When Bill Cowher left the Steelers after the 2006 season, it was believed that he called it quits because he knew that he’d never make in Pittsburgh the kind of top-of-market money that guys like Mike Holmgren, whom Cowher beat in Super Bowl XL, was receiving. And so the thinking was that, after making TV money for a few years at CBS, Cowher would return to the NFL, get paid top dollar, and make back all the money he would have made with the Steelers, and then some.
If that’s what Cowher was thinking then, it’s not what he’s thinking now. Peter King of Sports Illustrated pointed out during Sunday’s broadcast of Football Night in America that Cowher’s top priority is to go to a situation in which he thinks he’ll win.
Of course, there’s a chance Cowher gets paid and wins. But winning is the more important factor, as it probably should be. Too many Super Bowl-winning coaches have undermined their legacies via NFL second acts that didn’t work out. None has won a Super Bowl with a subsequent team. (Holmgren came the closest.)
Cowher could be the first to do it. And it sounds like he’ll only return to a situation in which he believes he will.
And that makes the franchise that secures the rights to Andrew Luck the most likely to be able to lure Cowher back to coaching in 2012.