Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Thursday, January 27, 2011
Was nepotism a factor in Fisher decision?

By Paul Kuharsky

After his offensive coordinator, Mike Heimerdinger, was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment during the season, Titans coach Jeff Fisher brought in cheap help.

His oldest child, Brandon, joined Heimerdinger as he moved from the sideline to the coaching box, taking a crash course in play-calling terminology to be ready to help convey calls to quarterback coach Dowell Loggains on the field if needed.

Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher
According to John Clayton, Jeff Fisher was looking to add his son, Brandon, to the Titans' coaching staff in 2011.
Loggains was sending the calls into Rusty Smith for one game, then to Kerry Collins for the remainder of the season.

After that little apprenticeship for Brandon Fisher, who played football at Montana, his father apparently wanted more.

A source told John Clayton that Jeff Fisher was looking to add Brandon Fisher to his 2011 staff as a quality control coach, and that turned out to be a breaking point for Bud Adams.

I can’t believe Jeff Fisher didn’t know it would be.

Nepotism has long been taboo for Adams, and it’s the primary reason Gregg Williams, who wanted to bring his son Blake along, didn’t rejoin the franchise as defensive coordinator after the 2008 season. Like Adams and ultimately Fisher, I wasn’t big on the idea.

I think it’s generally better to get your son who wants to coach on a friend's staff, not put him on your own. Gregg and Blake Williams landed in New Orleans instead.

From South Florida, as the two Saints assistants prepared to coach in Super Bowl XLIV, I wrote about why things didn't work out a second time with Gregg Williams and Tennessee and about Williams’ subsequent reaction to what I wrote -- here and here.

As for what just unfolded in Nashville...

Did Fisher have a change of heart and decide to challenge Adams when it came to his own son? Or did he know that pushing Brandon as a staff addition would likely blow things up and set him free from what was turning into an ugly, lame-duck situation?

And if Gregg Williams is to be a candidate for Fisher's old job now, would he be willing to leave his son out of the equation?