After losing seven of their last eight games, the Los Angeles Rams’ organization finally decided to step in and take matters into their own hands. The organization fired head coach Jeff Fisher, in an effort to move the franchise in another direction.
During the press conference regarding Fisher’s firing, COO Kevin Demoff stated that the decision was a reflection on the entire organization and that changes need to be made. With three games remaining in the regular season, the Rams hired special team coach John Fassel as the interim head coach.
Fassel was seemingly handed the job and was given less than three days to prepare for their Week 15 showdown on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. The head coach has gone through a whirlwind of events, taking over the job for a coach that he was close with.
When asked about the chain of events that occurred, Fassel stated that he talked to Fisher about preparing a game plan for Thursday’s game, via Myles Simmons of TheRams.com:
“It’s been a long night, it’s been a long day,” Fassel said after Monday’s short practice. “I talked to Coach Fisher and basically asked what he thought, asked for his blessing, [saying], ‘Coach me up, coach ‘Fish’ on what the next couple of hours are going to be like.’ He told me everything that I needed to know. But, I know there’s a lot more that is going to be in to it than I’m prepared for. I’ll do my best to be great.”
The decision to move on from Fisher on Monday did have repercussions, although the organization insisted it was the right time. With a roster now caught in the middle, the Rams need to regroup and prepare for the NFC West showdown.
The Rams have maintained a strong divisional record dating back to last season, winning their three previous matchups against the Seahawks. Fassel’s decision to converse with Fisher seems to be the right move, in order to have a game plan and outlook for the team.
While these last three games don’t necessarily have playoff implications for the Rams, it is an audition for certain players and the coaching staff for beyond the 2016 season. What remains to be seen is how the Rams will respond to his firing, as Fisher did have a divided locker room towards the end of his tenure.
During his media session, Fassel stated that the team needs to rally together for coach Fisher, in order to demonstrate the talent the Rams have:
“And I think, in this situation, every player on the team has the utmost respect for Coach Fisher and it has to be a little bit of a rallying cry,” Fassel said. “Obviously we’re not going to go to the playoffs, so what are we playing for — we’re playing because we love ball and we’re playing because we love Coach Fisher. To me, the emotions are a great thing. As long as we have that, we’ll find a way to use them to our advantage.”
The Thursday Night Football national telecast will surely be quite the introduction for Fassel, on a primetime stage.
Although the organization is in a state of disarray, the roster does have strong players to build off of. What remains to be seen is how the Rams will respond to the adversity playing in a hostile environment.