Fisher joins Rams, cites shared vision with owner, COO

Jeff Fisher was the most coveted name among teams seeking a new coach, and he was widely known to be the top choice of the Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams.

Fisher took his time deciding between the two franchises before agreeing to terms with the Rams late last week and finalizing the contract Monday. When he was formally introduced as the Rams' coach Tuesday, Fisher said his decision was made easy.

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"My decision was very, very simple. It was based on the collective vision of (owner) Stan (Kroenke) and (chief operating officer) Kevin (Demoff) for the future of this franchise. More specifically, restoring this franchise to a place of significance," Fisher said. "It was that vision that made my decision very, very easy."

Fisher cited his shared vision with Kroenke and Demoff of building the Rams, who finished 2-14 last season, and how to go about obtaining that vision as the factors that led to his decision. He reiterated his choice between the Dolphins and Rams came down to "non-economic" factors and denied the reports he leveraged one organization against the other, saying "that was never true."

"I had two factors," Fisher said. "One was a good owner. The other was a good quarterback."

That quarterback is former No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford, who struggled through injuries in what Fisher described as a "difficult" 2011 season. Bradford completed 53.5 percent of his passes for 2,164 yards in 10 games, with six touchdowns and six interceptions.

Fisher said Bradford's rookie season, when he passed for 3,512 yards with 18 TDs and 15 interceptions, is a better indication of his future.

"I think he has a chance to be a top quarterback in the NFL very, very soon," Fisher said of Bradford.

Bradford shared in the admiration Tuesday.

"Obviously, he's a tremendous coach," Bradford said. "Everyone that I've talked to that's ever played for him said that he's a great, great person to play for."

Fisher signed his contract Tuesday, which Kroenke said would keep him around "a good while."

Fisher agreed to a five-year contract worth a reported $7 million per season late last week. Before the dollar amount was discussed, Fisher and the Rams had to agree on a list of about two dozen items, including the makeup of the coaching staff and front office.

"The time was now for a bold statement about the future of this organization," Demoff said.

At least for now, Fisher doesn't have an additional title such as president of football operations.

Fisher wouldn't declare who has control over football decisions within the organization, saying his philosophy is decisions should be made as a team. As the Rams continue their search for a general manager, it's not clear if one voice will have final say.

"It's the most important relationship in the building," Demoff said of Fisher and the GM working together. "We'll make sure we get it right."

Fisher said he has "very good options" in potential coordinators. League sources have told La Canfora that Gregg Williams has agreed to leave the New Orleans Saints and join the Rams as defensive coordinator, a move Fisher didn't confirm. However, Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed the hiring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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