– Rams coach Jeff Fisher just spent about 15 minutes at the podium for a news conference that covered a wide array of topics including the team’s hire of Tim Walton as the new defensive coordinator. But Fisher discussed much more than that in his time on the dais including the impending release of WR Titus Young.
– The Rams claimed Young a little more than a week ago off waivers from Detroit, hoping for the possibility that the talented young wideout could bolster the team’s receiving corps with little risk if he didn’t pan out. The speedy receiver had a tumultuous two years with the Lions and came to St. Louis with well-documented baggage.
– Considering that baggage, Fisher and the Rams felt it prudent to spend some time with Young before plugging him in to any depth charts. Rather than compete with 30 other teams for his services after clearing waivers, the Rams chose to claim him so they could have what Fisher called his “undivided attention.” That meant a four or five day period to get to know Young and see if he’d be a fit in the locker room.
– By the time that meeting concluded Fisher and the Rams opted to go in a different direction.
“We saw Titus as an outstanding young player,” Fisher said. “We did not do any background research as far as contacting anybody at Detroit. We are all about trying to improve this roster. We felt like by claiming Titus we would have the opportunity to spend a good deal of time with him. We did so…as an organization at the end of the interview process, let’s call it, we decided it was best for us to go a different direction. ”
– Fisher confirmed that physical health played no part in the team’s decision to part ways with Young and said it ultimately came down to a matter of fit.
“We feel like perhaps Titus is better suited for another organization,” Fisher said. “We just felt he was not the best option for us at that position. He’s an outstanding young talent and we are going to wish him well.”
– In discussing the addition of Walton, Fisher also talked about the interview process for the defensive coordinator job. He confirmed that one of the major appeals of Walton was his knowledge of the system and the terminology therein.
– Of course, along with that Fisher acknowledged that he enjoyed meeting with other candidates such as Rob Ryan, Mike Singletary and Dick Jauron. He said all candidates were strong but ultimately Walton was the best fit in terms of his knowledge of the system as well as personality.
– Fisher also talked about the Ryan situation which, as most people know, seemed headed for the altar but never made it there as the sides parted ways before finalizing a deal.
“We went down the road and spent a lot of time together,” Fisher said. “That’s what you have to do. You can’t just knee jerk react and run out and hire somebody. We did that with Rob and we spent a day together with the staff and we just felt at the end of the day it was not the right fit.”
– It was that day spent together where all parties realized it was not going to work out. Fisher emphasized that when he was asked whether he thought the opening for a DC in New Orleans that popped up had any impact on Ryan’s situation with the Rams.
“I can’t say whether it did or not,” Fisher said. “All I can say is the day we spent together with the staff it became apparent it just was not the right fit. I’m happy for Rob that he got things worked out and can move on. I’m also glad those things happened when they did because at the end of the day we got the guy that we needed.”
– Fisher also discussed the team’s wide receiver situation with the subtraction of Young and the pending free agency of Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson. Fisher didn’t seem too worried about it despite the possible attrition.
“Not a concern whatsoever,” Fisher said. “There’s options out there. Free agent market, there’s options out there and it’s a great draft for receivers this year.”
– Fisher did re-iterate his desire to bring Amendola back to the roster. He said there is plenty of time and the process is on-going. He also specifically mentioned RB Steven Jackson as a free agent the team would like back.
– While Jackson has not yet opted out of the final year of his contract, it seems a near certainty he will do so. Fisher said he expects things to heat up on that front in the very near future, namely at next week’s NFL Scouting Combine.
“I think we are right in the middle of February right now so we have got plenty of time,” Fisher said.
– That’s all for now. We’ll have plenty more on Walton on the front page a bit later today. Thanks for reading.
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