Fisher out as Titans head coach

Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 6:19pm

Jeff Fisher is no longer the coach of the Tennessee Titans.

A release from the team Thursday afternoon said: "The Tennessee Titans and Jeff Fisher have agreed to part ways and Fisher will no longer be the head coach of the team."

A press conference to address the situation will be held later in the evening or on Friday, the release said.

“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 statement, attributed to no particular person. "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.

“We will start the head coaching search [Friday]. We expect to talk to a broad and diverse group of candidates. We are confident the coaching pool still has a number of quality candidates that can lead our football team.”

The franchise’s all-time winningest coach had his job security reaffirmed two weeks ago when owner Bud Adams said he planned to retain Fisher for a 17th season. It would have been the final year of his current contract and there was no indication that any sort of extension was in the works.

“I want to thank Mr. Adams and the organization for a special 17 years," Fisher said in a statement, also 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.”

Days before his initial decision on Fisher, Adams announced the team intended to cut ties with quarterback Vince Young, who clashed with Fisher (sometimes publicly) over the years, particularly during the latter weeks of this season.

It was similar to four years earlier when Fisher won another perceived power struggle. Adams chose not to renew the contract of General Manager Floyd Reese following the 2006 campaign. Fisher and Reese had worked together since 1995.

It remains to be seen whether Adams changes his stance in regard to Young’s future with the organization.

Last week, defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was told he would not return for the coming season, and two other long-time assistants, Jim Washburn and Craig Johnson, took jobs with other teams.

As executive vice president/head coach, Fisher had control over the makeup of his staff, but it was unclear whether those moves — directly or indirectly — were the result of any influence or interference from the owner.

“I gotta let it all sink in,” defensive end Jason Babin said on Sirius NFL Radio from the Pro Bowl. “It hurt me when my man left, [defensive line coach Jim] Washburn, and now my second guy [Fisher] leaves. It’s pretty crazy.”

Fisher had a 142-120 record in 16-plus seasons and was the NFL’s longest active tenured head coach for the past several seasons. He was promoted from defensive coordinator to interim head coach with six games to go in the 1994 season and officially was hired after that.

Fisher led the franchise to its only Super Bowl appearance, following the 1999 season, and guided his team back to the postseason five times in the next 11 years. The Titans’ last playoff victory was in 2003, though, and two years ago they were eliminated in the divisional round with a loss to Baltimore after they had the league’s best regular-season record.

Fisher's record was polarizing in that it included five 8-8 seasons. His supporters argued that he had just five losing seasons out of 16, whereas his detractors countered that he finished better than .500 just six times out of 16.

Either way, his teams were characterized by a emphasis on the run game (eight times they finished in the top 10 in the league and only twice were they outside the top 20) and the ability to stop the run on defense (a top 10 ranking in each of his first nine seasons).

“We will be forever appreciative of Jeff Fisher’s leadership and accomplishments through his time with our franchise," the Titans' statement said. "We reached some of our greatest heights and experienced some unforgettable moments during his tenure."


46 Comments on this post:

By: jwk6179 on 1/27/11 at 6:04

It's offical, the most SCREWED UP Franchise in the NFL is no longer in Oakland but in Nashville. And the most SENILE OWNER in the NFL is NO LONGER AL DAVIS but K.S. "BUD" ADAMS!!!!!

By: judymo334 on 1/27/11 at 6:28

I agree with jwk6179. I can't believe you let Jeff Fisher go.

By: DeLaney3840 on 1/27/11 at 6:31

Toby3840 So - was it Bud Adam's decision or did Jeff finally say "screw you Bud"?

By: Alphadog7 on 1/27/11 at 6:39

Bad move. This is going to get ugly. Fisher is a class act and holding the team together.

By: jwk6179 on 1/27/11 at 6:50

You thought 6-10 was bad, just wait for the next few seasons. Titan fans will be wishing the Titans COULD WIN 6 GAMES in a SINGLE SEASON!!!

By: GUARDIAN on 1/27/11 at 6:59

GUARDIAN- I don't know what to say. If Adams forced Fisher out in any way shape form or fashion then to hell with BUD and the Titans as long as he owns them.. Jeff Fisher is not only a class act but did more with less than any coach in the NFL. Jeff has also become a part of Nashville a true Nashvillian who we have all been proud of. He will make some lucky team and some lucky city proud. Did I hear Indy calling or was that Dallas.

By: HillbillyHunter on 1/27/11 at 6:59

I believe this was more Fisher than Bud. Unfortunately, Fisher was put in a terrible situation. Washburn and Craig Johnson saw the writing on the wall, find a new job/team now, or they along with the whole staff was going to be out next yr. Fisher's hand was forced to fire Cecil and that didn't sit well with him either. But more importantly, Fisher couldn't hire a staff due to his own one yr contract. What coach/coordinator is going to come to the Titans with only one year guaranteed. I can't blame Fisher for throwing his hands up and walking away. He'll have a job next year. Now it remains to be seen what happens to VY.

By: HillbillyHunter on 1/27/11 at 7:01

cross your fingers we don't hire Eric Mangini

By: AlabanaWildMan on 1/27/11 at 7:11

Bud has shot himself in his proverbial Backside...

If the Titans can even get tickets to a Playoff Game, or Super Bowl, in the coming Decade... I'll be shocked.

By: wataboutbob on 1/27/11 at 7:15

I'm done with them. Adams can pack up his whole team and go somewhere else but I doubt if any other city would want him.

By: jwk6179 on 1/27/11 at 7:21

Nashville, get ready for BUD to screw you over like he has done the city of Houston and the Oilers fans. Don't be surprised if Bud threatens to move the Titans to another city if he doesn't get a new stadium, practice facality or some other concession from the city of Nashville. He's done it before and he'll do it again!!!

By: Pantos on 1/27/11 at 7:41

Maybe he was a nice guy. He was not a very creative football mind. His offense and defense have been among, if not the most, predictable in the NFL in his tenure. As a prime example, five weeks after Randy Moss was acquired this year, the Titans still had no plays where both Randy and Kenny Britt were on the field at the same time, and they told that to the public (read every defensive coordinator in the league). He did not adjust his system to match his talent on either side of the football.
Before you respond to this allegation, please answer for me this one question. How many coaches have won an NFL playoff game since Jeff Fisher won his last one? We can do better.

By: richgoose on 1/27/11 at 8:15

Nashville and the the state of Tennessee paid a very very high price for NFL football Bud Adams style.

We had the "Music City Miracle" and the Super Bowl. We had two chokers in Al Del Greco and Alge Crumpler. We had a coach that was the best face of an NFL football team in the last 16 years. Now we don our dunce hat and take the place of the Oakland Raiders as the most dysfunctional team in the NFL

By: serr8d on 1/27/11 at 8:29

Bud Adams waited until all the head coaching jobs were filled, then, in a massive attack of 88-year-old bitterness, shot his load. Adams did not want Fish to coach anywhere in Texas; Houston or Dallas. What an evil old man.

With 8 million of Bud Adam’s walking-around money in his pocket, Fish might just sit out a year, cool his heels, watch closely what happens in – to the league. If the 2011 season is a go, next year there’ll be a dozen coaching spots open. Fish will have first dibs. Maybe somewhere warm; please not Indianapolis!

As for the Titans? We’ll be lucky to get two wins in the next 3 seasons. Sorry, Bud, you screwed the pooch this time. Big time.

By: donmcgonagil on 1/27/11 at 9:04

IT'S HOCKEY TIME IN TENNESSEE! The Nashville Predators are one of only four or five teams that have made the NHL playoffs five out of the past six seasons. And they are in the running to play post season hockey again this year as well. Hey all you frustrated football fans, consider coming to a game with some real speed, great passing, heavy hitting and awesome scoring! The tickets are inexpensive, a GREAT VALUE. The Preds have nearly 20+ home games remaining before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. See you at The Bridgestone!

By: titansgirl12 on 1/27/11 at 9:10

I'm an original PSL holder and I am sad and still in shock about Jeff leaving. I think Jeff did pretty good in leaving, he did not want to coach for a man who did not take his side when his silly ass quarterback threw a temper fit and cussed him out in front of the whole world. I think Jeff was ready to go and he make a pretty decent settlement of $8,000,000 to leave. Pretty smart move in my opinion.

Jeff Fisher is a class act and will be missed. Good luck Jeff, some of us will miss you very much. You are the face of the Titans!!

I feel sorry for the Titan players, I know they are very sad losing Jim Washburn and Jeff Fisher.

By: damons on 1/27/11 at 11:10

Does Vandy have any more room on their new coaching staff?

By: TITAN1 on 1/28/11 at 5:28

Thanks for many great memories, coach Fisher! I wish you well. Looking forward to seeing who we get and can't wait til next season. I see the fish out of water couldn't wait to predict doom. LOL! I found the following interesting.

A source told ESPN's John Clayton that one of the final disagreements that led to Fisher's departure involved his son, Brandon. Jeff Fisher wanted to have his son on the staff as a quality control coach and thought that was going to be approved. Brandon Fisher helped out during the season while offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger was receiving cancer treatment.

For several years, Adams has stressed he didn't want family hired on the Titans coaching staff and he apparently stuck by those principles this week in conversations with Fisher.


By: dargent7 on 1/28/11 at 5:29

What a joke! They got rid of VY who was a polarizing force APART in the org. and kept Fisher.
Now, he's gone too? Couldn't give him one more season w/o VY to see how he'd do?
Collins is older than dirt and it's his last season too.
What do you expect from a 89 year old who drops his pants and flips the bird in the owner's box?
Sell the freekin' team or move it to Detroit.

By: TITAN1 on 1/28/11 at 6:11

jw, your comments look like they come from a drunken fool. Sonny, were you born stupid or did you have to work at it? I really don't believe it is either. Your problem is being a fish out of water here in Titan country. You are so jealous that the Titans are here that you jump at any chance to try and put them down and it makes you say stupid things. The Titans will be just fine and will be here for many, many years to come. You don't move a team that has sold out every game since the stadium opened, but you are so green with envy that you can't see that. My advice to you is keep rooting for your 'away' and we will continuing supporting our 'HOME' team. GO TITANS!

By: neverender on 1/28/11 at 7:01

you titans fan have to look at the bright side. you could probably get a much better coach now, and now finally have a posibility of a team that wins championships.

By: gdiafante on 1/28/11 at 7:14

I think this is all Fisher. I don't blame him. They'll never win a SB title here. Why not sit out a year and then get top dollar on a decent team next year.

By: Jagman on 1/28/11 at 7:34

It took Bud Adams too long to get rid of Fisher. Fisher won more games because he stayed longer; look at his percentage conpared to "great" coaches. You don't keep the same program and expect different results.

By: Jagman on 1/28/11 at 7:44

Bud fired Bum Phillips and his son became the coach of the Cowboys; maybe Brandon Fisher has a future with the Cowboys.

By: calliemimosa on 1/28/11 at 8:25

I am so sad about this....actually sad. I feel emotional about this. Jeff Fisher was 'our boy'. I am mad at Bud Adams right now.

By: govskeptic on 1/28/11 at 8:28

Future ownership of team is about a pressing question as to
who the next coach will be! Is it clearly understood who Bud
wishes to pass the ownership/baton to of the Titans? Never
heard this discussed by anyone with true insight!

By: ibatxrn on 1/28/11 at 8:29

There is no telling what kind of crap Fisher has put up with, with Bud Adams as an owner. Fisher shouldn't have to put up with VY and his immaturity. That was only one ordeal that caused the turmoil. The Titans have had a problem with players being an embarrassment for a long time. It's time to "clean house" and get some players that have real professional values and goals. I think Fisher did the best he could considering he has to deal with someone about as bad as Jerry Jones as an owner. I wish him well.

By: gdiafante on 1/28/11 at 8:53

Correction: JJ isn't a bad owner, he's a terrible GM. I don't remember JJ flipping the bird to opposing sidelines.

Although he did flick a booger in his press box once...

By: TITAN1 on 1/28/11 at 9:06

govskeptic, I think I read where one of Mr Adam's grandsons will take over and I heard he lives in Nashville. I do not have anything to back it up though.

By: wayneCaluger on 1/28/11 at 9:11

I feel it was Fishers choice to go. I cannot see Bud willing to part with his money before being forced to, especially in light of the fact there may not be a 2011 season. Bud logic is, why pay two head coaches to sit at home when I can just pay one.

Not giving Fisher a two year extension pretty well tied Fishers hands on retaining or hiring replacement coaches. To have continued as head coach would have been trying at the best when facing what would without a doubt the franchise worse record should there be a 2011 season.

Fisher made a wise choice grabbing a life jack before the ship sunk. Why risk tarnishing your coaching record with a possible zero win record, perhaps two wins at the best? Bud set Fisher up to fail with no contract extension hoping the fans would demand Fishers head rather than risk invoking more fan wrath by letting Fisher go after clearing the coaching change path by letting VY go.

This is not to say Fisher had clean hands in his own demise. Some of the decisions he clearly made were highly suspect of being made by the heart and not by the head.

No matter who the new head coach it's going to long rocky road for years to come. For the new head coach, welcome to Oakland East!

By: jwk6179 on 1/28/11 at 9:12

TITAN1, there are OTHERS on this board that were and are posting DOOM AND GLOOM about the next few season, YET YOU SINGLE ME OUT! WHY IS THAT? I'm just basing my OPINION ON FACT AND ON BUD'S HISTORY!! The Oilers were once loved in Houston, yet he kept THREATENING to move the team to Jacksonville, Pheonix and San Antonio if he didn't get this concession or that concession from the city of Houston. The citizens of Houston got tired of his constant threats to move, so they stopped supporting the Oilers. When he threatened to move the Oilers to Nashville in 1995 unless he got a new stadium, the city of Houston and the Oiler fans just basically said "Go Ahead and move to Nashville'' because they all were tired of his shinanigans. And the main reason Bud Adams chose the city of Nashville is that he was told that there was a FOOL in Nashville that would KISS BUD'S ASS no matter what FOOLISHNESS he and the players on his team pulled. And his name is TITAN1!!!!

By: NewYorker1 on 1/28/11 at 9:15

YES YES YES!!! This is GREAT news. Since Vince has to go, get rid of Fisher too. LOVE IT!

By: BenDover on 1/28/11 at 9:20

Unfortunately next season wasn't shaping up for Fisher either so it left at a good time. CJ is a ball to watch but in order for Fisher to win he needs a bull in the RB position. You can't prosecute a running game when your 6+ yard per play running back gets all of his yards in one play out of 10. You need someone who, on 3rd and 2, you can count on 85% of the time. He also needs a quarterback who can scramble... take a hit on occasion... and not need to cry to mommy after ever other play. Vince had the potential to be that guy but he wasn't allowed to be around McNair long enough for it to rub off. Do that though, control turn-overs, and have a half-way solid defense and Fisher will win a lot of games. If he finds that team or goes to a franchise that is willing to build that team he will be deep into the play-offs again in two years. If it's with an NFC team, he'll be back in the Super-Bowl. It's Fisher football math. For every second you control the ball on offense it's another second the opposing team doesn't have to score on you. You can't own the clock with a Collin's and a CJ; so moving on was a good move for Fish...

By: TITAN1 on 1/28/11 at 9:27

jw, you keep proving my point about you and digging your hole deeper.

By: pswindle on 1/28/11 at 9:39

Jeff, you brought a lot of excitement to our fair city, but I do not blame you for leaving. How could anyone play under the cloud that Bud Adams put you under? Nashville will be here to welcome you back home. Good Luck!!!!!!

By: jwk6179 on 1/28/11 at 9:40

And you stated that if Jeff Fisher EVER LEFT the Titans that he would have a job in the NFL within 5 minutes after he left. Since there are NO NFL VACANCIES except for the one he just left, don't you find it odd that old SOT, Bud, waited until ALL THE HEAD COACHING JOBS were filled to get rid of Fisher?

By: TITAN1 on 1/28/11 at 9:59

jw, you just dug deeper. To think that Mr Adams waited to fire him after coaching positions were filled is absurd. It sounds like Fisher thought he could still have anything he wanted, but not being able to hire his son he found out different. That compounded with being a lame duck coach took its toll. It sounds like they agreed to part ways and if it is not said he was fired, I'm sure there is a clause in his contract to keep him from being a head coach somewhere else this season no matter how many vacancies. So, he sits out a year, then he will have many options and one might be San Diego a year from now. Just worry about your "away' team, We REAL Titans fans will always continue to support our 'HOMETOWN' team. Make it a great day.

By: gdiafante on 1/28/11 at 10:05

"Real" fans? Are you seriously getting in a pissing contest to see who is the better fan?

How old are you?

By: jwk6179 on 1/28/11 at 10:10

TITAN1, you're just jealous because the team I support is playing in SUPER BOWL while the team you SUPPORT is staying HOME, as usual. The team I support has WON MORE NFL CHAMPIONSHIPS than any other NFL, while the team you SUPPORT is staying home as USUAL. And I'm HONEST ENOUGH to admit that I never cared for this franchise when they were the Houston Oilers while the MAJORITY of so-called, Life-Long, Die-Hard Titan fans will CLAIM they were HOUSTON OILER FANS, when in fact, the vast majority were not!!

And I think you should change the name you post under from TITAN1 to BUD ADAMS' FAVORITE ASS KISSER!!!!

By: TITAN1 on 1/28/11 at 10:32

Fish out of water, I could not care less about ANY 'AWAY' team. I would be more excited to go to my 'HOMETOWN' team's games if they went 0-16 than to support any away team. I have always admitted that I became a fan of the Oilers when they became the Tennessee Oilers. You see sonny, when they moved here they became 'OUR' team. I follow all my local teams and drivers. Titans, Vandy, MTSU, Tennessee State, Lipscomb, Belmont, then other teams in the state. Pulled for DW, Sterling, Bobby Hamilton Sr, Bobby Jr, and Casey Atwood. I am proud of where I live.

By: slacker on 1/28/11 at 10:53

To look upon Bud Adams naked ass, would most surely blind a man.

By: dangerlover on 1/28/11 at 11:47

I agree, slacker.

By: dangerlover on 1/28/11 at 11:50

I think the unstable labor environment causedd this situation to be much more dramatic than it had to be. Say what you want about Adams; he would never roll out an overhead projector to go after a former employee...even if that former employee was as big of a douchebag as Lane Kiffin.

By: GUARDIAN on 1/28/11 at 11:57

GUARDIAN-I could see Tennessee's favorite son Payton coached by Tennessee's favorite coach Jeff turning the COLTS into Tennessee's favorite team to close out their final years in the NFL with several more championship seasons. GO COLTS now I won't have to split my loyalties.

By: TITAN1 on 1/28/11 at 12:31

If you really do like "Payton" so much, you might learn how he spells his name.

By: wayneCaluger on 1/28/11 at 12:52

My prior post: This is not to say Fisher had clean hands in his own demise. Some of the decisions he clearly made were highly suspect of being made by the heart and not by the head

After just watching the televised press conference it was very apparent Fishers decision to extend Ceil contract in December pushed Jim Washburn into looking for another job and when the Titans offer of a matching three year contract and most likely more money than the Eagles offered was not enough to change Washburn mind that put the wheels of head coaching change in motion. Washburn stated he and his wife loves middle Tennessee and plans to move back when he retires and his move to Philly is a lateral move.

Little doubt to get the deal Fisher got firing Ceil was a key, once done the agreement was signed, sealed and delivered to the public late yesterday. It's all in the timing stated by Underwood as to the disagreement that occurred in the last two-three weeks, Ceil contract extension, Washburn talking and then walking to Philly, Ceil getting a pink slip to go with his contract and Fisher leaving.

In essence Fisher was a co-author to his demise by hanging onto Ceil. As for wanting to hire his son. His options are limited to who he can find willing to take a coaching job with the Titans at this point.

As for the Gloom and Doom: You have to be realistic. Just because their is a pile of horse manure doesn't mean if you dig deep enough you will find a horse. Teams like the Steeler's get where they get every year not by undying blind fan loyalty, they get there due to their organization regardless who the head coach is. And, that organizational quality and therefore successful repeatability starts with the team owner.