Morning Ram-blings: On USC and Fisher

EARTH CITY, MO. -- Well, that didn't take long.

The speculation that the University of Southern California would fire football coach Lane Kiffin has been rampant seemingly since the time he arrived on campus. It heated up at the beginning of this season when his team lost to Washington State and it came to a head in the late hours of Saturday night/early Sunday morning when Kiffin was officially relieved of his duties.

So, now might as good a time as any to try to stop the rumor mill from churning again about the connection between Rams coach Jeff Fisher and his alma mater. For those that might have forgot, here's the news story and post from Sept. 11 in which Fisher made jokes and scoffed at the rumors about his departing to coach the Trojans.

Fisher's quote then: "That's just absurd. They're rumors."

That seemed to throw some water on the fire at the time but now that Kiffin's firing is official, the short-attention span theater that often occurs has seen Fisher's name bandied about yet again. Of course, the Rams' early-season struggles probably aren't helping in that regard.

Still, all of the reasons that it would be silly to assume Fisher might head back to his university remain in place. He's still never been anything but an NFL lifer. Once more, with feeling, I'm sure USC would love to have Fisher. Trojans athletic director Pat Haden may even pick up the phone and make a few phone calls. But nothing has changed to make this seem like anything but a one-way street.

The Trojans will have no shortage of good candidates and another NFL coach, Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, would seem to be a good fit in terms of finding an experienced coach with ties to the school. Unless something drastic that we don't know about has changed, it won't be Fisher.


A quick roundup of the weekend's Rams stories in this space. ... A look at the Rams' ailing run game and whether solutions can be found in house or at all. ... We opened Sunday with a look at the unusual free kick that happened against the Niners and how it almost turned into a replay of the Music City Miracle. ... Finally, we broke down the injury issues the Rams are dealing with and the domino effect it could have on the back seven of the defense.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Jim Thomas offered a look at the Rams "other" rookie wideout, Stedman Bailey. Bailey is biding his time right now, working almost exclusively on special teams as he awaits his chance to contribute to the offense.

Yahoo sports provided a look at a few things learned from the Rams' loss to the Niners.

Jonathan Webb at stlouisrams.com writes that the extra time off from Thursday's game against San Francisco comes at a good time.