Detroit Lions: Why They Should Hire Bill Cowher

Michael SuddsCorrespondent INovember 19, 2010

DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 11:  Former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher attends the game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils on February 11, 2009 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin Cox/Getty Images

What was that?

Hire Bill Cowher?

You must think that I’m crazy.

Crazy like a fox.

Bill Cowher would be a perfect fit in a consulting capacity.

I believe in head coach Jim Schwartz, but he is a second-year head coach who’s resume is sparse in head coaching experience. In fact, he’s never held the position before in his career.

With only four wins in his two seasons at Detroit, Schwartz has turned the Lions into a competitive team that still fails to win. I discussed the difference between competing and winning in a recent article.

In that article, I explained that the difference between competing and winning is the ability to impose your will upon your opponent.

Before you can impose your will upon your opponent, you must first impose your will upon your team.

Back to Bill Cowher.

Cowher clearly understands this concept.

Watching Cowher in training camp when he was the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers was very illuminating.

The “Chin” stalked his players in practice, and never hesitated to pull a player out of a drill and verbally abuse him if he was not putting enough effort into doing things the way that Cowher wanted them done.

Top-flight veterans were not spared from his wrath.

Bill Cowher was much loved by his players, management, and his owners.

He can be acerbic, combative, and confrontational.

Losing is not tolerated.

Mistakes, missed assignments and penalties were dealt with swiftly and harshly.

Cowher has repeatedly stated that he does not wish to continue coaching.

Do you think that he might like a nice little gig as a consultant to Lions head coach Jim Schwartz?

Cowher would offer Schwartz his insights, and critique Schwartz’s performance after practices and games, in private.

Schwartz’s style is that of a somewhat aloof, scholarly engineer. He’s building something in Detroit that looks better on paper all the time.

Schwartz’s on-job training is a torturous process, and the team suffers because of it.

The Lions are competitive. This has yet to translate into victories.

Cowher’s style is more dynamic—getting the best from his talent in order to impose his will on his team, and his opponents.

Obviously, the two coaches have different philosophies, and might even clash.

Could Jim Schwartz benefit from the experience and success of Bill Cowher?

Would Cowher’s mentoring improve Schwartz’s tactical game management and practice techniques?

Jim Schwartz has an insatiable hunger for knowledge, and self-improvement. Would he welcome the assistance of Cowher?

I can’t shake the feeling that two or three hours of Cowher’s observations and a one-hour private session of mentoring would be well worth the cost.

Schwartz would be enriched by the experience and his coaching would undergo some tactical improvements that may very well aid in turning competing into winning.

What do you think?


Mike Sudds is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Mike is also an analyst and correspondent for