Giant Speculation: Could Bill Cowher Be Headed To New York?

Kyle McMorrowCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 17:  Coach Bill Cowher of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches his team against the Carolina Panthers on December 17, 2006 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Steelers defeated the Panthers 37-3.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Earlier today, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis publicly stated the reason Bill Cowher hasn't returned to the NFL is because he is "holding out" for the New York Giants gig once Tom Coughlin steps down or is removed, according to a report by Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. 

Bettis, who played for Cowher in Pittsburgh for ten years, told Chris Russo that his former coach is "very close" with the Mara family and that Cowher "is going to be with the Giants eventually." 

The former running back went on to add that Cowher would have already had the job had the Giants not went on their storied Super Bowl run, and that Cowher has had the "inside track" since 2007.

Cowher, who has been linked to many rumors surrounding the Carolina Panthers head coaching job, has not coached since leaving the Steelers back in 2006 when he led them to their first championship since 1980. 

Ironically enough, the man he is rumored to eventually replace, Tom Coughlin, lead the New York Giants the following year to the promised land when they defeated the New England Patriots in one of the most exciting and ground breaking games the NFL has ever seen.

Coughlin, who signed a four-year, $21 million contract back in 2008, has shown a complete collapse since signing the deal, leading the Giants to back-to-back disappointing finishes.

The Giants began the 2008 season 11-1 before losing four out of their next five, including a first round loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Coughlin once again had the Giants playing well this season, going undefeated throughout their first five, but that's as good as it was going to get for the G-Men. New York stumbled the rest of the way, finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs.

While Coughlin is signed throughout the 2011 season, there is definite speculation about the coaching situations in New York. Defensive coordinator and line coach Bill Sheridan and Mike Waufle have already been fired, and while Mara has assured that GM Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin are safe, nothing is ever guaranteed in this world. Should Cowher receive some intriguing offers from around the league, could Mara's hand be forced into an early move?

Whatever this may be, speculation, inside information, or a sign of things to come, Bettis has given Giants fans something to talk about and look forward to.