Jeff Fisher Is Gone: Will a Coach Be Able To Survive the Axe This Long Again?

Perry KostidakisContributor IJanuary 27, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 02:  Jeff Fisher the Head Coach of the Tennessee Titans watches play during NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

"In a surprising move, the Tennessee Titans have parted ways with head coach Jeff Fisher, who just completed his 16th full season as the NFL's longest-tenured coach.

The team said in a release Thursday night that "Fisher will no longer be the head coach of the team. The Titans announced the move within an hour of a report by that they were negotiating Fisher's departure."

Read that one more time. 

16 seasons? 

Didn't Eric Mangini just get fired after his second?

Fisher did all he could in his 16 seasons, even placing third among active coaches in winning percentage. In the end, it came down to him not being able to win postseason games.

It's hard to believe that in a time where coaches are evaluated by "what have you done for me lately?" that Fisher even managed to last this long. Andy Reid is the closest with 12 years on duty, but who knows how much longer he'll survive?

What it comes down to is this, will there ever be another coach to last as long as Fisher?

There is one obvious choice to replace him, and that is a one Bill Belichick

The Evil Genius has no signs of slowing down despite three straight postseason losses. He can still consistently rack up 10+ win seasons, and every year, the Patriots just reload. 

Belichick is currently in his 11th season, with his contract running through 2014. That would place him at 15, two years off beating Fisher's mark. He'll be 62 years old, and Tom Brady will be 37.

Both are fierce competitors, but how long will they want to continue? Belichick already has the glory, and Brady has the model wife and children. How much incentive will the man have after so far winning five Super Bowls and two AP Coach of the Year Awards? If Brady leaves, will he want to continue?

I mean, Matt Cassell did what he needed to do in New England, but the team struggled. At that age, will he even want to bother trying to start from scratch? 

With exception to Mike Tomlin, who has built a dynasty in Pittsburgh, and Reid if he can survive another four years in Philly (which is unlikely), no coach springs to mind that has a real possibility of surviving 16 years as a coach. Some are too old, most are too at risk to falling victim. It's a sad truth in a modern world, stability is a thing of the past. 

This, of course, is all speculation. Nobody knows the future for sure. Belichick might coach till he dies. Jim Harbaugh could turn out to be a coaching phenomenon. Damn, we might all die in 2012 anyways.

But with all indications right now, Fisher was the last of a dying breed.