Trying to debate whether or not a coach is worthy of their current salary is quite often a futile task. Coaches get to do a job they love for a living and make an absolute killing in terms of their bank accounts in the process. For St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher, his bank account was handsomely rewarded last year after he signed a five-year deal with the team that will pay him $35 million in total. Is Fisher really worth that kind of cash, though?
Obviously most remember the ‘stache for his time with the Tennessee Titans where he spent 17 seasons with the organization. Fisher has always been known as a players coach, and that relatability has frequently resulted in wins for his teams.
Still, for a coach with a career record of 149-128, $7 million per season seems like a hefty price tag. According to a recent report from Forbes, eight of the top 10 coaches on the list of salaries hail from the NFL. On average those leaders are compensated with $7 million a year which puts Fisher on par with what the cream of the crop in his profession are paid.
While he did take a Rams team that went 2-14 the season prior to his arrival to a 7-8-1 mark in just his first year, calling his work something magical may be a bit premature. Fisher has also been known to push the envelope as a coach by getting his players to play through the whistle and sometimes beyond it.
Perhaps two of the most notable incidents for this were with the Titans when now cornerback for the Rams, Cortland Finnegan, who Fisher brought with him to St. Louis, fought with Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson.
And the other took place when defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth stomped on center Andre Gurode’s face.
The attitude that Fisher brings with him obviously inspires winning, but it also brings a bit of a questionable reputation for a club. The Rams have yet to really push the limits to this extent, but with Finnegan on their roster, one can only hope that this type of behavior remains a part of the past.
Fisher has some definite value to a franchise in terms of his ability to build winners and his prowess at coaching up defenses. The Rams were 22nd in the league in defense during 2011 and ranked 14th in 2012. The ‘stache still has some work to do if he wants to justify that hefty price tag with the Rams, but the team appears to be on the right track to doing just that.