Bruce Arians wishes he and Jeff Fisher could finish their feud
Bruce Arians does not regret taking a jab at the Rams two years ago.
If anything, the Cardinals head coach just wishes former Rams coach Jeff Fisher was still around to continue their back-and-forth. In a conference call with Los Angeles media on Wednesday, Arians was asked about Fisher taking his own shot at the Cardinals this year following the Rams’ Week 4 win.
“We’ve always had our little barbs,” Arians said Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. “They’re out of fun. I think it was out of respect for each other. I started it, and I wish he had a chance to finish it so I could say, ‘Happy New Year.'”
After beating Arizona this year, Fisher spoke candidly with NFL.com about Arians’ previous comments. He told his Los Angeles team that the 17-13 victory on Oct. 2 was Arizona’s early “Christmas present.”
“Go back and see all the (expletive) Bruce said against us a couple of years ago,” Fisher added.
Arians took it in stride.
“It was good,” the Cardinals coach said Wednesday. “Hey, when you win, you get to say things. And when you lose, eat it.”
Much has changed since the teams’ first meeting this year. Fisher was fired and replaced by special teams coordinator John Fassel on an interim basis. Arizona, meanwhile, played too many more disappointing games and find themselves 6-8-1 heading into Week 16.
The verbal jabs between Arians and Fisher originated following a 12-6 Cardinals victory over the Rams in 2014. Arians criticized the expectation that his 11-3 team would lose in St. Louis against a 6-8 team.
“Everybody wanted to talk all that stuff about how great that defense is. I think they saw a great defense tonight — it was in red and white,” Arians said. “There’s an 11-3 team and a team that’s always 8-8. You figure it out.”
The attack didn’t go away over the last two years. Before the 2016 season, the HBO television series “Hard Knocks” followed the Rams during training camp, and one episode featured Fisher making a similar reference to his average head coaching record.
“I’m not (expletive) going 7-9, or 8-8, or 9-7, ‘kay? Or 10-6 for that matter,” he said after cutting a player for a team violation. “This team is too talented. I’m not going to settle for that. I know what I’m doing. We had some 7-9 (expletive) this morning.”