Jeff Fisher will never forget about his past with the Titans, not that he wants to.
He's reminded of it daily inside the St. Louis Rams facility, where the franchise's only Super Bowl win — against the Titans — is glorified with photos and memorabilia.
"It was hard at first. Kevin Dyson reaching out …" said Fisher, recalling the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV and the agony of defeat that came with it. "But I've gotten used to it."
Fisher, in his second season as coach of the Rams, guided the Titans to six playoff appearances and won 147 games during 16-plus seasons. Since parting with his old team after the 2010 season, he occasionally runs across fans and even reporters who still identify him as a Titan.
On Sunday, the reminder of those days will be especially vivid. He faces his former team for the first time when the Titans (3-4) play the Rams (3-5) at the Edward Jones Dome.
Fisher, who sat out the 2011 season, did his best Wednesday to downplay the emotions that might bubble up. Four former Titans player and four former Titans assistants are with him in St. Louis.
"I think it would be different if we were coming there. Gosh, we've got a short week and we have to get everybody ready to play," Fisher said during a conference call with reporters in Nashville. "They've (Titans) done a great job with the roster. They're playing well. This is just about our team and the matchups and trying to find a way to win."
Fisher didn't hesitate to recall the best times of his Titans tenure, however, starting with the first win at LP Field in 1999. He referenced the 2000 team that went 13-3 and secured home-field advantage only to lose a heartbreaker to the Ravens in the playoff opener.
He also thanked Bud Adams, the Oilers/Titans founder and owner who died last week, for giving him a huge opportunity. With six games left in the 1994 season, Adams sent Oilers coach Jack Pardee packing and elevated Fisher from defensive coordinator.
"The playoff opportunities, some of those that were missed, the 2000 season, even though it was a difficult memory, it was still a great year," Fisher said. "And having the opportunity to develop relationships and retaining relationships for that matter with a lot of former players. It was a great run and I am forever grateful to the Adams family for the opportunity."
Fisher kept his farm in Kingston Springs and the memorabilia he accumulated during his days with the Titans. He admitted he hasn't had time to unpack it all since moving to St. Louis.
There are 16 current Titans who played for Fisher. Many faces also remain from his old coaching staff, including coach Mike Munchak and Gregg Williams. Now a defensive assistant for the Titans, Williams was to be Rams defensive coordinator if the NFL hadn't suspended him in 2011 for his role in "Bountygate" while coaching for the Saints.
"Fisher is a great guy," wide receiver Nate Washington said. "I've got nothing against him at all. I never had any problems with him. He's another one of those coaches along the line that have definitely pushed me in the right direction. So it will definitely be funny to see him over there and a lot of the guys that play for them."
Fisher taught players how to be "professional," cornerback Jason McCourty said.
"He wasn't a discipline-type coach. He kind of expected guys to know what to do and to do it," he said. "It was from him — playing under him for two years and learning from guys that had played under him for more years than I — that I learned you can't just rely on coaches telling you what to do. You have to learn what to do and do it on your own."
Fisher is now in charge of revitalizing the Rams, who haven't had a winning season since 2003. Last year they went 7-8-1 under Fisher, but this season they've already lost quarterback Sam Bradford to a knee injury. The Rams are coming off a Monday night home loss to the Seahawks, a game they had a great chance to win.
"There's a sense of urgency to win a football game every week," Fisher said. "But we have a plan in place — so far, so good. We're very, very young. But the process has been fun."
Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who played under Fisher in Tennessee, called his boss an even better coach now than he was with the Titans.
"He's the man," he said. "Point blank, period."
Finnegan suggested Fisher isn't being completely honest, however, when saying this is just another game on the schedule.
"C'mon, now," he said. "You know both sides would like to win this game for a lot of different reasons. It is the next game, but it's against his former team and I know it means something to him."