After a 3-1 start to the 2016-17 NFL season, the Los Angeles Rams have lost eight of their last nine games. As the team transitioned from Case Keenum to Jared Goff at quarterback, all of the blame has been put on head coach Jeff Fisher.
Despite the struggles, the Rams recently signed Fisher and general manager Les Snead to two-year extensions before their matchup against the New England Patriots. However, numerous reports suggested Fisher’s future with Los Angeles after the season was still dependent on how the team performed.
Following the embarrassing 42-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home, the Rams announced the following day they have relieved Fisher from his head coaching duties and owner/chairman Stan Kroenke released the following statement:
“Making a decision such as this – especially during the season – is one of the most difficult in sports,” said Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. “I have great respect for Jeff as a coach, person, father and friend.
“He has worked tirelessly despite some challenging circumstances. He played an integral role in helping this team make history in returning the NFL to Los Angeles, and we always will be grateful for his commitment and dedication to our organization.
“However, this is the right time to make a change as our performance has not lived up to my or our fans’ expectations. We all are focused on improving as an organization and building a team that makes Los Angeles proud. Our mission is to celebrate a Super Bowl title with our fans in Los Angeles. Today is the first step to bringing us closer to that goal.”
There had been speculation over the past few months about whether or not the Los Angeles would allow Fisher to finish the season, especially given his track record. Since being hired as the Rams head coach in 2012, Fisher amassed a record of 31-45-1. Following the team’s decision, special teams coordinator John Fassel will serve as the interim head coach for their Thursday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Snead’s future with Los Angeles still remains unclear as well. Since signing on with the Rams in tandem with Fisher, Snead has had his fair share of ups and downs in the draft and overall player personnel. While the defense has remained relatively stout in recent years, there are gaping holes in the offense that do not necessarily bode well for Goff.
With three games remaining against the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals, it will be interesting to see if a coaching change will spark the players to finish an unforgettable season on a high note.