Cowher looking to win, not get paid

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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.

100 responses to “Cowher looking to win, not get paid

  1. Some fans are going to mention Philadelphia because a change in philosophy/manhood is needed, but there is no way Andy Reid is done until the team is sold.

  2. A franchise QB alone doesn’t make a Super Bowl contender out of a team. I’m assuming Cowher knows this though.

  3. “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.”

    That is nonsense. The team that gets Luck will be the team with the worst record. Why would Cowher think he could win there?

  4. In 15 seasons Bill Cowher only wone one Super Bowl while coaching a very talented team.

    If Rex Ryan had coached that team he would have won 9 or 10 rings.

  5. If he cares about winning, Luck has nothing to do with where he coaches. He’d easily prefer a team with an established QB rather than a rookie QB.

  6. I am getting really tired of hearing about Andrew Luck. Loads of potential? Sure.. but how many other guys in history have had loads of potential only to find it irrelevant int he NFL.
    It is getting painfully old hearing about this kid

  7. I’m sure it’s about winning, but in the end, like everything else, it will be about money. I guarentee whatever job he gets, he’ll be one of the 5 highest paid coaches in the league.

  8. marinephinfan says:
    Oct 24, 2011 1:36 PM
    A franchise QB alone doesn’t make a Super Bowl contender out of a team. I’m assuming Cowher knows this though.

    —–

    Tell that to the Colts.

  9. Most second acts haven’t worked because the coaches think they can be coach and GM, which wasn’t the situation with their old team. If Cowher intends to just coach at his new team, he has a realistic chance of succeeding.

  10. “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.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure. While Luck is a great centerpiece to build around, if Cowher wants to compete for a Superbowl that likely wouldn’t happen for 5 years at least (keeping in mind he’d be picking #1 to take luck).

    The only team I’d say that might be true for is if the Colts decided to fire Caldwell, and they end up with the #1 pick.

    I would think a team that has talent already in place (and has under-performed to get their HC fired) would be more likely… Somewhere like Philadelphia, New York Giants, San Diego (if they choke late again).

  11. I sure hope this Luck kids has what it takes to be successful in the NFL. I can’t remember any time in the history of the NFL that a college player has been anointed such a savior, as this kid. The pressure is going to be pretty heavy i would think. You read all these articles and listen to all these stories and I could swear he is already a first ballot hall of famer without taking a snap……

  12. He walked away to spend time with his wife who was dying. I never understood why he walked away with a franchise QB. Unfortunately we learned a few years later why he walked away. It was amazing how his family and friends kept that a secret in today’s 24 hour demand for the next big story.

    Bill your a Hall of Fame coach. You won with Tommy Maddox, Kordell Stewart, O’Donnel, Ken Grahamn, Mike Tomzack and finally won the Big Game with Big Ben. Do not come back and ruin your legacy with a terrible team.

  13. “Cowher should go to Cincy.”

    “Please come to Chicago, the weather is fine.”

    I think some may have read over this line:

    Cowher looking to win, not get paid

  14. If this is the case, then the next head coach of the New York Football Giants is Bill Cowher. He’s been waiting for Coughlin to get canned for a while.

    He’s also starting to realize that asking for $7 million when Raheem Morris gets no more than half of that AND is a halfway decent coach is ridiculous.

  15. I’d bet dollars to donuts that Bill Polian would go after Cowher if Jim Caldwell were to be fired by season’s end. Caldwell is too much in the Tony Dungy-style of coaching, and a change in philosophy would do good in Indy.

  16. Really don’t understand why the “so-called experts” & the media continue to assert that Andrew Luck is the answer at QB for any team in need of a QB ….. Luck is a college QB that obviously is at the top of the college game but this does not mean it will translate to the NFL ….. There are a slew of ‘can’t miss’ QBs that came out that never made it in the bigtime ….. The physical attributes that Luck possesses doesn’t guarantee he’ll be an elite QB in the NFL …..

    On Cowher ….. His days are in the past ….. He’ll pull another Joe Gibbs & then return to the booth ……

  17. parcells came close as well. he went to a superbowl with the pats and afc championship game with the jets.

  18. cmb79 says: Oct 24, 2011 1:46 PM

    My guess? San Diego.
    *************************************************
    He better move fast then, they’ll be in L.A. next year.

  19. Mr. Cowher –

    There are currently GM and head coaching spots available in Chicago where you can be successful at both.

    Sincerly –
    Virgina McCaskey

  20. Enough with this Luck kid already. Starting to Beat this drum equity to much a out as much as Tebow. Besides why would Cohwer go to a team with a rookie QB just to wait until he develops. Makes no sense.

  21. With the Dolphins and Colts in prime position to draft Luck, reports are out that he may be likely to pull an Eli Manning. In this case, I would laugh @ MIA and Indy! And yes, Cowher is a bit overrated in my book. I would take Tomlin over him any day of the week.

  22. Still trying to figure out how we already know that Luck will not suck? I mean I know the experts always get it right. ie. Leaf, Russell and a few other cant miss QB’s. You guys act like this guy is the next Payton Manning or Tom Brady. Just sayin

  23. Cowher seems to have his head on straight. After all, how much did he make with the Steelers – maybe $20M after taxes and he’s making a nice sum pontificating on CBS. He doesn’t need money – it’s a nice neighborhood to be in. Sure, if a nice deal came along I’m sure he’d take it but it’d have to be someplace that’s on the edge (going around 8-8 with a commitment to winning) rather than a 2-14 dissaster $30M under the salary cap and no interest in spending it.

  24. I can only hope he would go to San Diego but that’s hopeful wishing. I know his style and his tough coaching style can light a fire but the only problem is AJ is never getting rid of Norv. AJ is gonna ride the Norv bus til the wheels fall off. Also, Cowher is a Marty guy and I don’t think AJ wants one of those again especially someone who was under Marty before. Crossing fingers he would come to SD.

  25. So he would coach the Packers for free? He was winning in Pittsburgh when he left. I’m guessing he didn’t move on because he lost a couple games, he left because it was about the money.

  26. Cowher would never, I repeat never go to San Diego. For one he’s an East coast guy. Second, I don’t care how good the Chargers might be, no Super Bowl winning coach would work under AJ Smith.

    For you guys who are tired of hearing about Luck, the same things were being said about Peyton Manning when he was at Tennessee. He stayed an extra year as well. Luck is not going to Miami, especially if they get stupid and hire Urban Meyer. Luck’s father is too smart to let his son go there and anyone who follows football knows he wants to go to Denver.

  27. Part of what makes a coach like Cower so effective is mystique. He’s spent the last couple years verbally vomiting and getting all touchy feely on national tv.

    His mystique is gone and so is his power. He’ll probably come back somewhere eventually but he’ll never be the same.

  28. Cowher a Hall of Famer? Is there a Hall of Spitting? Not unless he comes back and wins at least 1 more ring. Overrated, one of the worst ‘big game’ coaches of his era. Should have been much better with the players he had to work with.

  29. This makes no sense whatsoever. If he’s looking to join a winner, why would he want to join the worst team in the league who will be drafting Luck.

  30. I love how goofy everyone seems- the fact is Cowher probably wants GM RIGHTS or maybe just wants to be like holmgren and become a president of ops or something.
    And people this suck for luck give me a break! You guys are gonna make him the next ryan leaf! One guy (manning rule) doesn’t make a whole team!!

  31. None has won a Super Bowl with a subsequent team. (Holmgren came the closest.)

    ————————————————————–

    Parcells came the closest. Although the argument could be made that Parcells was not the same coach with out BB running his defense.

  32. Since when has Cowher been worried about building anything first other then the defense. Yeah Luck is an amazing QB prospect and likely to be building piece for any rebuilding team that he gets drafted to, but Cowher is likely to spend the first two drafts on his new team building (or rebuilding) the lines and the defense to his liking before getting the next Peyton Manning.

  33. Be careful what you wish for. A guy like Cowher will spend the first year or two getting rid of the players he didn’t draft and who don’t suit his philosophy and he probably won’t have a good scouting organization and/or player development people in place. It could take years to even begin to see what’s what.

  34. @snowpea84 and wte1 …

    During Cowher’s 15 years with the Steelers, he posted the best record in the NFL. With Pittsburgh’s eight division titles, Cowher became one of only six coaches in league history to win at least seven. The Steelers made the playoffs 10 times, played in six AFC Championships, and two Super Bowls. The reason there weren’t more Super Bowl wins is simple: Until Roethlisberger, he didn’t have a championship-caliber QB.

    I don’t understand why he’d want to go to the Suck-for-Luck winner. Excepting Indy, most of those teams, well, suck. And losing Manning doesn’t explain what happened to Indy’s defense last night. As a Steelers fan, I’d prefer to see Bill with an NFC team and think the Giants would be the best fit in terms of organization. But I just want him to go where he’ll be happy and successful. As others have pointed out, if he doesn’t try to be coach and GM–and doesn’t have an owner who tries to be coach and GM–I’m sure he’ll do fine.

  35. 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.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Based on what?

  36. nationalmediacansuckit says:
    Oct 24, 2011 1:49 PM

    Enough with this Luck kid already. Starting to Beat this drum equity to much a out as much as
    Tebow.
    ___________________________________

    What in the world were you trying to say here?

  37. “None has won a Super Bowl with a subsequent team. (Holmgren came the closest.)”

    Uh, After Parcells won with the Giants, he took the Patriots from atrocious to a Superbowl. And while they didn’t win under Parcells either, they won 3 shortly after he left with his assistant coach from both the 96 Patriots and the Giants Superbowl teams with the core players being Parcells guys…

    I’d say that’s at least closer than Holmgren.

  38. If I was betting on this, I’d go with these 3.

    Giants, Rams or Texans

    Giants have a lot in place but Coughlin has lost connection with the team.

    Rams have a franchise QB, above average O-line and a D-line that isn’t completely terrible. Rams need a WR (or 3) so Cowher could conceivably rebuild the team his way fast.

    Texans have a good head start with Wade Phillips as D-coordinator, great running game and WR when he’s healthy. Schaub lacks discipline on the field which Cowher could fix easily. Kubiak is a pushover.

  39. I always thought Bill wanted to coach for Carolina, close to where he and his wife lived, before she passed away. They both went to school near there too.
    But I also think the Giants would be a good fit for him.

  40. He would do best in San Diego. The Chargers are definitely not a losing team. Nor do they need to be rebuilt from Square 1. They are, however, a team that has not lived up to its potential and that’s where you can put the blame on the coaching/staff. If the Chargers fall short in the playoffs (again), I can see Cowher coming in to take them over that hump.

    And as a Saints fan, I do appreciate all the quality talent they let go and send our way. :p

  41. Apparently even Cowher himself thinks he’s overrated and will only go to a ready made situation to save himself embarrassment. You should be able to win anywhere if you are such a good coach.

  42. snowpea84 says:
    Oct 24, 2011 1:49 PM
    Cowher is over rated. That being said, he’s certainly better than guys like Norv Turner.
    ====================

    Over rated but “certainly better” than a coach with a 45-24 record (6-3 playoffs) at his current job?

    Hmm.

  43. cmb79, San Diego would welcome him with open arms. At least the fans would but it’s another thing where AJ Smith feels he runs the team and dictates the moves of the head coach. Cowher is stronger willed and unless Smith relinquishes some of his power and admits the team needs a strong head coach, they’ll never get one. Which is a shame since it’s the fans who lose out having to watch an underachieving team year after year due to the ego pissing contest the GM feels he has to have in order to win.

  44. Hey, don’t be surprised if Cowher still goes to the Giants in 2012 or 2013.

    I know Coughlin isn’t as much on the hot seat right now, but the Giants schedule in the second half is absolutely brutal, and if the Giants miss the playoffs a third straight year, it could mean the end of Coughlin.

    Also, Coughlin is 65, which is right around the age where coaches think about retiring. Wouldn’t surprise me if Coughlin is close to retiring soon, and Cowher could swoop in to take the job.

    The Giants already have a franchise QB with Eli and have a lot of talent, so that could attract Cowher to come and coach the Giants..

  45. @Steelerchicken: I am a big Cowher fan but the timing of Kay Cowher’s illness does not line up with your story line as nice a sentiment that would be. She contracted your illness much later. The wisdom here is that Kay was going to North Carolina with or without Bill.

    Bill’s timing was bad. He wanted much more money at a time when the swing was toward young coordinators with no head coaching experience. Well, like Tomlin. There’s no salary cap on coaches but in the economic times team saw that overpaying for the likes of bringing Gibbs back and other legacy coaches college or pro…well, the payoff was not there.

    I think Bill will go back to coaching now that his three talented basketball playing daughters (their mom, Kay, played in the WNBA) are gone.

    I think it will be a place where the owner will put up the bucks, give Cowher control….and it will be a place where free agents want to go!

    I agree the Giants would be a good candidate but I like the Miami scenario. Bill will follow LeBron to South Beach.

  46. .

    It will be an uphill battle for whomever takes the Miami job.
    Your division rivals are New England, the Jets and an improving Buffalo team. With the state of the Dolphin’s roster, it will be difficult for any coach to leapfrog those three.

    .

  47. Totally overhyped coach. Bill Belicheat used to outcoach him every time. I don’t care how many division titles you win. Winning the Super Bowl is what counts.

  48. GIVE BELICHEK KORDELL STEWART OR BUBBY BRISTER OR TOMMY MADDUX OR NEIL ODONNELL AND SEE WHAT HE DOES???I FORGOT MIKE TOMZAC

  49. @stew48
    Yes. Its good to see her back. She really offsets some of the screwball comments you see on here.

  50. capslockkey says:

    Apparently even Cowher himself thinks he’s overrated and will only go to a ready made situation to save himself embarrassment. You should be able to win anywhere if you are such a good coach.
    ———————————————————
    First, the article is speculating on what Cowher wants, so he hasn’t said he’ll only go to a ready-made situation. The Steelers improved from 7-9 to 11-5 the year Cowher took over. As a young coach, he wasn’t afraid to take over a losing franchise from a legend (Chuck Noll).

    Second, your assertion that good coaches can win anywhere is simplistic. Football is a team sport–in every respect. Mike Ditka gave away an entire draft to get Ricky Williams, putting successors in the hole in terms of young talent. Not even a great NCAA coach can overcome the recruiting dilemma of a team on long-term probation. The NFL is a QB-driven league, and despite Goodell’s ridiculous pipe dreams about European expansion, the NFL can’t find enough elite QBs to start for the 32 existing teams. Some coaches are great at Xs and Os but terrible at player personnel. Some owners refuse to spend to re-sign good players or build adequate facilities. And some won’t keep their noses out of the coach’s business.

    Many factors could keep a good coach from winning.

  51. I think Bettis was a huge factor in Cowher’s longevity with the Steelers. Without the Bus, and a strong defense, Cowher has several more losing seasons.

  52. In other words, he wants a ready made situation. He does not want to get his hands dirty to build something from scratch. That’s not how legacies are built Bill.

  53. Les Miles goes to Dallas.
    Urban Meyer goes to Penn State.
    Jeff Fisher goes to Philly.
    Cowher stays at CBS.

  54. be funny if he goes to coach the ravens and claims “This is the most talented team I’ve ever coached…. 1 year here felt better than 16 years in pittsburgh.”

  55. danno1212 says: Who ever gets Cower can count on a Super bowl win!….It will only take like 10 years to get there!

    That’s still 1 more SB than most of the coahces that come through the NFL.

  56. BS. if/when he comes back he will be one of the top 3-5 highest paid coaches.

    If he didn’t come from Peter King would PFT had added their usual comments of not believing what people say until they actualyl do it?

    And Bobhk has a great point

  57. joetoronto says: Oct 24, 2011 1:47 PM

    cmb79 says: Oct 24, 2011 1:46 PM

    My guess? San Diego.
    *************************************************
    He better move fast then, they’ll be in L.A. next year.
    *****************************************
    I hope you’re right Joe.

  58. caplocks: you are right that all the things you listed can make it harder (or impossible) for a good coach to overcome, but cowher had none of those handicaps at pittsburgh. actually, he had one of the best situations with the organizational stability, and dick lebeau to run the defense, and the adept drafting of the front office to allow them plug in quality replacements for the free agent departures over the years.

    the one thing he always lacked, however, until ben, was a quality quarterback. i remember the jets stealing neil o’donnell and thinking they had something…but then again, they thought they had something in richie the k……..

  59. Don’t be surprised if KC ends up being a player for Cowher. Haley stinks. But they have a solid core group of young defensive players, a WR group with a lot of potential in Bowe, Breaston, and Baldwin. If Charles can come back health next year and the added weapon of McCluster, there’s some talent. Cassell isn’t outstanding but they’re going to have a high pick in the draft this year. Maybe Landry Jones is sitting out there for them.

    I don’t follow KC much, but it’s a franchise with a rich tradition and storied ownership. Not too much different that the Steelers. Although he’s not a midwest guy, I could see this being a fit from a pure football perspective.

  60. Sorry but what makes any of you think after 5+ years of not coaching Cowher will be great? Truth is he is just as likely to fail as he is to succeed. I don’t wish failure on him but its crazy to expect him to pick up where he left off. Just like Luck, I don’t see how Cowher could be perceived as the savior for any franchise.

  61. If the headline–and Peter King–is correct, then Bill Cowher should coach for free–or at least for the “Coach’s Minimum.” Likely story, I’m sure….

  62. “I sure hope this Luck kids has what it takes to be successful in the NFL. I can’t remember any time in the history of the NFL that a college player has been anointed such a savior, as this kid. The pressure is going to be pretty heavy i would think. You read all these articles and listen to all these stories and I could swear he is already a first ballot hall of famer without taking a snap……”

    ————————————————-

    Joe Namath, 1965
    John Elway, 1983
    Peyton Manning/Ryan Leaf, 1998

  63. Haters like to rag on Tomlin and say he’s only winning because of the awesome team he inherited from Cowher. People say it will take 10-15 years. Since there are 32 teams in the NFL, on average a team should win the Super Bowl every 32 years so 10-15 is pretty good and when you consider all the conference championships, etc. his teams were in, if you get Bill Cowher and if he’s as succesful for that team as he was with the Steelers, your team will be one of the most successful in the NFL during his tenure with your team

  64. Bill Cowher was a second rate head coach. Its absurd to think that,5 years after ditching the Steelers, he is still in a position to write his own coaching ticket.

  65. Oh please.

    Everyone that isn’t worshipping this guy like he’s the Second Coming knows that Coward will be asking to be overpaid, given full control of all the personnel & draft decisions, and also given a team he can step right into that doesn’t require a ton of fixing first.

    ANYONE who thinks old “ass chin” will settle for anything less is on ‘something’.

    He ain’t giving up that cozy TV gig he has unless it’s an offer he can’t refuse.

    Some dumbbell owner will give it to him, too.

    It won’t do any good unless the NFL & the refs “help” him win another Super Bowl like they did VS the Seahawks. And since Billy Boy’s next team likely won’t be Pittsburgh again, don’t expect that to happen, anyways…

  66. I could see Cowher in Indi.

    Bring the 3-4 to that defense, using Mathis and Freeney as his OLBs.

    He’d have to rebuild the D-line from the ground up, but the Colts need that anyway.

  67. Giants or Panthers: both situations where he could win sooner rather than later. Assuming time hasn’t passed him by.

    And Parcells, not only won TWO Superbowls with the Giants, and led the Pats to a Superbowl, also took the Jets to the playoffs and ALSO took the Cowboys to the playoffs.

    The only head coach to guide 4 different teams to the playoffs. That’s a LOT closer than Holmgren.

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