Nobody was more surprised at Jeff Fisher’s departure than the player who needed his leadership most. “I heard they fired Coach Fisher,” said Adam “Pacman” Jones, “and I was like, ‘What?!’”

Fisher’s players didn’t often make the wrong kind of headlines, but Jones did. What most fans don’t know is how hard Jones tried to get on the right track and how hard Fisher tried to help him.

“We had kind of a father-son relationship,” Jones said Friday from his apartment in Cincinnati. “He was hard on me, but he let me know he was there for me.”

We all know about Jones’ past issues. He was on probation for a fight in West Virginia even when he was drafted by the Titans in 2005. He was as good at getting into trouble as he was at returning kicks. But behind the scenes, Jones and Fisher forged a bond that didn’t make the papers.

“He never turned his back on me,” said Jones. “He came to my house several times. I could go to him and talk to him about anything. And I did. I got to a point in Tennessee where I ran out of options on my own and I turned to him. Coach Fisher was a great person. Great about caring, great about calling. Can’t get any better than him.”

Jones is now with the Bengals, and although a neck injury cut short his season, he’s clearly in a much better place now -- in part because of Fisher.

“I have no idea why they [fired him],” he says. “It’s gotta be the dumbest move ever. But that’s how they do things in Tennessee. It can be very weird down there. I still can’t believe it. But you know, things happen. I guess they fired me.”