The longest tenured NFL Head Coach is no longer employed. Yesterday the Tennessee Titans and owner Bud Adams decided to part ways with Jeff Fisher after 16 seasons. Fisher was the head coach of the Houston/Tennessee Titans for 16 years (1994-2010) and went a very respectable 142-120 over his career.
The reason for the dismissal has not yet been reported, but many say it was in the making for quite a while now. The finals straw may have been when Fisher tried to hire his son, Brandon Fisher as a part of his coaching staff. Owner Bud Adams said he didn’t want family hired on the Titans’ coaching staff and he apparently stuck by those principles this week in conversations with Fisher. I’m sure that didn’t go over well. Also his relationship with QB Vince Young was never one you’d like to see your Head Coach and Franchise QB have. Young consistently disobeyed Fisher, and Young on numerous occasions felt Fisher and himself never saw eye to eye. Their relationship never did develop which led to the Titans announcing they will not keep their former first round pick, this upcoming season.
During Fisher’s tenure with the Titans/Oilers he has had his share of up’s and downs. He had his one Super Bowl appearance against the St.Louis Rams in 1999, losing 23-16 seemingly by One Yard. Titans WR Kevin Dyson was tackled a yard short of a game winning TD by Rams LB Mike Jones (WHO, Mike JONES!) Fisher’s career always seemed to be on edge record wise, scattering a few 12 win, 13 win seasons in between 7 and 8 wins. He was often referred to as “Coach .500” or “Coacho Ocho.”
This leads me to question how he kept his job in such a league that expects so much, so early and often from Head Coaches. Fischer went 5-6 in his postseason career, with 3 Wins coming in that one Super Bowl season. His last playoff win came in 2003 vs the Baltimore Ravens. After that season the Titans would only have 2 more winning seasons out of 7. Not exactly a great record for a guy who kept his job while coaches were being fired after a year or two of struggles.
Sure continuity is enormous when it comes to coaching in the NFL, you can’t keep going into a season with a new coach and system it just doesn’t work that way. But for a team to keep a Head Coach 16 years and have just a Super Bowl Loss to show for it, kinda shocks me.
Either way, I’m sure Fisher will land on his feet and find work in the NFL soon.