Jeff Fisher Appears To Have No Idea Who The Patriots’ Running Backs Are
It's already being rumored that Jeff Fisher will inconceivably keep his job after a fifth season of failing to get above.500, so it's disheartening at best to hear his latest assessment of the New England Patriots offense.
The Rams and Patriots face off at Gillette Stadium in Week 13, a situation that does not bode well for the visiting team. It doesn't get much farther apart in the contiguous United States than Los Angeles and Boston, so the travelling schedule and jet lag already puts the Rams at a disadvantage.
Now throw in a maligned head coach who appears to treat late-season game prep like a high schooler with senioritis treats his math homework and now it's a real suck party!
When a reporter asked Fisher about the Patriots’ three main running backs (without mentioning any of their names) he replied that, “They’re all different.” He mentioned that he has a special place in his heart for LeGarrette Blount, who was an undrafted rookie when Jeff Fisher signed him to the Titans in 2010 before cutting him prior o the regular season.
“I have great respect for him. He’s a big back, and he’s hard to get down," Fisher said, per NESN.com "And as they rotate through, different guys play in different situations, and they do a good job with it. He knows where the ball’s going to go, and the guys are very, very disciplined."
Okay, fair enough. Sounds like he's prepared for Blount. So what about the other two guys?
“I’ve been impressed with Brandon and what he’s done out of the backfield. You’ve got to deal with him, in addition to Danny. You’ve got playmakers all around, so we have to play sound defense.”
Now if you are completely perplexed by this answer then you are not alone. The other two main backs in the Patriots system this season are Dion Lewis, who has been a spark since returning from injuries a few weeks ago, and their go-to receiving back James White.
"Brandon" and "Danny" are figures of Fisher's imagination as far as I can tell. He could be talking about Brandon Bolden, who has had stints of success in his time with the Patriots but has been phased out of the offense completely this season. He has two receptions for fifteen yards and one carry for four yards on the year.
And the last "Danny" to play running back for New England was Danny Woodhead, who not only hasn't played for the Pats since 2012 but has also been a prominent part of the Chargers offense over the last four seasons when he's healthy.
So let's just say for the sake of argument that Jeff Fisher pays absolutely zero attention to the AFC on a season-by-season basis (which is insane) and thinks Bolden and Woodhead are two of the Patriots' three main running backs. That has to mean that he has no idea about Lewis and White, who have been playing superbly and are clearly a duo that should be prepared for.
None of this makes any sense. I've never contended that Fisher is the sharpest knife in the drawer, but this is just pure, unadulterated hogwash. Even Stan Kroenke can't possibly be out of touch enough to pay $7 million a year to a coach that can't tell the difference between Dion Lewis and Danny Woodhead.
Samer Kalaf at Deadspin has a working theory that perhaps Fisher is in on the joke and is just trolling us all, because he can. If he is, then sports bloggers everywhere should thank him for providing us with so much easy content. There's nothing like an absurd Jeff Fisher story to get you through until Sunday.
The real tell will be whether or not the Rams defense performs well against the run in New England this week. If so, I think it's safe to assume that Fisher - or at least someone on his coaching staff - knew who the hell it was that their defense would be trying to tackle.
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