Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Rams believe Firing Jeff Fisher was an 'organizational failure'

Los Angeles holds firmly that the move to part ways with Fisher was a result of the entire organization's shortcomings.

It has been a whirlwind last couple of weeks for the Los Angeles Rams' capped off by their decision on Monday to fire head coach Jeff Fisher after nearly five seasons.  

In light of that, Kevin Demoff, the team's chief operating officer and vice president for football operation, provided clarity to the situation just a few hours after the announcement voicing optimism about the future of the franchise. 

"It’s not a decision that you ever want to make and it’s a day you never want to come, as a group," Demoff said. "I think we all felt that this was the best chance to move forward, to finish the season with some direction and hope, and begin the process of building for 2017."

The Rams had been originally hired Fisher as the head coach prior to the 2012 season and he garnered just a record of 31-45-1 in nearly five full seasons with the team. He had failed to amass more than seven wins in any campaign while finishing no greater than third in the standings in the NFC West. 

Despite that, Demoff emphasized the difficulty in making this decision while praising Fisher for the job that he had done under what he deemed as being "tough circumstances" over his tenure and placed the team's lack of success on the entire organization.

"I want to thank Jeff for five years of unwavering leadership, we put him in some tough circumstances over the past few years," Demoff said. "He was absolutely the right person when we hired him in 2012 and the right person to help bring this club back. And, for whatever reason, this year we didn’t have the kind of success over the past few weeks that I think we all expected and wanted. It’s unfortunate for him today because this is an organizational failure."

"This is not just about the head coach or the coaching staff, we have to improve across the board, personnel to operations to everything. We need to get better moving forward – and that process really begins today."

The Rams had gotten out to a strong start to their first season after moving to Los Angeles winning three of their first four games putting them atop of the NFC West standings. However, the team has lost eight out of their last nine contests, which has effectively eliminated them from the playoffs and marked their 10th straight losing season. This ultimately proved to be the tipping point that led to the organization's decision to move on. 

"I think when you look at our team, having lost eight of the past nine, some of the performances the past few weeks have been a little bit more lopsided – and I think that’s what really tipped it," Demoff said. "I think when you look at the past few games, for whatever reason, it got out of reach in the second half. I think that was really the deciding factor. This was solely a performance-related issue.

"And when you look at the team and where it is and how we get better moving forward, I think for the fans, for the players, for the coaches, for the organization, we wanted to make sure games like yesterday didn’t happen again.”

For the time being, the Rams will keep the rest of the coaching staff and the front office intact, most notably general manager Les Snead, who had also received a contract extension prior to the start of this season. That said, Demoff had conducted a lengthy discussion with Snead about the direction of the franchise moving forward with a heavy emphasis on an all-around improvement. 

"I think all of us need to get better and I think Les will be the first person to tell you that his department can get better as well," Demoff said. "This is, as you look at Les, as you look at the entire organization, we need to make sure that 4-9 doesn’t happen again in the collective wrong. We need to find a way to get over .500, to get into the playoffs and deliver a Super Bowl trophy back to Los Angeles.”

This was essentially a move that Demoff believes the Rams needed to make now despite there still being three more games left in the regular season. At the same time, he voiced much faith that special teams coordinator John Fassel can handle the duties as the interim head coach.

"This is a short week and we really felt that (Interim Head Coach) John Fassel would be the right person in our organization to go lead this team for the last few weeks," Demoff said. "I think the other thing, when you look at it with three weeks left, this is never a good decision or an easy decision to make, no matter what the time. But the players have put a lot of effort over the past few years and this year into this season, and with them still in the building, you want to give them a chance to talk with them, to debrief, to understand how we move better to how we can make this a better organization."


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