|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NFL Jeff Fisher has seen it all in his 17 years as the Tennessee Titan’s coach. At least now he has. The Titans' 2010 season has featured tension between Fisher and starting quarterback Vince Young and an on-field fight involving feisty cornerback Cortland Finnegan.
Throw in the addition of an outspoken wide receiver and it has made for one drama-filled campaign. Yet Fisher claims the tumultuous times haven't caused him to think about his future in Tennessee, which some believe is in doubt.
Fisher's longevity -- he has coached the franchise since 1994, when it was the Houston Oilers -- makes him stand out in today's NFL landscape. But a five-game skid that dropped the Titans to 5-7 entering Thursday night's game against the Indianapols Colts and the fallout from a locker-room confrontation with Young, since placed on season-ending injured reserve, has increased speculation about Fisher's future in Music City.
Just two active coaches -- Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (158) and Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins (151) -- have more victories than Fisher's 146. At season's end, Fisher will have coached the seventh-most games with one franchise in NFL history, but would he consider leaving the Titans after that? Not a chance.
If there is a tipping point, it could be the rocky Fisher-Young relationship, which came to a head after a Week 11 loss to the Washington Redskins, when the quarterback injured his throwing hand. A frustrated Young threw his shoulder pads into the stands on his way to the locker room, where he and Fisher had a heated argument. It all concluded with Fisher saying Young no longer would be his starter -- injury or not. Young, who later apologized to the coach via text message, subsequently went on injured reserve.
Fisher claims that he hasn’t seen him since he left the locker room (after the Week 11 loss), so he doesn’t know where he is.
Fisher also noted that he's treated no differently than any other injured-reserve player. He had surgery on his thumb (to repair a torn flexor tendon), and he doesn't require any treatment right now.
Fisher said he hasn't brought up Young's future with Titans owner Bud Adams, only the quarterback's injury and the decision to place him on IR. Any future discussions will happen after the season, although Adams told Fisher and Young shortly after the incident that they must work together and he doesn't want to release the quarterback.
The next week, the Titans made national headlines when their Pro Bowl cornerback, Cortland Finnegan, and Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson were ejected after an in-game confrontation ended with Johnson throwing a series of punches at Finnegan. Fisher said he addressed the Johnson rivalry with Finnegan because the two will meet again next week.
Fisher also discussed Moss' arrival to his third team this season during the Titans' Week 9 bye. Moss started the season with the New England Patriots, who traded him to the Minnesota Vikings after a Week 4 game. The Vikings released Moss after just four games, and the Titans claimed him off waivers.
For all of the attention on the field, one off-the-field situation has touched Fisher far deeper. The franchise has coped with well-respected offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger's cancer diagnosis. Sports betting fans should consider that he continues to work on the Titans' game plan and call plays.