For 16 seasons, Jeff Fisher was the face of the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. He presided over the move to Tennessee, coached in Memphis and in Nashville, helped engineer the "Music City Miracle," and got the Titans within the "longest yard" of winning the Super Bowl against the St. Louis Rams. But all things must end, and Fisher and recently deceased Tennessee owner Bud Adams mutually decided to part ways in 2011.
Tennessee's loss was St. Louis' gain as Fisher now patrols the sidelines for the Rams. On Sunday, Fisher's past and present collide when the Titans come calling in the Edward Jones Dome.
Fisher doesn't just have ties to the Titans organization. The Titans still have several holdovers from the Fisher era including RB Chris Johnson and WR Kenny Britt. These players were drafted by Fisher and to a large degree, had their professional careers shaped by his coaching.
Then there's Tennessee head coach, Mike Munchak. Munchak started his coaching career in Houston the same year Fisher arrived as defensive coordinator. As Fisher was elevated to head coach, Munchak became Fisher's right hand man over his 16 years with the Titans. He was the natural choice to succeed Fisher.
In Munchak's two full seasons, the Titans have struggled transitioning. This season started promising as the Titans got off to a 3-1 start. Three straight losses, however, have the Titan faithful grumbling and publicly wondering about Munchak's ability to continue Fisher's legacy.
Some Rams' players have some Tennessee ties as well. Jared Cook, Cortland Finnegan, William Hayes and Will Witherspoon all spent significant parts of their careers as Titans. Cook worked closely with Munchak who coached him along with the rest of the offensive line.
Suffice it to say, Sunday's game takes on added importance for many of its participants. NFL players and coaches like to project the demeanor of professionalism and "it's just another game." They're human, though, and to think that personal relationships don't fuel the competitive fires would be mistaken.
Whether it's the teacher-pupil rivalry of Fisher and Munchak or the former player-coach rivalry on both sidelines, Sunday's game isn't just any given Sunday. It means something.
You need to satisfy your competitive drive, so why not beat our experts in fantasy football. At FightClub, our official Fantasy Football partner, you can change you team weekly and win cash. Get a free $5 credit when you sign up and try them out. And each week, Sports Media 101 will sweeten the pot and award the player with top points an extra $25. Match-up and show them how good you are. Can you handle FightClub?
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
- Will Witherspoon Reuniting with St. Louis, Jeff Fisher
- St. Louis Rams Need Locker Room Leader to Come Forward
- Nobody Does Details Like Jeff Fisher
- It Will Have to Be Ugly, but the St. Louis Rams Can Win
- St. Louis Rams Must Right the Ship or Write Off the Season
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/13b2