Jeff Fisher has outlasted men who have saved his job

Photo by Andrew Strickert for Total Titans
Who else might Jeff Fisher outlast?

If Floyd Reese was still the Titans general manager, I wonder if he would argue on Jeff Fisher’s behalf as Bud Adams evaluates Fisher’s performance.

According to Reese’s wife, Sally, Floyd did that twice and saved Fisher’s job on both occasions.

Ironically, Fisher outlasted Reese, who was dismissed three years ago, in January, 2007, ending a power struggle between them. Reese was hired shortly thereafter as an analyst for NFL Network and later accepted a front office position with the New England Patriots.

I believe that one of those occasions when Adams was about to fire Fisher was early in the 2002 season, and Adams said the Titans were being out-coached.  Adams’ comment came after a 1-4 start and four straight losses.  This after the Titans had finished 7-9 the previous season.

The Titans were 13-3 in each of the two seasons before that, so when Adams made that comment, the team was in a decline of sorts.  I’d have to speculate on the other occasion when Floyd might have talked Adams out of firing Fisher.

In another bit of irony, Fisher has also outlasted Vince Young, who has also possibly saved Fisher’s job.  Young salvaged the Titans’ 2009 season by quarterbacking the team to an 8-2 finish, following an 0-6 start under Kerry Collins, which prompted two things.

Adams stated, “That is one of our problems, the coaching staff” and he also directed Fisher to replace Collins with Young.

OK, the 2009 season wasn’t that simple, but you could make the argument that Vince saved Fisher’s hide, as VY supporters do.  See also Tom’s take on that and other seasons in his evaluation of Fisher.

VY supporters also make the argument, less valid, that Vince saved Fisher’s job in 2006.  Vince was 8-5 as a starter that season, but I don’t believe that Fisher’s job was in jeopardy at that time.  The team was rebuilding, following the salary cap blowup, and Fisher was the man chosen to direct the rebuilding project.  If Bud had wanted someone else to rebuild the team, he would have made a coaching change prior to that point.

Now that Fisher has outlasted two men who have each allegedly saved his job, you have to wonder who else Fisher might outlast.

If Mike Reinfeldt has argued successfully for Adams to retain Fisher, and if Adams subsequently fires Reinfeldt, he could also join Reese and Young as men who have saved or helped to save Fisher’s job, only to be outlasted by him.

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