Tag:Jeff Fisher
Posted on: January 27, 2011 6:10 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 10:11 am

Fisher and Titans parting ways (UPDATED)

Jeff Fisher and Tennessee have parted ways (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In a move that's had the NFL buzzing - so many questions: why now, what's next, how did this happen? - Jeff Fisher has coached his last game for the Titans.

The move is awfully surprising because owner Bud Adams essentially chose Fisher over troubled QB Vince Young in a showdown of the loser-must-leave-town following Tennessee’s 6-10 season. But according to SI.com's Don Banks, who broke the story, Fisher was troubled that he had to fire defensive coordinator and close friend Chuck Cecil while very well-respected defensive line coach Jim Washburn left for Philadelphia.

UPDATED (6:51 p.m.): Though Fisher’s team was going to have to play well in the final year of his contract in order for him to save his job, he’s been the respected Titans coach since 1994 when the club was known as the Houston Oilers. Since then, Fisher’s squads earned a 142-120 record with a combined six postseason berths, four division titles and a Super Bowl XXXIV appearance.

Plus, he had a Hall of Fame mustache and, most likely, he will have a few choices for head coaching spots after next season. Although some on Twitter have already begun to wonder if Fisher could be a candidate for the open Eagles defensive coordinator spot, that seems like a bit of a stretch at this point (though perhaps Washburn being there might be a positive).

But now the Fisher era in Tennessee is over. So, where will the Titans go for their next head coach? And for that matter, will Adams want Young to return?

As for the second question, it wouldn’t be a huge shock (certainly not as shocking as THIS news). Young is still only 27, and though his practice habits and work ethic have been questioned – as well as his attitude – he still could be a solid QB in the NFL for the next few seasons. Give him a coach with whom he can connect – that was a vital missing component in his relationship with Fisher – and maybe Young could be a top-10 guy in the league.

Plus, you know, Adams seems to have a soft spot for Young.

And I can’t leave without passing along this quote from Adams, courtesy of the Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt:

“Where did you hear that? I better check on that. I can’t talk about it now … I really can’t talk about it now because I don’t know what’s been said. I want to see what is going on.”

UPDATED (9:00 p.m.): The Titans and Fisher have released statements.

Statement from the Titans:

“We will be forever appreciative of Jeff Fisher’s leadership and accomplishments through his time with our franchise. We reached some of our greatest heights and experienced some unforgettable moments during his tenure.

“After the season was complete, we had numerous discussions on the direction of the team and were pleased that we were moving forward with Jeff at the helm. Since that time, it became evident that consensus was increasingly hard to find and reality wasn’t matching the vision we discussed. It is unfortunate that this decision is coming at this juncture, but we believe that we have reached the point where change is in the best interest of both parties.

“We will start the head coaching search tomorrow. We expect to talk to a broad and diverse group of candidates. We are confident the coaching pool still has a number of quality candidates that can lead our football team.”

Statement from Fisher:

“I want to thank Mr. Adams and the organization for a special 17 years. I can’t thank the fans enough for the support they showed us through the years; it has been a tremendous experience. We all did our very best and I think I can look back with fond memories and be very proud of what we accomplished. I want to wish the organization, the current players and the fans nothing but the best in the future.”

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Posted on: January 21, 2011 10:51 am

Hot Routes 1.21.11: what does Mean Gene think?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Mean Gene Okerlund weighed in on Bart Scott’s post-game rant last Sunday. Said Mean Gene: “On a scale of one to 10, I would give him an eight. A good interview has to create emotion. You can do that through love or hate, or just by entertaining people, and he does that.”
  • Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti lays down the gauntlet for new OL coach Andy Moeller: there better not be any more alcohol-related incidents, or you’ll be fired.

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Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:58 pm

Titans DC Chuck Cecil surprised by firing

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After he was told he would not be retained as Titans defensive coordinator, Chuck Cecil could admit that, yes, he, in fact, was surprised by the move.

“You just have to move on,” Cecil told the Tennessean. “I can’t be more thankful than the opportunity I was given and I’ll take those things with me to my next job. I don’t want to turn this into a negative spin kind of thing. That’s life in the NFL. I owe a debt of gratitude to Jeff Fisher and Bud Adams and the Titans organization and I wish them the best of luck moving forward.”

Cecil was moved to defensive coordinator in 2009, and a team that had been ranked No. 7 in defense immediate fell to No. 27. The squad moved up slightly to No. 26 this season, and though it appeared for a little while that Fisher might be pink-slipped by Adams, Fisher’s return probably sealed Cecil’s fate.

“The bottom line to me, and I know everybody gets caught up in the yardage statistics, and I’ve always contended it is really about the points,” Cecil said. “There were obviously games we needed to play a lot better than we did and we didn’t perform at the level we expected.

“The bottom line is when the season ended the way it did, it is going to reflect poorly on everybody. Do I feel like the defense was to blame? I felt like the entire team was to blame. People are going to have different opinions about that. and everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I have my own and I’ll take it with me.’’

To his point about the scoring defense, the Titans ranked No. 2 in points allowed in 2008, No. 28 in 2009 and No. 15 this year.

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Posted on: January 9, 2011 11:29 pm

Bud Adams explains why he kept Fisher

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

At first, we thought Titans owner Bud Adams would keep his troubled QB Vince Young instead of his longtime coach Jeff Fisher. Most of us agreed that he would be making a big mistake to see more value in Young than Fisher, but most of us also agreed that we wouldn’t be all that surprised too see Adams make that move anyway.

Fisher seemed adamant about not working with Young any more, and vice versa. Adams, meanwhile, was trying to figure out a way to keep the two of them together.

"I was thinking we could get him and Vince together, but it wasn't going to work,” Adams told the Tennessean. “It is one of those things where we had to buckle down and get it over with. … With what I am paying (Fisher), I am not going to let him go and pay him a lot of money. I was thinking we could get him and Vince together, but it wasn't going to work so I had to stick with Jeff and let Vince go.''

So, he sent Young packing and kept Fisher around for a while longer, though he’s also not giving Fisher an extension. That means Fisher will enter 2011 in the final season of his contract.

From the story:

(Adams) admitted parting ways with Young was difficult.

In 2006, Adams handpicked the Houston native after his spectacular performance in leading Texas to the national championship. On two occasions when the Titans were struggling, Adams sent word to Fisher that he wanted Young on the field, and the coach reluctantly complied. …

On Wednesday, Young told The Tennessean he didn't think Fisher ever "trusted" him and said, "I just never felt like I was his guy.'' Young was scheduled to receive about $12 million in salary and bonuses from the Titans this year.

"Vince is a good man,'' Adams said. "Vince realizes he probably stepped on a lot of toes and did some things he shouldn't have done. He is sorry it took place, but he understood what we decided to do and I hope he's learned a lesson.

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Posted on: January 9, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2011 5:03 pm

Casserly: No one wants Vince Young as a starter

Posted by Will Brinson

Vince Young lost the staring contest between he and Jeff Fisher for the heart of Bud Adams and is likely to be released by the team soon, as finding a trading partner for the former Texas star is unlikely.

Just how unlikely though? VERY unlikely, according to CBS Sports' Charley Casserly, who reported on The NFL Today that he doesn't expect there to be any interest in Young around the NFL next year.

"Look for Young to be released by the Titans on or about February 7th, the first day you can release players," Casserly said. "However, I surveyed all of the teams that need a starting quarterback in the NFL and none of them were interested in Vince Young as their starter. But I believe he will also be signed as a backup in the offseason."

Yikes. That's a fall so precipitous that even Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen are impressed -- just a few months ago, Young was the starting quarterback on one of the best teams in the AFC, trying to get healthy so he could hook up with Randy Moss on deep balls and cementing himself as one of the most impressive maturation stories in the NFL.

Now he's likely headed to the NFL's version of the "street" and even teams like Arizona, Carolina, Seattle and Minnesota (best collective starter: Matt Hasselbeck!) appear uninterested in Young's services.

Casserly also reported that Fisher and the Titans are likely to begin discussions for a contract extension in the offseason, which should be much easier to pull off once Adams realizes just how wisely he chose in his Young-Fisher decision.

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Posted on: January 7, 2011 5:13 pm

Jeff Fisher officially returning to Titans

Posted by Will Brinson

Bud Adams might have taken his time picking between Vince Young and Jeff Fisher, but Vince Young's disappointing Titans career over to bring Fisher back, announcing Friday that Fisher would return for 2011.

"Jeff has meant a great deal to this franchise and we have reached some incredible heights under his leadership," Adams said in a statement released by the team. "Obviously I have very high expectations for our football team and want to deliver a championship to our fans. Jeff understands this and shares my expectations. The results of his leadership have been some very good football teams and I believe he will get us back to an elite level."

This isn't that big a surprise -- Fisher has just one year left on his contract and it makes sense for both sides to keep the continuity in Tennessee rolling.

If Fisher left, he wouldn't have as many job opportunities open as he might have a few weeks ago (Houston, Dallas are no longer open coaching gigs) and if Adams fired Fisher, he'd run the risk of bringing in a new coach who might not be able to begin working with the team until after labor negotiations were resolved.

He'd also be paying a pair of coaches even though there's no guarantee of football in 2011 quite yet.

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Posted on: January 6, 2011 8:53 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 9:23 pm

Hot Routes 1.6.11: Get your chapstick ready

Posted by Josh Katzowitz and Will Brinson 

  • Hey, you. Yeah, you. Not impressed with the job Tom Coughlin did this season? Think he should have been fired despite the Giants 10-6 record? Yeah? Well, you can kiss his ass, then. You all can line up and kiss his ass.
  • John Elway has joined Twitter. Hopefully, he won't be as psychedelic and, well, weird as Jim Irsay).
  • Mike Mularkey has decided not to interview for the Broncos head coaching job at this point, though he still will interview with the Browns. He wants to keep focused apparently on the Falcons playoff run.

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Posted on: January 5, 2011 6:56 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 9:10 pm

Vince Young's disappointing Titans career over

Posted by Andy Benoit

Bud Adams seems to have finally come to his senses.The Titans owner says Vince Young is out in Tennessee. This likely means that Jeff Fisher is in…at least for 2011. His contract expires after the season. (Adams did make clear, however, that the evaluation of the coaching staff is still ongoing.)

In a statement released by the team, Adams said, "I think it is best for the franchise that we move on at this point." Adams is a known admirer of the 27-year-old quarterback (did you see the Titans’ holiday card this past year?). Many around the league assumed that the owner would ignore the myriad calls from his advisors telling them to dump Young. 
V. Young (US Presswire)
But that didn't prove to be the case. By getting rid of Young, Adams not only holds onto a quality head coach, he also saves more than $12 million in 2011. Expect Young to be traded or released by March 10, as that’s the day he’s scheduled for a $4.25 million roster bonus.

Just a few short years ago, it would have been unimaginable that Tennessee would find itself in this position. Drafted in ’06 No. 3 overall and expected to sit his first few years, Young instead started 13 games his rookie season. Titans went 10-6 and reached the postseason in his second year.

Then, in 2008, it all went south. Young was booed by the home crowd in the season opener. He scared friends and family the next day by disappearing (there were rumors of a suicide watch). The Titans turned to Kerry Collins that year and wound up finishing 13-3. Young made his way back into the starting lineup in 2009 and led the team from 0-6 to 8-8. However, his ’10 campaign was pocked by off-field transgressions (the bar fight in Austin, the redundant tardiness to team meetings and, most notably, the shoulder pads-throwing and verbal haymaker he dealt Fisher in the locker room following the loss to the Redskins).

What people fail to talk about is Young’s lack of NFL quality skills. Yes, the Titans were 30-17 in games he started, but that had more to do with a good running game, solid defense and excellent coaching. The reality is, Young was never asked to read the entire field from the pocket. Coaches only felt comfortable with him having a “read 1, read 2, run!” approach. That’s fine if you’re a rookie, but as a veteran, those kind of mental limitations handcuff an offensive coordinator.

There will probably be more than one foolish team out there willing to give Young another shot at stardom (the Raiders seem like the obvious early favorite). Michael Vick’s resurrection in Philly doesn’t hurt Young’s chances. But the difference between Vick and Young is the former can throw and the latter cannot. No matter which way you slice it, Young does not have a great arm (his mechanics and velocity are both subpar). And while it’s true Young can run, there isn’t a defensive coordinator in the league who loses half as much sleep over Young as he would over Vick. Young is more of a scrambler than a running threat. (Think of it this way: if Alex Smith’s running skills reside on the west coast and Michael Vick’s running skills reside on the east coast, Vince Young’s running skills are somewhere in Utah. The guy just isn’t an electrifying burner.)

But again, Young shouldn’t have much trouble finding one team willing to coax itself into loving his skills. He’ll make less money than he would have as a Titan, but he’ll get the fresh start he so desperately needs.

UPDATE 9:08 p.m. ET: Jim Wyatt spoke with Young Wednesday night. Young wished Fisher all the best but said he felt like Fisher never trusted him. ("I was always looking over my shoulder.")

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com