Rams Change Mind About Davis; Start Hill

November 12th, 2014 by Justin Thomas

mag_NFLpreview065_USAtoday_300x200Jeff Fisher is a very good coach, but he just made a very stupid, shallow move.

Just two days after making the announcement that Austin Davis, the 2nd-year gunslinger from the University of Southern Mississippi, would continue to be the starter for the St. Louis Rams, Fisher changed his mind and made the decision to start veteran quarterback Shaun Hill instead.

Davis has been the starter for 8 of the 9 games for the Rams this season after Hill went down in the season opener. In those 8 starts, Davis has gone 3-5, throwing for 2,001 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. Davis currently has a season passer rating of 85.1 and a QBR of 37.6.

The glaring issue for Davis is the fact that he has had many costly turnovers in his last couple of games. This past week against the division opponent Cardinals, Davis threw 2 interceptions and lost a fumble in the 4th quarter. But what 1st-year starter isn’t going to struggle against the Cardinals defense?

Fisher has said that he is giving Hill another shot at leading the Rams offense this week against the Broncos because he feels that Hill can bring a much-needed spark to the offense.

I have many, many problems with this train of thought.

First, I have a problem with how this situation was handled. Do not make an announcement to the media that Davis will remain the starter and then change your mind a mere two days later. It makes you look indecisive and jumpy as a coach, but more importantly, a quick turnaround decision like that will most likely kill the confidence of your young, skilled quarterback, who you just took time to support in front of the media, only to turn your back on him 48 hours later.

Now, I understand that you may want to go with experience, but experience for what exactly? Why do you need experience in the game for a team that has almost no chance to crawl through that division and make the playoffs? At this point, you’re better off letting your young quarterback gain the experience for himself as a starter and be ready to be even better next season. Remember, this is a kid that broke all of Brett Favre’s records while he was in college! I’d say that fact alone is worth giving him a chance for a full season audition.

Also, what makes you think that Shaun Hill will provide any sort of spark for your offense. His “experience” with the Rams so far this season is being 8-13 for 81 yards and an interception. His career experience tells the story of a guy who has had more turnovers in his 13-year career than touchdown passes. For his career, Hill has 41 touchdown passes, 24 interceptions, and 18 lost fumbles. It is also worth noting that he failed to spark a Detroit Lions offense that was equipped with the best weapon in the NFL, Calvin Johnson. How is this guy supposed to spark this offense that is without its number one receiver any more than a young quarterback who’s still learning the ropes with tons of potential?

At some point, you have to let the young players build up their confidence and experience so you can be a better team down the road.

Overall, I would say this was not a smart move from Jeff Fisher, and I would expect to see Austin Davis back in there very soon.

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