agree with that.

    as it is i wouldn’t trade mcvay for any of that. i think mcvay is the better decision now and for the long-term. he’s squeezing every bit of potential out of the offense, and i like sonofbum more than i like gregg.

    I don’t know Wade personally but it’s hard to picture him paying players to injure other players.

    #77579
    InvaderRam
    InvaderRam
    Moderator

    You have to give him credit for the core defense Brockers , Donald , Tree , Joyner , Trujo and the Barron trade.

    yeah. and i also give him credit for gurley and goff.

    his main problem was holding onto guys like britt and grob and cook.

    but i seem to remember vermeil having a soft spot for phillips and banks. maybe not quite the same, but in 99 they made some key changes that sparked the turnaround. i say if fisher picks the right offensive coordinator it could have been a different story. but most likely not the huge success it has been this year. i mean the rams swung for the fences on this one and may actually have hit the sweet spot.

    #77580
    InvaderRam
    InvaderRam
    Moderator

    I don’t know Wade personally but it’s hard to picture him paying players to injure other players.

    yeah.

    #77582
    Eternal Ramnation
    Eternal Ramnation
    Participant

    You have to give him credit for the core defense Brockers , Donald , Tree , Joyner , Trujo and the Barron trade.

    yeah. and i also give him credit for gurley and goff.

    his main problem was holding onto guys like britt and grob and cook.

    but i seem to remember vermeil having a soft spot for phillips and banks. maybe not quite the same, but in 99 they made some key changes that sparked the turnaround. i say if fisher picks the right offensive coordinator it could have been a different story. but most likely not the huge success it has been this year. i mean the rams swung for the fences on this one and may actually have hit the sweet spot.

    Problem is he had Gurley, Goff and Mannion and a healthy OL and still couldn’t win. It didn’t help that he couldn’t draft somebody that could catch. Sloppy undisciplined coaching.If the coaching didn’t improve drastically the team would not have improved so drastically. Fisher got 5 full years and DV got 2. Some of that blame lands on ownership who imo was more worried with moving to L.A. than winning in fact losing probably helped pave the way for the move.

    #77583
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    Belichek, Payton, Carroll, Arians, Shanahan, Gruden, McCarthy, Rivera, Tomlin, Pederson, Zimmer, Pagano.

    Dunno.

    I think this is a tangent that isn’t helpful, however.

    I would say Bellichick and Zimmer. Rams have talent but IMO they don’t have “7-2 in the first year of a new regime with ANY good coach” talent. I think McVay supplied that extra percentage.

    Well, I don’t konw. I know all those coaches have had success.

    The dramatic turnaround is dramatic partly because they played below their ability last season. That wasn’t a 4-12 team on paper. I think the move affected them more than I expected it to, and I don’t think Fisher/Wentz/Boras knew how to work with Goff.

    But Snisher acquired a lot of talent. A lot of it. What Fisher never did was hire an innovative OC, or get good WRs. He tried to fix the OL, and some of those guys – Grob especially – just didn’t cut it. He built a pretty good foundation of talent, though, which is why I put money on the Rams for the first time in my life when I saw them get Whitworth and WRS and a guy who knows offense. It was a good ship with a couple of leaks, and no wind in its sails.

    I agree that McVay is better, and better substantially. I agree with everything people have said in this thread, basically, and I’m glad now that Fisher is gone. He tolerated sloppiness, and he didn’t adjust during the game. Hell, we have seen more in-game adjustments that matter from McVay/Phillips this season than we saw in 5 seasons combined with Fisher, I’d warrant.

    I was never a Fisher fan. I thought he was the right choice at the time, and was hopeful he would produce a winner. I would have given him one more season (this year) to produce, but I’m very, very glad Kroenke didn’t agree with me. Fisher seemed to develop this “I got this” attitude where he just thought he was a very good coach, and he stopped evolving. McVay is out there watching everybody’s film, and stealing plays that work, and applying them in exactly the right situation, and brings his hunger to everything he does. Fisher was coasting. And I think McVay’s success reduces Fisher’s chances of landing another coaching gig.

    Anyway. Long Live McVay.

    #77589
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    he didn’t adjust during the game.

    There’s a lot there I agree with, and some I don’t. I am just going to isolate this one thing.

    Yes they did adjust during games.

    I don’t think Boras was good at it but that’s just 2016.

    There are all sorts of examples of this.

    One that comes to mind is 2015, when the Rams talked multiple times about how and why Gurley would tend not to break out early in games but then would pour it on in the 2nd half. They talked about how the running game would probe a defense until they saw how they were going to play Gurley and then would adjust to that.

    Heck once in 2012 the Rams were playing Buffalo and the color analyst was Martz. Martz went on and on in detail about how Schott was adjusting to the way Buffalo was defending the pass (apparently the Rams attack was stymied at first because the Bills were unexpectedly playing a lot of man). By the series, Martz would point out the adjustments Schott was making, and praised them.

    All teams adjust. The Fisher Rams adjusted. They did it on defense multiple times. It was a “thing”–something the Wms. D was very dedicated to.

    Sometimes teams don’t or can’t adjust EFFECTIVELY. So for example if Arizona has Austin Davis figured out, there’s not a whole lot you can do with that, because Davis was a limited player. Or they adjust and they lose anyway (as I keep saying, you don’t win a lot of games if you do not have both a starting caliber qb and a relatively healthy/decently experienced OL, and the Rams did NOT have BOTH things 76.5% of the time from 2012-15. You’re just going to lose under those conditions regardless of anything else, and that’s whether you adjusted or not).

    Etc.

    #77598
    TSRF
    TSRF
    Participant

    I don’t buy the argument that he only had back-up QB’s in 2016.

    Look how good Goff AND Keenum are doing this year…

    I was glad when Fisher was hired, I liked the swagger he brought to the D, but over the years, the O just rotted under him.

    I wonder what Fisher thinks when he watches Rams games. I wonder what Martz thinks too.

    #77602
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    I don’t buy the argument that he only had back-up QB’s in 2016.

    Look how good Goff AND Keenum are doing this year…

    I was glad when Fisher was hired, I liked the swagger he brought to the D, but over the years, the O just rotted under him.

    I wonder what Fisher thinks when he watches Rams games. I wonder what Martz thinks too.

    I would love to know what Fisher thinks, too.

    If I had to guess, though, I would bet he feels a little bit like Moses. Did all the dirty work in Egypt, building a nation from from the ground up, led them through the wilderness for 40 years, and then God kills him right when the Promised Land is visible on the horizon.

    I bet he feels like Kroenke shafted him something terrible. And that he woulda had it this year if he had been retained.

    #77607
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    I don’t buy the argument that he only had back-up QB’s in 2016.

    Look how good Goff AND Keenum are doing this year…

    I was glad when Fisher was hired, I liked the swagger he brought to the D, but over the years, the O just rotted under him.

    I wonder what Fisher thinks when he watches Rams games. I wonder what Martz thinks too.

    Yeah that’s why I don’t include 2016 in that. I say “the Rams did NOT have BOTH things 76.5% of the time from 2012-15.”

    Keenum, however was not a starting caliber qb which is why they drafted one after 2015 when he was still on the roster. He’s playing now as a back-up who was inserted because of injury, but then he was signed by Minn as a back-up in spite of the fact that there were qb starved teams out there who could have pursued him if he were seen as a starter.

    Goff was about as green as a rookie gets because that’s what the college Air Raid system produces–qbs who are behind the curve learning the pro system. With the exception now of Goff in his 2nd year, the Air Air system has not produced a single continuing NFL starting qb, going back to 1999 (ie. going back to Tim Couch.) This is so widely known about Air Raid qbs that entire articles about Patrictk Mahomes, the qb Kansas City took in the 1st round this draft, are built around the Air Raid being a problem theme. They say things like “Mahomes, when he takes over for Alex Smith as the Chiefs starter, seeks the success unknown to most of his predecessors who led an Air Raid offense.” And like “Quarterbacks coming from his college offense have not been good.” And like “the Air Raid, well, it’s not exactly a `pro-style’ offense.” (Yes that was 3 different articles. I just quoted the first 3 that came up in the search.) Maybe Mahomes is the next exception. They certainly didn’t draft hiim intending to start him as a rookie.

    So Goff was just always going to be that green as a rookie.

    This is all compounded by the fact that the Rams had no running game in 2016…something I attribute as much to Gurley as anything else (he fell way off last year). With no running game, the veteran Keenum had a harder road to travel, and the rookie Goff stood no chance.

    And then of course no team, for decades, has been together enough to win the season after a cross state lines move.

    So there are a lot of reasons 2016 crashed. More than I listed actually.

    But I didnt’ say that 2016 was one of the years where the issue is both an injury compromised OL and a #2 caliber qb. When I talk about that I always restrict it to 2012-2015. As for 2016, it’s more complicated than that. It doesn’t reduce to that equation.

    ..

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