Posted on: September 27, 2008 3:00 pm
With the Titans at 3-0 and playing some serious defense, I started to give some thoughts to Fishers career with the team. He took over a terrible Jack Pardee coached team permanently in 1995 and has been there ever since. 13 years is quite a tenure for a head coach in the NFL. Since that time, his teams have averaged over 9 wins a season. His defenses, particularily the run defenses, have been really solid. Look at some of these numbers.
I am going to say that 2004-2006 was a true rebuilding time for the Titans (Although they finished 8-8 in 2006). Jeff Fisher was on the hot seat even though it was clear that the Eddie George, Derrick Mason, Steve Mcnair, Bruce Matthews, Kevin Carter, Samari Rolle, Javon Kearse era was over and the team needed to be rebuilt. I have taken those numbers out of he equation to see how Fisher's defenses have done on average over the other 11 years.
11th in Points allowed, 12th in yards allowed, 13th in interceptions, 5th in rushing yards allowed, 7th in rushing TD's, 8th in Yards per carry, 11th in turnovers.
The Rebuilding period was bad, where they were on average 29-32nd in the league in a lot of defensive categories, but to sustain such a high level of performance over that many seasons is pretty outstanding. He did it without a large number of top tier players, too. I think in those 15 seasons he's had 12 seperate Pro Bowlers: Rob Bironas, Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Vince Young, Derrick Mason, Craig Hentrich, Eddie George, Javon Kearse, Frank Wycheck, Samari Rolle, Blaine Bishop, and Bruce Matthews. There are some outstanding players in there, but it's not an overwhelmingly strong group and two of them are kickers.
Everyone speaks highly of Mike Shanahan and his ability to plug in running backs and get results, but Fisher has been impressive, too. Since Eddie George left, Fisher had made 1000 yard runners out of Chris Brown, Travis Henry, LenDale White and has Chris Johnson on pace to be a fourth since 2004, the first Eddie Georgeless season.
Everyone speaks highly of other coaches developing QB's. Steve Mcnair was about as raw of a talent as you can find, a talented player out of Alcorn State. He brought him along slowly and Mcnair eventually became league MVP.
Why is Jeff Fisher never mentioned among the Elite Coaches?