Bill Cowher: 10 Reasons He Should Stay Retired For One More Year
According to reports, former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher is interested in returning to coach in the NFL. The Super Bowl winning coach recently expressed interest in the possibly soon-to-be vacant coaching positions in Houston, Miami and New York.
While it’s entirely probable that the trio of Gary Kubiak, Tony Sparano and Tom Coughlin will all find themselves jobless at season’s end, I don’t think these are worthwhile job opportunities that should lure Cowher out of retirement.
Only a year ago, Cowher shot down rumors that he would return to coaching by saying, “I’m not going anywhere.” The 1992 NFL Coach of the Year would be wise to heed his own words.
10. Iffy Morality
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If Chris Mortensen’s article was drawn up by Cowher’s people–and it’s a safe bet that it was–then Cowher has crossed some questionable ethical lines. Although he saved face by not making the comments publicly, making a wish list of coaching positions that are already filled is entirely unscrupulous.
The season is still ongoing and one of these coaches is in the midst of a playoff push. The last thing they need are reporters breathing down their neck, talking about the possibility of another coach stealing their job.
Wait until the end of the season and if those jobs become vacant, line up for an interview. Otherwise, don’t interfere with somebody’s livelihood like that.
9. Miami Dolphins
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The most obvious thing to point out is that the 7-7 Dolphins currently have a head coach in Tony Sparano who has compiled an impressive 25-21 record in just three seasons with the Fins. Considering the tough competition these past few years from both the Patriots and the Jets, those types of results are nothing to scoff at.
It’s understandable why Cowher would want to take over in Miami, especially given his track record as a defensive minded coach. This is a defense with the potential Defensive Player of the Year in Cameron Wake, plus a slew of talented young players including Carlos Dansby and Vontae Davis.
If Miami simply had a serviceable quarterback rather than the erratic Chad Henne, they could be a threat in the AFC. Sparano took over a 1-15 team and brought them back to relevancy.
He still has one year left on his original four year contract and I would be shocked if they cut short his tenure.
8. Houston Texans
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As a defensive minded coach, why on earth would Cowher want to take over the Houston Texans? That’s like the high school quarterback trying to turn the nerdy girl into prom queen–which just happens to be the plot of She’s All That.
The Texans pass defense ranks dead last in the NFL, allowing 275 yards per game through the air. This is a team that has allowed at least 24 points in thirteen of fourteen games this season.
I’ve heard of reclamation projects, but this is just absurd. Cowher will likely be inundated with job offers, meaning there is no need to settle for the Texans. Kubiak will likely be fired here, but it is not a good fit for Cowher.
7. New York Giants
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After yesterday’s game against the Eagles many fans are calling for Tom Coughlin’s head, and I can’t blame them. Even if the punter messed up and Coughlin told him to kick it out of bounds, the Giants should have never even been in that situation.
New York’s supposedly stout defense allowed 28 points in just less than seven and a half minutes. Now that is inexcusable. Still, Coughlin won a Super Bowl with the Giants just three years ago and has compiled a 63-45 record since taking over following a 6-10 season.
Other than his first season, Coughlin has not had a losing year and will likely make the playoffs for the fifth time in seven seasons. Those types of results should be rewarded and not punished, which is why I believe Coughlin will keep his job and Cowher should stay away from this situation.
6. Tampa Bay and Carolina
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On Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted, “Word around the league is that Bill Cowher is poised to return to the sidelines in 2010. Potential landing spots: Tampa Bay and Carolina.”
Immediately there are two problems with that. The first is that Tampa Bay has been one of this season’s most surprising teams and the 34-year-old Raheem Morris could be the frontrunner for Coach of the Year. Tampa Bay would have to be absolutely bonkers to let Morris go after seeing the development of young players like Josh Freeman.
As for Carolina I can only ask, why? With a 2-12 record it’s a fair bet that head coach John Fox will not return next season, but why would any coach want to take over that decrepit team? They will be able to draft a franchise quarterback with the first overall pick (likely Stanford’s Andrew Luck) but that is a long term rebuilding plan.
The Panthers have promising young running backs in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, but little else. Steve Smith is highly paid yet seems to have lost a step. The rest of the receivers? They seem better suited for the practice squad.
The Carolina offense ranks dead last in football with 13.1 points per game–a full four points lower than second worst. Their offensive line certainly has not helped the cause allowing 43 sacks this season.
The Panthers rank amongst the bottom third of the league in scoring defense surrendering 25 points per game. One head coaching job is quite secure while the other is one that I would avoid at all costs.
5. NFL Today
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Cowher may be so keen on returning to coaching that he doesn’t realize what a sweet gig he has. Since February of 2007, Bill Cowher has been an analyst for NFL Today where he has done a tremendous job.
Cowher brings a wealth of knowledge to the program as well as great strength and intestinal fortitude. In an interview with Ben Roethlisberger, Cowher drilled his former quarterback about Roethlisberger’s off-field indiscretions.
Cowher is one of the few analysts who can break down and explain game film and always has an interesting take on the action. As a fan I would love to see Cowher remain in his current post, although that possibility seems quite remote.
4. Mike Shanahan
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After spending fourteen glorious years with the Denver Broncos, the team opted to go another way and let Shanahan walk. I never agreed with their decision, but it’s a moot point.
After spending one year away from the game, Shanahan was lured back with a five year, $35 million contract. The results so far have been less than ideal.
Not only have the Redskins struggled with a 5-9 record, but they have also been plagued by internal turmoil. The Albert Haynesworth saga has been an embarrassing public spectacle and the benching of offseason acquisition Donovan McNabb drew the ire of more than a few players.
After retiring a Denver legend, Shanahan must be ruing the day he opted to return to the NFL. Cowher is in a very similar situation to the one Shanahan was in just a year ago. He could enjoy his time away from coaching and his experience as a TV analyst, or he could return to a less than ideal situation for big money and endless headaches.
Hopefully Cowher can learn a lesson from Shanahan and remain retired.
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It’s always bizarre seeing a former head coach in a new place. As much as you love and respect them for their contributions to your home team, there is still a sense of bitterness and resentment. For that reason, perhaps Cowher should remain retired.
Cowher spent fifteen years coaching the Steelers, becoming the face of the franchise for a generation. He’s a local legend, beloved by the entire city. That raises the question, is it worth tarnishing that for one more shot?
Surely this is not motivated by money as Cowher made plenty of it as both a coach and television analyst. At 53 years old, Cowher still has plenty of gas left in the tank, but is it worth possibly ruining a legacy?
Favre lost respect when he unretired to play for the Jets. Ditto for Michael Jordan. Cowher has already left behind a lasting legacy; I just hope he doesn’t blemish it.
2. The Late Kaye Cowher
Just four months ago, Bill Cowher was dealt the tragic news that his wife Kaye had lost her bout with skin cancer. The couple met during college and had three children–all girls–together.
Heaven forbid I tell somebody how to live their life after suffering a tragic loss, but perhaps Cowher should spend some time away from football to provide help and support for his daughters.
I’m sure the man needs something to take his mind off of this heartbreak, but at the same time he has three college-aged daughters who may need support from their father.
I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that Cowher vehemently stated he was staying retired only to have a change of heart following the passing of his wife. I’m not saying that Cowher should never come back, I’m just saying that right now he may be better served spending time with his family.
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If you are going to do something as bold as unretire, you should at least do so with more job certainty. The collective bargaining agreement expires in March 2011, and the possibility for a lockout is extremely high.
When asked about the possibility of football not being played next year, the executive director of the NFLPA DeMaurice Smith said, “On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 14.” Imagine accepting a head coaching job only to be told that there would be no games being played.
My advice would be to wait out the labor crisis before making a brash decision on your future.