By: Brian Norris
Following a 42-14 blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons that lead to harsh comments from running back Todd Gurley, the Los Angeles Rams have fired head coach Jeff Fisher. Things have not gone as planned for the Rams in their return season to Los Angeles. After starting the season 3-1, Sunday's loss to Atlanta was Los Angeles's eighth in their last nine games. According to COO Kevin Demoff, Fisher's firing was "solely a performance issue." John Fassel was named the Rams' interim head coach.
The frustration of Los Angeles's season following the loss to Atlas Blinta came to a head when Gurley made a comment saying the Rams' offense looked "like a middle-school offense." Los Angeles committed five turnovers and failed to score any points until the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand. Gurley, who has the potential to be a top NFL running back, went on to say that the team put forth a poor effort and was "just going through the motions." The Rams' offense is averaging 14.9 points per game this season, which is the lowest of any team in the NFL.
The disappointment of the Rams' season is already putting strain on the fans in Los Angeles. As Will Brinson of CBS Sports points out, the attendance for Sunday's game with Atlanta was "abysmal." Brinson says that having a bad team and small crowds is a disastrous situation for owner Stan Kroenke. The poor fan showing at Sunday's game certainly didn't help Fisher's cause.
With Fisher out of the picture, the Rams must try to find a coach that will excite their fanbase. Judy Battista, a Media reporter for NFL.com, says the Los Angeles coaching job should be attractive because the Rams are a major-market team. Furthermore, Battista thinks Los Angeles has some good offensive players, such as Gurley and No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff, and a decent defense for their next coach to work with. Still, Battista says there will not likely be a decision made anytime soon because of an NFL rule that prohibits teams from taking to other teams' assistant coaches until the season is over or their team has a bye week in the playoffs.
Speculation as to who will take Fisher's place has already begun. In an article for Forbes, Josh Benjamin gives three names that are already circulating as potential replacements for Fisher. The first name Benjamin throws out is Jim Harbaugh. Although Harbaugh is well-compensated and having plenty of success at his alma mater Michigan, there are some who think he would consider returning to the NFL. Another person Benjamin sees as a possible replacement is New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel. McDaniel had a rough stint as the head coach of the Denver Broncos when he was 33 years old, but Benjamin thinks McDaniel is better prepared for the job now. The final name Benjamin throws out is Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Haley also has experience as a head coach and is receiving credit for Ben Roethlisberger's resurgence this season.
Fans in Los Angeles will be eagerly awaiting the decision of who will be the next coach to lead the Rams into the future. Until then, the Rams still have three games to play through in a season that is a lost cause, and there is not a lot of excitement about that.
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