Another NFL season has nearly wrapped, there are already head coaching vacancies in the league and there's doubtlessly going to be more. That means former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach and current CBS football analyst Bill Cowher's name is going to be tossed around for yet another year.
Cowher, who left coaching in January 2007, has never unequivocally stated he's not interested in returning to his former job but as of yet hasn't accepted any positions offered him.
However, 2012 could be different. If Cowher does want to come back to coaching, here are four teams that might be good landing spots for him.
Bill Cowher's name has already come up a number of times as a potential replacement for the recently-fired head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Tony Sparano. While it seems like a good fit at first glance, it doesn't seem likely Cowher will take the job unless one very specific change is made.
Cowher needs total control if he is going to coach. That means complete and final say on all matters football-related, down to the player. He doesn't want to be limited by a hands-on general manager and he won't take any job that includes such oversight.
This means that Cowher won't accept any offer for the Dolphins head coaching position while general manager Jeff Ireland is still in the picture. If Miami wants Cowher bad enough, they'll can Ireland.
Without that crucial move, Cowher coaching the Dolphins is highly unlikely.
Rumors are swirling about the San Diego Chargers and their head coaching situation. Current head coach Norv Turner has been on the hot seat all season long and it's a foregone conclusion that he'll be out the door at season's end.
But now, reports have surfaced that Chargers general manager A.J. Smith might be out the door as well, heading to the St. Louis Rams in a package deal that includes bringing in ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and former coach Jon Gruden on to replace Steve Spagnuolo, who is rumored to be heading to the Philadelphia Eagles to take over the defensive coordinator job currently held by Juan Castillo.
That would leave the Chargers without a head coach or a GM, giving the team the perfect opportunity to court Bill Cowher to take over the team.
Though the Chargers wouldn't likely go without a general manager, Cowher's demands to have total control over his team could easily be met, with San Diego hiring a more hands-off GM, giving Cowher all the power he desires.
The Chargers would be a great fit for Cowher—they're loaded with talent, need to improve at defense and require a more aggressive coach, after being led by the laid-back Turner for the past five seasons.
It wouldn't be surprising if San Diego makes more than just a symbolic overture to the proven Cowher.
Though Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris received nothing but praise after his team's 10-6 2010 season, now that the Bucs are 4-11 and have lost their last nine games in a row, he's on the hottest of hot seats.
Should team management feel that it's time to move on from Morris—though he's only held the position since 2009—making an offer to Bill Cowher might be a smart move.
Morris, who serves as Tampa Bay's head coach and defensive coordinator, has assembled a young team of playmakers who lack leadership and focus. At 35 years old, Morris is himself young and may need to step back into a coordinator position for a few more seasons before being experienced enough to be a successful long-term head coach.
Cowher is a veteran with 22 years of coaching experience to his name, including 14 years as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's a leader, a disciplinarian and is capable of molding young players in just a short time.
Cowher is just what the Buccaneers need and the Buccaneers suit him, too. They're a defensive-minded team with a quarterback not unlike the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, and they have a fairly hands-off GM.
If the Buccaneers come calling, it would be smart for Cowher to consider their offer.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are certainly a good fit for Bill Cowher's approach to coaching. They're a defensively-minded team with an excellent running back that needs serious help in the passing game.
Conveniently enough, they have a vacancy at head coach and are likely looking to a proven veteran to fill that hole.
However, Jacksonville won't likely be Cowher's landing spot should he return to coaching in 2012. The Jaguars won't likely be willing to pay him his asking price (reportedly around $8 million per year) and their general manager, Gene Smith, is extremely hands-on.
Considering that Cowher needs total control over all football decisions and that Smith won't give it to him likely means that Cowher's not coming to Jacksonville any time soon.
Also harming matters are his negative feelings toward the Jaguars' mascot, Jaxson De Ville, who reveled in harassing Cowher whenever the Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers met.