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Rams travel to mountain top to get Fisher wisdom

Jeff Fisher is interviewing with the St. Louis Rams today in Denver, according to YahooSports.

Searching for clever lines now ... So if the Dolphins brought Fisher in on a helicopter, do the Rams give him a ride on a ski lift? Or on Tim Tebow's shoulders?

Seriously, the next day or so is going to be nail-biting time for Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, general manager Jeff Ireland, advisor-in-chief Carl Peterson and Dolphins fans everywhere. Fisher, the best available coach candidate on the market, is very much in play and very much in demand and St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke wants him just as much as the Dolphins do.

Both teams are what I would call, um, what's the word ... desperate.

Fisher will coach either the Rams or Dolphins, an NFL source is telling me.

In South Florida, the Dolphins are needing to make a splash to renew their increasingly sagging reputation. They have made the playoffs only once in a decade. Ross was booed at his own stadium by Dolphins fans on Sunday even when he was trying to do something nice, giving Jason Taylor a fitting sendoff.

Season ticket buyers, already in short supply, will go AWOL in droves if the Dolphins don't land Fisher but try to sell you Joe Philbin or Dave Toub or one of the other lesser light candidates, as a good hire.

So the Dolphins are counting on Fisher joining the team. They need Fisher joining the team. They're willing to change their structure, their culture, change their defense even (Fisher runs a 4-3) to hire Fisher. And they are willing to pay through the nose to do it.

But guess what?

The Rams are similarly desperate. The Rams have had only four winning seasons since 1990. They've won only 15 games since 2007. And they're trying to get the community to fund renovations to their domed home.

They are reportedly interested in interviewing former Dolphins interim Todd Bowles, but they can never actually hire Bowles because, well, he is not Fisher.

Fisher is the thing in Miami, yes. But ownership in St. Louis is under similar pressure to show itself competent of hiring the biggest name on the block with failure signaling serious repercussions to its reputation, financial standing, etc ...

Now, I have seen some of you question the logic, even the intelligence of hiring Fisher based on his style of play or his record. I've read more than once in the comments section that Fisher had only six winning seasons in 17 seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

This is a statement of fact, but not of truth. It fails to recognize the situation Fisher dealt with while working for the Oilers first and then the newly named Titans after the move to Nashville.

Consider these truths in today's the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

In his first four full seasons as the coach of the Oilers-Titans, Fisher's teams played "home games" in four stadiums, in three cities, in two states. The Houston Astrodome in 1996, Liberty Bowl in Memphis in 1997, the Vanderbilt University stadium in Nashville in 1998, and the new stadium in Nashville in 1999. The Titans remained competitive. Fisher calmly coached through the chaos.

The Titans were fifth in the NFL in victories over a 10-season period (1999-2008) after finally getting settled in their new Nashville home. Only Indianapolis, New England, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia won more games.

Fisher rebuilt the Titans on the fly after core-nucleus veterans were cleared out during a salary-cap purge in 2004. After retooling during two losing seasons (2004-2005), the Titans improved to .500 in 2006 and made the playoffs in '07 and '08.

During Fisher's 16 full seasons, his Oilers-Titans had the NFL's seventh-best winning percentage. They were sixth in rushing and fourth in stopping the run. They were fourth in sacks and third in preventing sacks. They had league's 10th-best touchdown/interception ratio.

Fisher had five 8-8 seasons. But three came when the Titans were in their transient phase before 1999. Another 8-8 came during the rebuilding process of 2005.

[RADIO NOTE: I'll be discussing all things coaching search this morning on my radio show, the Armando Salguero and Chris Perkins show on 640 Sports from 6-10 a.m. You can watch the show on The Miami Herald's u-stream telecast. You can also call the show from anywhere in the nation. Call 1-888-640-9385.]

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