Jeff Fisher says he left Rams in 'good shape,' lauds Sean McVay

LOS ANGELES -- Former coach Jeff Fisher has "no regret whatsoever" about how things went down with the Los Angeles Rams and would seemingly like a little bit of credit for what has since transpired, saying that he left the team "in pretty good shape."

Ahead of the Rams' matchup with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Fisher, a longtime head coach for both organizations, took part in an hour-long interview with The Midday 180 radio show in Nashville and touched on his most recent employer.

Fisher was fired 13 games into his fifth season with the Rams in 2016, which ended with a 4-12 record in the franchise's return to Los Angeles. Now, under first-year head coach Sean McVay, the Rams are 10-4 and can lock up their first division title since 2003 this weekend.

"I'm a huge fan of the Ram players," Fisher told The Midday 180 on Friday. "They're basically, I don't want to say my players, but I had a lot to do with that roster. Left them in pretty good shape. And Sean, as he's proven in this very short period of time, is an outstanding, young coach. And he's got the offense rolling, which they needed."

The Rams were no better than 7-8-1 in Fisher's five seasons as head coach. During that time, the offense finished no better than 21st in scoring and ranked last in every major category last season.

This season, the Rams lead the NFL in total points and point differential and rank 10th in yards per game.

Fisher, who has a home near Nashville and spent 2017 away from coaching, said he is "really, really excited for the players. They did what we wanted to do before I left."

Fisher credited the additions on the offensive line, with left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan, as well as a trio of new receivers in Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. He also said that McVay has "done a great job" with Jared Goff, whom Fisher played a part in drafting No. 1 overall in 2016.

Goff struggled mightily while starting the final seven games last season, finishing with an 18.9 Total QBR, which was the lowest by a wide margin among those who attempted at least 200 passes.

This season, with McVay guiding him, Goff is a first alternate for the Pro Bowl.

"We knew that was coming," Fisher said. "... That's why we traded up with you guys here [the Titans] to get him: because we knew he had that kind of potential. We felt like both the quarterbacks had a chance to be franchise quarterbacks. We were right. Philly got theirs [with Carson Wentz], and the Rams got theirs."

Earlier this week, Fisher's longtime right-hand man, Dave McGinnis, now a radio color commentator for the Titans, was asked about the resurgent Rams by The Tennessean and said: "First of all, Jeff Fisher and I, we built this roster, you know what I'm saying?"

McGinnis, the Rams' assistant head coach under Fisher from 2012 to 2016, said the team's defense and special teams "has been playoff-ready for two years" and that it was only the offense that needed to get right. McGinnis credited McVay for bringing "a tremendous offensive system in there" but also credited Fisher -- and never once mentioned sixth-year general manager Les Snead -- for drafting star running back Todd Gurley.

"It's just, we were the youngest team in the league four years in a row," McGinnis told The Tennessean. "This team has grown up together. This is one of the better teams in the league right now, personnel-wise and the way they're playing."

At full health, 12 of the Rams' 22 starters were brought in while Fisher was the head coach, in addition to the team's kicker (Greg Zuerlein), punter (Johnny Hekker) and return specialist (Pharoh Cooper), all three of whom were selected to the Pro Bowl.

Special teams was a consistent strength under current special-teams coordinator John Fassel, and the defense showed spurts of dominance under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. But the offense was a top-to-bottom mess, at offensive line, receiver, quarterback and, as last season showed, even running back.

Fisher was head coach for the Titans from 1995 to 2010, starting when they were the Houston Oilers. He led them to six playoff appearances from 1999 to 2008, including a close Super Bowl loss to the Rams. But Fisher, 59, last coached a team that finished with a winning record in 2008.

Fisher, who inherited a Rams franchise that had lost 65 of 80 games in five seasons, defended his track record on The Midday 180.

"My perspective's different because I went through it, and I know exactly what I went through," he said. "I get a kick out of people who [say], 'Oh, you just tied Dan Reeves for the most losses in the history of the National Football League.' Well, I'm a few wins away from being in the top 10. So where do you want to emphasize? What's your point? Two franchises, five different cities, six different stadiums -- not an easy thing to do.

"Chargers moved from San Diego to Orange County and started 0-4. Relocation is huge. I'm not making excuses, but last year we moved from St. Louis to Oxnard, Oxnard to UC Irvine, UC Irvine to Thousand Oaks, and that's what our offseason was about."