New York Giants: Why Bill Cowher Should Be Next Coach If Tom Coughlin Is Fired

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst INovember 30, 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher during game against Oakland Raiders at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California on October 29, 2006. The Raiders won 20 to 13. (Photo by Michael Fabus/NFLPhotoLibrary)
Michael Fabus/Getty Images

The Giants are in deep trouble right now.

And for head coach Tom Coughlin, times are not good right now for his team.

On Monday night, the Giants dropped their third straight game to the New Orleans Saints on national TV by being blown out 49-24.

The loss dropped the Giants to 6-5 and out of first place, and they have a date with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, a game that many feel the Giants will lose, which would drop them to 6-6.

The 2011 season is spiraling out of control and the Giants are in the midst of another late-season collapse, which unfortunately has been a common thing for the Giants since 2004.

What's even worse for the Giants is if they fail to make the postseason, it would be the third straight season where the Giants failed to make the playoffs.

And if the Giants miss the playoffs again, I think that will be the end of the coaching tenure of Coughlin in New York.

Now, don't get me wrong, I like Coughlin. I think he has done a wonderful job since taking the job from Jim Fassel in 2004 and has made the Giants a contender in the NFC each year.

When his job was on the line in 2006 and he was on the hot seat, the Giants stepped up and won Super Bowl XLII, which got him a contract extension.

But Feb. 3, 2008, seems like it was forever ago to a lot of the fans, and we are in a sports world where it's "What have you done for me lately?"

So when the 2011 season ends, I think that will be the end of the 65-year-old Coughlin as Giants coach.

Who would be the successor to Coughin for 2012? Would it be a coordinator like Perry Fewell, Pete Carmichael or Rob Ryan? No.

The Giants can't go with an inexperienced coordinator for their next coach.

They could go the route of Jon Gruden or Jeff Fisher, but honestly, I don't think they are the best fits for the Giants in 2012 if Coughlin goes.

Nope, I honestly feel that if Coughlin gets the axe, their next head coach is Bill Cowher.

We've all heard the rumors of Cowher to New York for two years now.

It all got going when former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis said he could see Cowher coaching the Giants in the near future because of his previous relationship with the Mara family.

In fact, Bettis said if the Giants didn't go on their 2007 championship run and Coughlin had gotten fired, Cowher would have wanted to take over the reins then.

Last year, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, he said Cowher has a "coaching list" of teams he would desire to choose from: the Giants, Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans.

The Texans are potentially playoff bound in the AFC South, so I think Gary Kubiak's job is safe.

Now in Miami, Tony Sparano is not safe at 3-8.

In fact, when the Dolphins started out 0-7, the rumors of Cowher to the Dolphins got started up again, which led to Cowher making a statement on CBS.

In Cowher's statement, he said he had no plans to coach in 2012 and planned on returning to CBS for 2012.

This says three things:

1. He has no interest in the Dolphins job, which I can't blame him for.

2. "He doesn't plan on coaching." Plans always change. This was back in October. Come January, Cowher's plans can change very easily.

3. At the time, the Giants were 6-2 and Coughlin wasn't on the hot seat. At 6-5, a lot has changed since and I bet his interest has, too.

This makes me think that Cowher to the Giants makes the most sense.

In Bettis' argument, he stated Cowher's relationship with the Rooneys had a big influence on him, and given his relationship to and respect of the Maras, it could greatly influence Cowher to want to coach for the Giants.

Cowher Isn't an "Overrated Coach"

Most recently, I have been advocating for Cowher to New York a lot more with this recent collapse starting to rear its ugly head.

Some others haven't felt the same way and even have said that Cowher is an "overrated coach."

Lets look at the facts of the 55-year-old former coach.

Cowher was 149-90-1 from 1992-2006 with the Steelers in the regular season.

Under Cowher, the Steelers made the playoffs 10 times out of 15 seasons, won nine division titles, won two AFC Championships and won Super Bowl XL in February of 2006.

In the playoffs, Cowher had a 12-9 career record with the Steelers as well—12 career playoff wins isn't exactly overrated.

If you want to look at an overrated coach, Marty Schottenheimer might be one to look at. He has a 5-13 career record in the postseason and had a knack of never being able to win a big game in his career.

If Cowher had that type of reputation, the talk of two years wouldn't even exist and a lot of people wouldn't even mention him for the Giants job.

Cowher has downplayed wanting Coughlin's job, as expected.

It would make Cowher look like a jerk if he came out and said he wanted anyone's job.

So by saying he's not rooting for anyone to get fired, he's taking the classy approach by keeping as low of a profile and downplaying his interest as much as possible.

But in all honesty, we know Cowher is interested, and I think deep down he is holding out for the Giants job to open up.

Here's Why Cowher Is the Man For New York

Now, the ultimate burning question: Why is Cowher the best solution for the Giants?

Right now, I don't think the team is responding to Coughlin anymore. As much as they will try not to say it, Coughlin's time in this league may have finally passed.

You can blame the injuries all you want to, but that didn't stop the Packers last season from winning the Super Bowl in February, mostly because the players believe in and bought into Mike McCarthy's system.

As I mentioned earlier, he's 65, and the oldest head coach in the NFL right now. Coaches around the age of 65 tend to not last much longer in the league.

Cowher will be 56 next year but hasn't coached for five years, so he'll be fully rested and completely rejuvenated enough to have a good seven- to 10-year run if he decides to come back and coach for the Giants.

Cowher does have some similarities to Coughlin in that he yells and is a very fiery and passionate coach.

But ask all of his former players and they will be the first ones to tell you how much they love playing for Cowher; whereas you might not get that same response from Coughlin's players.

Cowher can still make an impact in this league, and by pairing him with Eli Manning on offense and combining that with the vaunted pass rush on defense, you have some of the ingredients for success.

Plus, he's a brand-name coach, which is what the Giants and owner John Mara will be looking for if and when Coughlin leaves.

When the Giants canned Fassel after the 2003 season, they needed a big name to restore order, which is why the Giants brought in the disciplinarian Coughlin.

And now, to restore order, the Giants need a big-time coach to get a team with a lot of potential and talent back into the playoffs and on top of the NFC pecking order.

And, if Cowher comes, Kevin Gilbride has no chance of staying as offensive coordinator, so that would be a plus for all Giants fans.

The Giants need a culture change. They need a new voice to lead them going forward.

That voice is Cowher.

If Coughlin will be out after 2011, I am advocating for Cowher to be the next Giants head coach for 2012.

Deep down, he's the right choice and the best choice.


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