NASHVILLE — Bud Adams has thought it over and the Tennessee Titans’ owner isn’t ready just yet to part with Jeff Fisher.
“Jeff has meant a great deal to this franchise and we have reached some incredible heights under his leadership,” Adams said in a statement Friday.
Adams also thanked fans for their patience over the past week while he decided on the team’s future.
“Obviously, I have very high expectations for our football team and want to deliver a championship to our fans,” the owner said. “Jeff understands this and shares my expectations. The results of his leadership have been some very good football teams and I believe he will get us back to an elite level.”
The decision comes two days after Adams agreed the Titans needed to part with Vince Young five seasons after he ordered the quarterback drafted. Young was 30-17, not counting his lone playoff loss, but he told off Fisher in front of the team after suffering a season-ending injury Nov. 21.
Adams’ decision means Fisher, the NFL’s longest-tenured coach, will be back for a 17th season. Fisher wasn’t available to comment because he was travelling to Arizona to watch his son Trent play for Auburn in the BCS championship game. But he said in a statement that he and Adams had a good talk about the team.
“Clearly I am pleased with the news today. Presenting Mr. Adams with his first Lombardi Trophy is still the objective and I will continue to work for that goal,” Fisher said.
He is under contract for 2011 for US$6.5 million, but changes to his coaching staff are expected as part of his return for another season. His Titans slumped from a 5-2 start to a 6-10 finish, losing eight of their final nine.
Adams has stuck with Fisher about three times longer than any other coach he has had since founding the franchise in 1959 and moving to Tennessee in 1997. Fisher has coached 273 games for the team, which is more games than any coach has with one franchise except for six Hall of Famers: George Halas, Tom Landry, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Curly Lambeau and Bud Grant.