Before Jeff Fisher took over the Rams, the team looked hopeless and looked as if they would never reach the playoffs again, they had become the new Detroit Lions of the NFL. Hope is lurking around once again however, because after only one year and improving the 2-14 2011 Rams to 7-8-1 in 2012, the hopes of a possible playoff run are looming around. You would hope in his second season Fisher the team will improve once again. Here’s what to expect in Jeff Fisher’s second season.
Coming into his second season Jeff Fisher knows exactly what kind of team he has on his hands. He has a team that isnt going to be able to beat the good teams on talent alone. They are going to need talent and then some help. Jeff Fisher said it best himself, Today’s NFL is all about creating mismatches and taking advantage of those mismatches. This is exactly why the team added Jared Cook and Tavon Austin, to create mismatches. This is what the 2013 Rams offense is going to be about. Creating match-ups that favor their players and taking advantage of those match-ups. The Rams offense has the ability to be an explosive one this year, but it’s going to come down to whether or not their players can win their battles.
One thing that great coaches are great at doing is adapting to their team. Great coaches dont force a player to play his system, but adapt the system to the player. A great example of this is what John Fox did with Tebow in Denver. Fox changed his system to fit what Tebow does and ended up winning a playoff game with a quarterback who “cant throw”. Jeff Fisher is adapting his system to what he has in St. Louis. The running back position is a bit iffy to say the least. All of the running backs on the roster have little to know experience. This is why the running back by committee approach is so brilliant here and why it will work. The pressure of carrying the load and replacing Steven Jackson wont all be on one player, but a group of players. Fisher will more than likely roll with the hot hand, and then switch it up every once in a while in order to give defenses a new look. This system is perfect for this situation and there is no doubt in my mind that it will work.
As you can probably expect with a Jeff Fisher team, the Rams will once again have a good defense. The Rams defense lead the league in sacks last season and ranked just outside the top 10 after being absolutely atrocious in 2011, there really was no way they could possibly get worse. Fans should expect the Rams to be a top 10 defense this season. They have the players to do it, they just have to go out and perform. The defense does have it’s holes, but Fisher will make it work so that the weaknesses wont kill the defense. One thing that the defense does need to work on is the turnover situation. Fisher will put a large emphasis on this throughout the season, and hopefully the defense will be able to help the offense out a little bit by creating turnovers.
The most important thing that you can expect to see in 2013 is the players to be more comfortable with Jeff Fisher and the system. The players know what Fisher’s expectations are and what to expect from Fisher, nothing Fisher throws at them will be very new or be a huge surprise. It will also be the second year in the same systems for all the players which will help because they wont have to be thinking as much and will be able to react more on instinct.
In Jeff Fisher’s only other head coaching job with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, Fisher lead a 2-14 Oilers team to 7-9 in his first season, much like he did in St. Louis. Then in his second season he lead the Oilers to 8-8 which also could be a possibility this season for the Rams. Call it what you want, but could it be a coincidence? You make the call.