Rams Coach Jeff Fisher reacts during the second half of a game against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 27. (Sean Gardner / Getty Images)
A day after an embarrassing defeat that continued his team’s downward spiral, Rams Coach Jeff Fisher stepped to the podium Monday and opened his weekly news conference with a proclamation.
“It’s bounce-back time,” he said.
After losing for the sixth time in seven games, the Rams would have to make like a 1960s Wham-O Super Ball to get the bounce necessary to finish the season with a winning record.
That’s something that has not been achieved under Fisher in his four previous seasons, or by the Rams since 2003.
Sunday’s humiliating 49-21 defeat at New Orleans left them with a 4-7 record and raised more questions about Fisher’s future.
The Rams must win all of their remaining games to finish 9-7.
“It’s a one-week-at-a-time thing,” Fisher said.
There are no weak opponents in the Rams’ immediate future.
They travel to New England to play quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday. Then it’s Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons and Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.
The three division-leading teams are a combined 23-9-1.
The Rams finish the season at home against the struggling San Francisco 49ers — who shut them out 28-0 in the season opener — and the Arizona Cardinals.
Fisher is 31-43-1 with the Rams and in the final year of a five-year contract. Neither owner Stan Kroenke nor top executive Kevin Demoff has said publicly that Fisher has a new deal.
Asked if he was worried that he would not have the opportunity to complete his plan to rebuild the franchise into a winner, Fisher did not hesitate.
“I don’t worry about it,” he said. “I’m not pleased with where we are right now. Each year, each roster’s different.
“We took over a 2-14 team and we built it, we were competitive.”
Fisher noted a carousel at quarterback before Jared Goff was selected with the No. 1 pick in the draft, though Fisher did not play Goff until the Rams’ 10th game.
He said he was disappointed with the record, but added, “I don’t look over my shoulder.”
The Rams’ offense has been problematic throughout the season and now defensive struggles are bordering on becoming a trend.
The 555-yard meltdown against the Saints came a week after the Rams gave up two long touchdown drives in the final minutes against the Miami Dolphins.
Fisher noted that in opponents’ last 15 possessions, the Rams have surrendered nine touchdowns.
“That’s not us,” he said, “and that’s not what we’re about.”
Fisher also confirmed “the motivation” that existed Sunday between Saints Coach Sean Payton and Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who coached together in New Orleans from 2009 to 2011 and received suspensions in 2012 in the aftermath of the Bountygate scandal.
“We got out-coached, and I told the players that,” Fisher said. “That happens sometimes and that’s the truth.”
After the game, Rams safety T.J. McDonald said the defeat would “sit heavy on us.”
Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner said Rams players were looking forward to playing the Patriots.
“There aren’t too many aspects in life that you get an opportunity to redeem yourself as fast as we do next weekend,” he said.
Fisher responded to Eric Dickerson’s claim that a person in the team’s upper management told the Hall of Fame running back that the Rams did not want him on the sidelines at games. Dickerson has been critical of the Rams during radio appearances and interviews.
“He’s always welcome,” Fisher said. “I’d welcome him in the building. I’d love to have him come in. I’d love to have him come to practice. I’d love to have him come in the meetings. [Former Tennessee Titans running back] Eddie George has been in my meetings more than Eric Dickerson has. I’d love to have him here.”
Earlier in the day, Demoff tweeted that he had reached out to Dickerson “to see where a miscommunication may have occurred & to clear up any confusion over his presence at games.”…
Fisher said there was “a good chance” Greg Robinson would return as the starting left tackle. Fisher made Robinson inactive against the Saints and veteran Rodger Saffold started in his place. Saffold suffered a hand injury in the second quarter and was replaced by seldom-used Andrew Donnal.