When I woke up yesterday, I had three certainties in life. They were death, taxes, and Jeff Fisher was the coach of the Tennessee Titans. By the time I went to bed, I was left with only two after the Titans out of nowhere decided to release their long time coach.
"After the season was complete, we had numerous discussions on the direction of the team and were pleased that we were moving forward with Jeff at the helm," the Titans said in a released statement. "Since that time, it became evident that consensus was increasingly hard to find and reality wasn’t matching the vision we discussed. It is unfortunate that this decision is coming at this juncture, but we believe that we have reached the point where change is in the best interest of both parties."
This news comes as a great surprise since Fisher was given a vote of confidence from Tennessee ownership just the week before. Another recent action that pointed in the team sticking with Fisher was when they announced that Vince Young would not be their quarterback next season. Young and Fisher’s rocky relationship hit an all time low this season, ending in such a way that it was obvious that it wasn’t possible to keep both. Fisher, who repeatedly had said he wanted to finish his career with the franchise, spent 17 seasons with the Titans and had the longest coaching stretch with one team among active coaches.
"I want to thank Mr. Adams and the organization for a special 17 years," Fisher said in a statement released by the team. "I can’t thank the fans enough for the support they showed us through the years; it has been a tremendous experience. We all did our very best and I think I can look back with fond memories and be very proud of what we accomplished. I want to wish the organization, the current players and the fans nothing but the best in the future."
The straw that broke the back between Fisher and the Titans is reportedly that the team would hire Fishers son, Brandon, as a member of the coaching staff. Fisher wanted his son on the staff as a quality control coach and thought that was going to be approved but Adams apparently was going to stick with his long term policy of not wanting family hired on the Titans’ coaching staff .
Fisher leaves the Titans as one of the most respected coaches in the game and though Tennessee has had it’s troubles of late, Fisher remained extremely popular among players not named Vince Young.
"At the end of the day, he’s a players’ coach," Titans linebacker Stephen Tulloch said, according to the newspaper. "He’s somebody I can definitely say a lot of players enjoyed playing for. He knew how to coach us and treat us like men.
"He’s a guy you could always talk to about your situation and was respectful of his players. I really don’t have anything bad to say about coach Fisher."