Most St. Louis sports fans got a double dose of great news Sunday, with the revelation the Rams had given Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead contract extensions, followed by a 26-10 loss at Foxborough to the New England Patriots.
It’s not just the extensions that make me happy. It’s the knowledge that the franchise is going to be mired in consistent wretchedness for the foreseeable future.
Why? Here are five reasons…
1) Fisher: By giving him a two-year contract extension, the Rams assured that he can become the Cy Young of coaching losses. Young has an MLB best 511 career wins. Walter Johnson is second with 417. Next week, Fisher should lose to the Falcons and match Dan Reeves’ NFL record for head coaching losses with 165.
Bill Belichick is second among active coaches with 115 losses, but he’s averaged about five losses a year for 22 seasons. If Fisher would go unbeaten for a decade, Belichick would need that decade to tie. Among other active coaches, Andy Reid is a couple of losses behind The Hoodie.
Jack Del Rio has 82 losses in his eleventh year, but he would have to have the career he’s had AGAIN to reach Fisher’s loss total.
The fact of the matter is Fisher is on his way to setting a record that will be almost impossible to break.
Toss that in with the fact that Fisher will be…unless the Rams go unbeaten the rest of the season…the first coach in the Super Bowl era to start a career with a team with five straight losing seasons and keep his job. By any measure, what he hasn’t done while still having that coaching job is remarkable.
2) Jared Goff: Before the Rams’ last garbage time drive, the prized rookie was 11-28 for 88 yards. I was on the road and listening to the New England broadcast, and Patriots analyst, and former NFL quarterback Scott Zolak talked continually about how Goff didn’t show him anything. He brought up the struggles Troy Aikman had as a rookie, but added “at least you saw something from him.” He pointed out how ready Andrew Luck was coming out of the Pac 12 to the NFL. At least this former NFL quarterback said “I’m just not seeing it,” with Goff. So, Fisher’s hand-picked franchise quarterback will stick with his record setting coach.
3) Snead: In five years, Snead has owned 26 premium (first three rounds) draft picks. He traded the second, sixth, and 45th picks in the 2012 draft, first and second rounders to move up in 2013, the 23rd pick to move down, and his first three picks this year to move up to get Goff. He has used seventeen premium picks in five drafts. Of those, ten are desired Rams starters, and two of those have gone to a Pro Bowl, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald. The other eight desired starters (they started Greg Robinson on Sunday because Rodger Saffold was hurt) are Michael Brockers and Trumaine Johnson from 2012, Tavon Austin, Alec Ogletree and T.J. McDonald from 2013, Rob Havenstein and Jamon Brown from 2015, and Goff this year.
Snead is enamored of young, inexperienced players. Brockers, Gurley and Robinson were all 20 year olds when the Rams took them, and all have shown various levels of lack of progress.
Three of Snead’s seventeen premium choices are no longer in the NFL, Isaiah Pead, Stedman Bailey and Tre Mason. 2015 third rounder Sean Mannion didn’t show enough to prevent the Rams from dealing up to get Goff.
And most alarming about Snead’s choices is that of fifteen picks AFTER the third round in 2012, 2013 and 2014, only four are with the team…kicker Greg Zuerlein, defensive backs Maurice Alexander and E.J. Gaines and offensive lineman Demetrius Rhaney.
Bottom line, this team does a bad job of drafting and developing good, winning players, and Snead’s extension promises more of the same.
4) Kevin Demoff: His dad is Fisher’s agent, which probably made the negotiation a little more interesting. The more Fisher gets, the more Marvin Demoff gets.
As we know, Kevin Demoff is a loser.
In twelve NFL seasons, he was part of a couple of 9-7 campaigns in Tampa Bay, but otherwise hasn’t participated in anything of note from a football perspective.
His continued presence with the Los Angeles Rams will be wonderful for St. Louis.
He thinks Fisher is great. He’s on board with what Snead has done. He’s a fan of Goff. He likes their players.
And of course he says it’s unfair to judge Fisher on his record. That’s PERFECT.
5) Enos Kroenke: Another sports loser. His Colorado Avalanche are 9-13-1, in last place in the NHL’s Central Division and 24th out of 30 teams in attendance.
His Denver Nuggets are 7-13, one game ahead of last place Minnesota in the NBA’s Northwest Division and second-to-last in attendance (and if you don’t believe he owns those teams, check their websites). His Colorado Rapids made the MLS semifinals, but were third-to-last in attendance. And the same lack of interest in supporting a perennial loser in St. Louis will take hold soon enough in L.A.
Chronic losing starts at the top in sports, and Enos has established himself as a chronic loser.
In the Rams’ fifth season in St. Louis, they won the Super Bowl with Dick Vermeil in charge of the organization. The same thing happened with Ozzie Newsome taking the helm in Baltimore. With the Rams in Los Angeles, Kroenke has his boy Demoff in charge, and both of them are enamored of Fisher. That means more losing for a franchise that has logged thirteen straight non-winning seasons.
The extensions for Fisher and Snead will make for more gleeful Sundays and Mondays in St. Louis.