Jeff Fisher knows how to win in the NFL. And after coaching just his first six games, the St. Louis Rams have already won more games than they did all of last season. So it’s pretty tough to question any tactics that Fisher uses to get his team ready for Sunday. Even if one of those tactics is having practice squad members wear wigs in practice to help his team get ready for an opposing player.
Fisher had practice squad member Sammy Brown don a blonde wig on Wednesday to help the Rams offense ready themselves for Green Bay Packers star Clay Matthews.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” defensive end Chris Long said, chuckling. “Clay’s are a little bit more flowy. But I almost thought it was Clay Matthews.”
Did the hair give Brown superhuman strength or powers like the biblical Samson? Hardly.
“I had to take it off,” Brown said. “That thing was burning my face.” The humor masks the difficulty of preparing for a talent like Matthews, who ranks second in the league in sacks, with eight, and has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons.
The best way to imitate Matthews, Brown said, is to dump the hair and “just try to run full speed every play, get off blocks and do crazy stuff.”
This not the first time Fisher has gone to a wig in his game week preparation. Back when he was coaching the Titans, he used wigs to prepare for Troy Polamalu as well.
“That’s a team-issued deal,” Fisher said. “I’ve done that in the past, particularly with Troy Polamalu. When you’re playing great players like Polamalu and Matthews, you like to know where they are on the field, and that helps. “