The Fisher/Chow marriage: Doomed from the start
The Jeff Fisher/Norm Chow divorce was finalized this week. As the case with many marriages that end, Fisher decided to give his ex another try by hiring Mike Heimerdinger as the teams new/old offensive coordinator.
So what went wrong with the Chow/Fisher marriage? How did one of the games well-renowned offensive masterminds fail in his attempt to bring his magic to Nashville?
Chow came to Tennessee as one of colleges premier play-callers. Chows overpowering offenses played a key role in guiding the USC Trojans to national championships. Quarterbacks such as Matt Leinhart and Carson Palmer were able to flourish in Chows schemes while parlaying their respective accomplishments into selections into the first round of the NFL Draft.
Chow was assigned the arduous task of making the proverbial lemonade out of lemons in Tennessee. An aging Steve McNair was Chows first starting quarterback. McNair performed solidly, throwing for 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2005 but he was a shell of the quarterback who led his team to numerous playoff appearances during the prime of his career.
Since the departure of McNair, Chow had been in charge of the tutelage of Vince Young, a raw but athletically gifted signal-caller who led his Texas Longhorn team to a national championship victory over Chows previous employer, the USC Trojans. Growing pains are usually associated with the development of a young NFL quarterback but apparently, Chows dismissal indicates that he was the one to blame for Youngs steps backward during his sophomore campaign.
Playing in Fishers ball-control offense, Chows offenses were never going to put up impressive stats passing the football. Three yards and a cloud of dust has been the Titans offensive mantra for years now, with LenDale White replacing Eddie George as the teams battering ram at running back.
Chows units at USC and at previous stops such as BYU were passing juggernauts that thrived as a result of the consistent usage of the downfield passing attack. Chows affinity for the passing game inevitably clashed with Fishers passion for the running game, which indicates that this may have been a bad union from the beginning. The USC connection between Chow and Fisher was perhaps the only thing they had in common. Despite his impressive resume, Chow was handcuffed in his ability to put his imprint on a Titan offense that has been as conservative as Rush Limbaugh.
This weeks dismissal of Chow was the final straw in a relationship that was probably doomed from the start. As the case with many marriages that fail, warning signs such as philosophical differences were evident early in the relationship. However, as many couples do, Fisher and Chow attempted to ignore reality by co-existing in spite of their differences.
As a result of the divorce, Chow is left to ponder what might have been in Tennessee. Meanwhile, Fisher is attempting to recapture the magic with an ex who ironically, was the offensive coordinator prior to Chow's arrival.
Lets hope that things are better the second time around for Fisher and Dinger.