We know the story lines in New England after the Patriots’ 26-10 victory at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Here are a handful of reactions from the City of Angels and beyond. The Rams lost for the seventh time in their last eight games. For what it is worth it is safe to say that Bill Belichick owns Jeff Fisher. In the last three games between the two head coaches the Hoodie’s squads are 3-0, outscoring Fisher’s clubs by a combined score of 130-17.
News broke earlier that Fisher’s contract has been extended for two years. That perplexing decision is not surprisingly the focus of attention for those dedicated souls that follow the Rams.
First, an interesting piece from a forgotten name. Remember the doctor that operated on Tom Brady after his knee was demolished in the 2008 season opener? He was excoriated at the time by some after news of post-operation infections, but it turns out that he and Brady are BFFs.
One of Brady’s best friends and most devoted supporters will be watching from a prime vantage.
The visitors’ sideline.
Neal ElAttrache, team physician for the Rams, helped save Brady’s career. ElAttrache reconstructed the left knee of the future Hall of Famer, who suffered a three-ligament tear in a 2008 season opener.
“At a pretty critical moment in my career, he was someone who was right there by my side,” Brady recently told The Times. “I’m forever grateful to him and his commitment to me, and we’re lifelong friends because of that.”
ElAttrache, who met Brady 15 years ago when a mutual friend introduced them for a golf round at Pebble Beach, remains his personal doctor from 3,000 miles away. He consults from afar with the Patriots medical staff and trainers on garden-variety injuries, and is always prepared if something more serious were to occur.
In an era of heightened scrutiny on the complex interaction among doctors and teams and players, the friendship that has emerged between ElAttrache and Brady extends beyond the sacrosanct physician-patient relationship.
“I think it’s safe to say that I will never root for another person against Tom Brady,” said ElAttrache, who serves as chairman of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Foundation and director of medical affairs for the Kerlan-Jobe Institute.
SB Nation: Jeff Fisher’s problems are never his fault, and he has a contract extension to prove it
Nobody in the NFL is as good at being bad at their job as Jeff Fisher, but he’s got a million excuses for that
It’s turned out to be a tough season for Fisher and the Rams; this week was the worst of it so far. Sean Payton and the Saints gave them a revenge game beatdown, a public fight with the team’s most prominent alumni left Fisher looking petty, and a conference call in which Fisher didn’t seem to know who the Patriots running backs were.
Yet, somehow, the Rams still came out in support of their head coach. COO Kevin Demoff spent the week parroting the team’s party line on Fisher, that it’s unfair to judge him by his record. They’re paying him $7 million per year to not be judged by his perpetually mediocre results.
The Rams’ team headquarters is such a judgment-free zone that the Rams gave Fisher a two-year contract extension earlier this season, one that will pay him $7 million in 2017 and $9 million in 2018.
Nothing new for Teflon Fisher. He’s coached 22 years with only six winning seasons and three losses away from having more than any other head coach in NFL history. When a nuclear explosion rids the world of humanity, there will only be Jeff Fisher organizing a group of 53 cockroaches into a 7-9 insect football team.
The talent level on the Rams’ offense, especially along the offensive line, is entirely insufficient to be able to operate an offensive gameplan consistently.
The physicality and aggression, let alone the quality of tutelage, lends itself to an unusually high number of penalties. Today, that didn’t manifest itself to nearly the degree it tends to. No matter.
But most overwhelmingly, the 2016 Los Angeles Rams, much like their previous versions the last four years in St. Louis, are overseen by Jeff Fisher, a master in finding ways to limit his teams to a very low level of capability and not get fired.
Today isn’t so much about losing to the Patriots. Lots of good teams have done as much.
Today isn’t even about the manner in which they did it with a horrendous offensive output capped with a garbage time touchdown that came on the back of the Patriots’ lone defensive failing of the day.
It’s about the entirety of Fisherball. It’s about five years of it. Five years of losing. The excuses. The complete lack of accountability.
With the loss today, Jeff Fisher is one loss away from tying Dan Reeves for the most losses of all-time of any NFL head coach.
Rams Coach Jeff Fisher has received a contract extension, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Fisher is in the final season of a five-year contract that pays him $7 million a year. The Rams are 4-7 this season and Fisher has a 31-43-1 record with the Rams heading into Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
General Manager Les Snead also received an extension, said the source, who requested anonymity to avoid getting ahead of the expected official announcement.
Despite his record, Fisher before the season was thought to be in line for an extension for helping to oversee the Rams’ move from St. Louis to Los Angeles.
But the Rams did not announce it before a season-opening loss against the San Francisco 49ers or after the Rams got off to a 3-1 start.
Sports Illustrated: Rams overlook obvious problems and extend coach Jeff Fisher’s contract
Say this much about the Rams: They don’t easily cave to outside noise.
Despite the increasing calls for Los Angeles to move on from coach Jeff Fisher as the franchise steamrolls towards its fifth straight sub-.500 record under his leadership, the front office apparently thinks highly enough of Fisher to keep him around. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the Rams and Fisher had, in fact, signed a two-contract extension through 2018.
Rumors of such an extension had been floating since earlier this season—the Rams’ first back in Los Angeles. SI’s Jonathan Jones even speculated last week that Fisher may know something the general public did not about his job status.
Turns out, that was true. Which is enough to make you wonder why the Rams kept this all so hush-hush.
The obvious answer is that the backlash for the front office rewarding Fisher in the midst of a disappointing 4–7 season would have been (and now will be) swift. The Rams finished 7-8-1 in Fisher’s first year in St. Louis (2012), but they have not been able to match even that mediocre finish in the years since. Headed into Sunday’s game at New England, Fisher was just two away from tying Dan Reeves for the most losses (165) in NFL coaching history.
Los Angeles Daily News: Rams have a ways to go to totally win back hearts of Los Angeles
What, you thought this was going to be a perfectly seamless transition? The Rams were just going to waltz into town after abandoning us all those years ago and just slide right back into our hearts and souls?
Sorry, that was never going to happen. It was inevitable there would be hiccups and bumps in the road. This was as awkward as awkward gets, them walking out on us 21 years ago like a dad kicking his family to the curb and us eventually writing them off for good.
Former Ram running back Eric Dickerson is not a fan of Fisher’s contract extension. For a detailed review of the conversation between the Hall of Fame RB and Fisher, see Eric Dickerson says he will not go to Rams games as long as Jeff Fisher is the coach from the LA Times.
Earlier Monday, on Dickerson’s own Los Angeles-based radio show, he said, “Someone from upper management called me and said that I make the players feel uncomfortable about some of the stuff I’ve said on the radio, and they don’t want me on the sidelines. Basically, they didn’t want me at the games.”
(Dickerson) told Liz Habib, a sports anchor at KTTV in Los Angeles, that Fisher had called him and said, “As long as I’m head coach, you’re not welcome on the sideline.”
“As long as you’re head coach, you don’t ever have to worry about ever seeing me at a Rams game again,” Dickerson said he told Fisher, in comments made to Jason Smith of Fox Sports Radio. He said that he’d gotten the call about 10 days ago, and that he told the coach, “First of all, I wore the Rams uniform. You could get fired, [General Manager] Les Snead could get fired, Kevin Demoff could get fired, but I will always be Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams.”
“How dare you have the audacity to call me with that nonsense,” Dickerson said of Fisher to Smith. About the coach’s “really good conversation” comment, Dickerson said, “The good conversation came after I let him know what time it was. … Then he backed down.”
And the topic devolves from there.
“I asked Kevin Demoff [the team’s V-P of football operations and chief operating officer] point-blank last night, I said, ‘So, are you bringing Jeff Fisher back? Does he have an extension?’” Dickerson said on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” “He said, ‘We’re talking about it.’ He asked me, ‘What do you think?’ I said, ‘My honest opinion? No. Look, he’s had five years. Five years of losing. Enough is enough.
“‘If I’m a fan, I feel like all these Rams fans, I’m their voice. I mean, why would you bring him back?’ I asked him, ‘Where are the naked pictures at?’ He must’ve got something on someone because five years is enough. It really is. You can’t subject all the Rams fans to this for another year.
And with this being SoCal, a former celebrity has an opinion as well.
CBS Sports: Snoop Dogg rips the Rams, calls for Fisher’s firing over Dickerson situation
Even Snoop thinks the Rams should fire Jeff Fisher
If Jeff Fisher’s goal in Los Angeles is to turn every celebrity against the Rams, then he’s doing a good job.
As the fallout continues from Fisher’s feud with Rams legend Eric Dickerson, we now know that there are at least two celebrities in L.A. who want to seen Fisher fired: Dickerson and yup, you guessed it, Snoop Dogg.
When Snoop’s talking about the NFL, he’s usually spends most of his time talking about the Seahawks or Steelers; however, it appears that he became so irate at Fisher at the Dickerson situation that he decided to go on Instagram and call for Fisher’s firing.
Here’s the censored version of what Snoop said.
“Coach need to go … He don’t know how to coach,” Snoop says in his video. “He ain’t won s—. He ain’t gonna win s—. He need to go. Period.”
So why did the Rams decide to reward Fisher with an extension despite his inability to post a winning record? It’s hard to determine any positives in this situation, but the one factor that sticks out the most is the hand Fisher was dealt for 2016 along with the potential surrounding Jared Goff at quarterback.
Los Angeles strongly believed at the beginning of the season the one thing holding them back from truly becoming contenders in the NFC was the quarterback position and after moving up in the draft to select Goff along with parting ways with Nick Foles, they finally received an upgrade. Goff may still have plenty of work to do from a development standpoint, but the No. 1 pick finally found a way to spark the Rams’ offense when he threw for three touchdowns in the first half against the New Orleans Saints back in Week 12.
The decision may not make sense at the moment, but it’s clear Los Angeles is taking the Marvin Lewis approach with this situation by keeping Fisher around, despite his inability to win a single playoff game. For the sake of the Rams fan base, let’s hope the organization doesn’t keep Fisher around as long as the Bengals have kept Lewis if the team continues to struggle over the next couple of seasons.
Posted Under: NFL Commentary
Tags: 2016 NFL Season Bill Belichick eric dickerson Jeff Fisher Los Angeles Rams New England Patriots Patriots Pats Tom Brady Week 13