You all have heard it from the man himself, he wants to be the man in charge on the sidelines next season (assuming there is football next season).
Bill Cowher wrote his Christmas list for Santa and made sure the whole world knew as well. Cowher has stated that he would desire the Giants, Texans, or Dolphins coaching job this upcoming season. It must be nice to pick and choose what jobs you want and not have to audition for employers like everyone else.
One does have to question the effectiveness of coaches who return after a long layoff before handing the job over to Cowher.
In the past decade we have seen many coaches try and make a return after being out of the game. Joe Gibbs, Art Shell, Bill Parcells, and the most recent in Mike Shannahan have all tried to make their resurgences to the NFL after being off for a period of time. Of these coaches Parcells was the only one to have mild consistent success, while Gibbs only made the playoffs once and there is still more to be seen in the Shanahan era in Washington.
The fact is Cowher will be coaching again in the near future, and the fact is that not just any coaching job that will suit him either.
Every team that will be possibly looking for a new head coach has been linked to Cowher as a possibility in one way or another making him the hottest coaching commodity. Cowher has made it clear he has particular criteria to determine who will be fortunate enough to have his services.
Number one criteria he wants a Quarterback.
Bill Cowher spent years in Pittsburgh with guys like Kordell Stewart, Tommy Maddox, and Charlie Batch at the helm. It wasn't until Big Ben came along that Cowher finally found a way to win the Super Bowl. Learning from this Cowher knows he needs a quarterback to win in the NFL today and he also understands how hard it is to find that franchise guy. Cowher doesn't want a rebuild project plain and simple.
So the question remains which team of Cowher's Christmas wish list best suits him and is the most realistic?
First, we will stop in New York to examine the situation there.
The Giants do have their franchise quarterback who has in fact won a Super Bowl already in place so that checks off number one on the list. Assuming Cowher will still invoke his philosophy from Pittsburgh to have a dominant rushing attack the Giants are suited with that as well. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs prove to be a very productive backfield this season averaging 144.9 yards a game, fifth in the league. The Giants also find themselves with the situation of having a slew of young talented receivers as well.
The defensive side of the ball is where it gets interesting when examining the best coaching job for Bill Cowher.
The Giants have built their defensive personnel around an attacking 4-3 defense that is second in the league with 42 sacks this season. The interesting dilemma about this is as we remember Bill Cowher ran predominantly a 3-4 defense in Pittsburgh.
Would Cowher really change around the personnel of this defense to fit his scheme when they are already so successful? We saw Shannahan change around his scheme to a 3-4 when his personnel clearly better fit a 4-3 so anything is possible.
Another aspect could be if Cowher did continue with the same 4-3 scheme the Giants have then where would the Bill Cowher stamp on the team be? Surely if Cowher becomes the new head coach he would have to make some sort of change to prove that he is the better man for the job, otherwise why change anything.
This remark brings me to my final assessment of the whether or not the Giants are the best suited for Cowher.
Tom Coughlin, who has won a Super Bowl with this team only a few years ago, doesn't seem to be on the hot seat, at least not to the public eye. The Giants are still in root to make the playoffs even after their loss to the Eagles this past Sunday. It's hard to believe that ownership would really send Coughlin out after the success he's had even with Cowher as a candidate. I'd say that Tom Coughlin should have good job security at this point.
Final assessment: Giants are not the best team suited for Bill Cowher.
The Miami Dolphins, different from the Giants, do run a 3-4 defense that Cowher could shape into his mold with relative ease. Talents like Karlos Dansby and Cameron Wake in the linebacker core would be something Cowher could build around, not to mention a young shut down corner in Vontae Davis. Cowher could easily put his stamp on Miami's defense quickly, and a quick transition is exactly what he is looking for in his next job.
Offensively for the Dolphins is where the doubts play a factor in Cowher becoming the man in charge. Chad Henne is injury prone and in a year where he had weapons like Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess, Anthony Fasano, Ricky Williams, and Ronnie Brown he did not improve the way the Dolphins would have hoped.
Henne has not been able to achieve the status of a proven quarterback in the NFL playing in his third season and has thrown 14 touchdowns followed by 16 interceptions thus far this season. Cowher's number one criteria is not met here in Miami for a proven quarterback already in place.
That's not the only problem either. Ricky Williams will be 34 years old next season and Ronnie Brown has been consistently injured over the past few seasons. Not to mention Dansby is also on his way to that dreaded 30 years of age and the window for the Dolphins may be closing fast than its opening.
As far as a head coaching spot being available, there's a much better opportunity of that happening in Miami than New York. Tony Sparano was hired by Bill Parcells who is no longer affiliated with the organization possibly making it easier to move Sparano out. It doesn't help that the Dolphins underachieved this year as well when coming into the season with playoff aspirations.
Final assessment: of the three teams the Dolphins are the least suited for Bill Cowher.
This brings us to the final team on the Bill Cowher Christmas list, the Houston Texans.
The Houston Texans are an intriguing bunch that seemingly is on the cusp of the playoffs with the right push over the top. They have the number one criteria with a proven quarterback in Matt Schaub already in place, not to mention weapons like league leading rusher Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, and Owen Daniels. Since having the offense in place Cowher could pay his upmost attention to revamping the defense.
The Texans have been running 4-3 defense since the Kubiak era began, however with the worst secondary in the NFL there is room for Cowher's stamp on this defense. The core of the defense for the Texans is made up of young talent with Mario Williams, Brian Cushing, Amobi Okoye, and Conner Barwin which could make it easier on Cowher to transfer this 4-3 defense into a 3-4 more so than New York given the versatility and abilities of these players to build around.
Lastly, this coaching job in Houston seems to be the most available heading into the offseason. There have been murmurs all year that if the Texans didn't meet expectations Kubiak could see his last days. Now with Cowher saying he would be interested in the job it makes it seem that much more likely the Texans would want to bring a big name head coach into the organization.
Final assesment: the Texans seem to be the best suited for Bill Cowher.