SEATTLE (CBS/1090 The Fan) — Just days before their Thursday Night Football match up in Seattle against the Seahawks, the Los Angeles Rams have parted ways with head coach Jeff Fisher.
The firing of Fisher, who was 31-45-1 in five seasons, comes on the heels of one of the worst loses since the Rams moved back to LA. (Sunday afternoon, the Atlanta Falcons crushed Fisher and Co. 42-14 at home in the LA Coliseum.)
The Rams are 4-9 on the season and sit 3rd in the NFC West. They’ve lost four-straight, and eight of their last nine games.
During a press conference Monday afternoon, Rams COO Kevin Demoff addressed the decision to make a coaching change with the Seattle game looming.
“Unfortunately just where we’ve been the past few weeks didn’t really speak to where we were headed as a franchise, and I think where we wanted to be or where we think the fans expectation or our expectations should be,” Demoff said.
With Fisher out, the Rams named John Fassel as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Fassel has been the special teams coordinator for the Rams since Fisher took over in 2012. Outside of leading the team at New Mexico University from 2003-2004, this is his first head coaching gig, having previously worked for the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens as an assistant.
The newly-minted interim coach is now tasked with gearing his team up for a game with the the NFC West-leading Seahawks. While the task of playing in Seattle against a 6-0 home team may seem daunting, Fassel has some familiarity with the Hawks.
A trademark of Fisher and often seen as the Seattle’s Achilles heel in the Rams-Hawks rivalry, Fassel has overseen a number of special team plays that led Rams to underdog victories.
— theScore (@theScore) October 19, 2014
Be it was punt returns, fake punts, fake field goals, or onside kicks, Jeff Fisher always had something up his sleeve when he faced off against the Seahawks. And by extension, so did Fassel.
It’ll be interesting to see what the new interim coach’s role will be, especially in developing a game plan for a game just three days away. Fassel could be more hands-off and let his coordinators continue to do what they have done all season.
However, if that is the case, the Rams could be hurting comes Thursday. LA is dead last in the NFL (32nd) in points per game with 14.9, and 19th in points allowed with 23.4. The offense can’t seem to get anything going, with the passing game ranked 29th in the league, and the rushing attack at 30th.
Seattle are 14-point favorites heading into Thursday night’s, despite having lost five of the last six games against the Rams.
Fassel might not try to reinvent the wheel while taking over in Los Angeles for the time being or even make any drastic changes heading into Week 15. Yet with the Rams success over the past few years against the Seahawks, he may not need to.