“All those rumors? Fuck ‘em. Fuck all those rumors, man.” – “More News at 11”, Public Enemy
(Hey, that quote is as relevant 24 years later as it was then.)
Heading into the Cleveland Browns game – perhaps the one non-divisional game that St. Louis Rams fans could pencil in for a W shortly after the 2015 NFL schedule was released – the Blue-and-Gold were subject to a couple of rumors, both of which were blown away by coach Jeff Fisher. Of course, Fisher used standard NFL-approved parlance in his responses to media yesterday, so get out those Newspeak dictionaries for any possible reading between the lines.
Cook to Arizona? Tennessee? D.C.?
Incredible as it sounds, several sources have been reporting through the weekend that unnamed team or teams actually put out feelers for a member of the Rams *offense*, namely TE Jared Cook.
Said Fisher to the media: “We take calls all of the time,” Fisher said. “People call. People have injuries. People have interest. That happens all of the time. I have no interest in trading Jared. He’s a big part of our offense.”
Right, so, not much of substance there with regarding to Cook’s actual continued status with the Rams, but what’s intriguing about the quote is the “people have injuries” line.
With interest also reportedly being shown in San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis – who might as well be already gone with the attention he’s getting from Colin Kaepernick with the Niners’ “offense” – we might deduce that at least three teams currently weak at tight end are looking to make a move: the Arizona Cardinals, with Darren Fells out for up to a month more; the Tennessee Titans, who have returned Anthony Fasano but made Chase Coffman will be a healthy scratch against the Dolphins this week; and the Washington #ChangeTheMascot, with Jordan Reed still suffering from a concussion.
LARams.net is hoping Cook sticks around with the man on pace for 50-plus catches in 2015 despite Nick Foles at quarterback and with seven years’ NFL experience is among the savviest on the offense. On the other hand, one can easily see why Fisher et al would dispatch Cook on a “what have you done for me lately” basis: He has just five receptions in 17 targets over the past three days, though this includes a 1-of-6 day against the Green Bay Packers when Foles was chucking with the proverbial reckless abandon.
Yet somehow Foles is probably still held in higher regard by management. Sigh.
Fisher in 2016: Probably in L.A., but not at USC
Not so much a rumor as a logical inference that grew to talking point was discussion of Fisher taking a job at USC in the wake of Steve Sarkisian’s dismissal there.
As an alum of the Trojans, Fisher’s name has been linked to USC before – most recently just one year into his current contract with the Rams and prior to the Sarkisian hiring. As on that last occasion, Fisher called, as the British would say, bullocks on this round of nascent rumormongering: “I’ve heard things, but no. I appreciate whatever anybody else is saying out there, but I made a commitment to [Rams owner Stan Kroenke], and I'm going to keep that commitment.”
Yeah, like Fisher would take the USC job even if the Rams weren’t moving to Southern California in 2016 anyway. In the NFL, Fisher has enjoyed two long-term head coaching positions stretching back to 1994. In his 19 seasons of full-time coaching, Fisher has managed six winning seasons, the last in 2008; his lifetime winning percentage of .522.
So what do you suppose the odds are that a coach who has only worked in the NFL with astonishing job security would take a position in the highly volatile college ranks for a team far removed from its glory years? Seriously, would you make that career move?
I didn’t think so, dammit…
– written by Os Davis