JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Dec. 18, 2016

FILE - In this March 4, 2016, file photo, Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher responds to a question during a NFL football news conference in Manhattan Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, Fiule)

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Corey Dillon …

FISHER FIRING: No one should have been surprised that Rams owner Enos Stanley Kroenke gave head coach Jeff Fisher his walking papers this week.

It was the timing that I thought was the cheapest of cheap shots.

The team had to play Seattle on Thursday night, three days after Fisher was fired.

Kroenke did save Fisher from becoming the losingest coach in NFL history, breaking a tie of 165 games lost. I have little doubt that Kroenke even thought about that.

Then again, when you are worth $6.2 billion and married to Ann Walton Kroenke (heiress to the Walmart fortune) you don’t have to worry about whose toes you step on.

Fisher had a lot of good qualities as a head coach, but he had only one quality offensive coordinator during his career in Houston, Nashville and St. Louis. That was the late Mike Heimerdinger, when he was with the Titans. None of the others stood out while under Fisher.

It’s highly doubtful any team will employ Fisher as its head coach, but he could be of value in a front office capacity or working in the NFL office. That is if he has any interest in pursuing those areas off the field.

There is speculation that Fisher and Rams GM Les Snead were at odds. Hmmm. That was the case when Fisher was in Nashville. He always wanted to have more control over personnel and the draft.

Snead may yet be hitting the road, but for now he is still in the Rams employ.


TRICKLE DOWN: The next Rams coach will likely build his own staff and some of the Fisher hired assistants will be job hunting.

His son Brandon, who played at Christ Presbyterian Academy and Montana, is helping coach the Rams defensive backs. They showed a close-up of Brandon Thursday night and he has the beard of all beards. It was jet black with plenty of length and width. About all you could see were his eyes and nose.

I couldn’t tell if he looked more like a lumberjack who lives in the woods or a terrorist commando.

I hope former Titans assistant Dave McGinnis is retained. He is a solid football coach and person.


BOWLING: The college football bowl season kicked off Saturday with New Mexico (8-4) playing Texas San Antonio (6-6). I know. Big whoop, huh?

New Mexico won the game but there was a local tie to the game. WKRN morning show co-hose Dawn Davenport was handling the sidelines reports while former Texas coach Mack Brown, from Cookeville, was the analyst in the booth.


WHAT CELEBRATION: In the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, it turned out to be prophetic.

Grambling State and N.C. Central battled it out all game. Central connected on a long pass with 2:17 left in the game. Quentin Atkinson caught it and appeared to haul in the game-tying touchdown.

Hold on. In his excitement, Atkinson ripped off his helmet and celebrated with his teammates in the end zone.

The PAT that would have won the game for Central was blocked. Leading to that blocked attempt was the penalty for excessive celebration.

Who’s celebrating now?


TITANS UNDERDOGS: The Titans have to play its best game of the season to bring a victory back to Tune Town.

Most guessperts are going with the Chiefs. Why not? They see it will be 11 degrees on the field and couple that with the fact that Titans QB Marcus Mariota will be playing in the coldest weather of his life.


Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, sees the Chiefs prevailing by 20-10. He also calls for the Vikings to beat the AFC South’s Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, which if true would help the Titans.

Florio believes that the weather will play a big part in the game, especially for Mariota.

“For a young QB who grew up in Hawaii, that’s probably too much for and over achieving team to handle,’’ Florio wrote.


NFL FOR McCAFFREY: Stanford’s running back, pass receiver and kick returner, Christian McCaffrey has announced he will go to the NFL.

His favorite NFL running back is Le’Veon Bell. In an effort to learn all he can, McCaffrey sent Bell some of his game tapes to grade.

“I think he has a great mix of doing everything as a running back,’’ Bell said. “His patience, hitting the hole hard, breaking tackles, making people miss.’’

Bell went on to say he will hook up with McCaffrey in the off-season and work with him. That’s class.

Joe Biddle is a sports columnist. He is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Contact him at