A source with knowledge of the situation tells us that the Browns have approached former Steelers coach Bill Cowher regarding the possibility of becoming the next coach in Cleveland.
Per the source, the Browns are willing to give Cowher a contract worth $8 million to $9 million per year.
Presumably, Cowher’s arrival would occur only if G.M. Phil Savage were fired or significantly marginalized.  (Maybe Savage can go work for the Bills — or if all else fails he can root for them.)  Cowher would want final say over personnel, and Cowher would want to install one or more of his former Steelers colleagues into key positions.
Likely candidates, if they can finagle a path out of Pittsburgh, would be director of football operations Kevin Colbert and/or director of business operations Omar Khan.
Cowher played for the Browns (i.e., Ravens) from 1980 through 1982, and he served as special teams coach in 1985 and 1986.  He was moved to defensive backs coach in 1987, and he remained in that position through 1988.


  1. What’s the impact of the Rooney Rule here? I mean, it shouldn’t exist in the first place, but how ironic is it that the rule named after the Steelers owner would be a speedbump to their former coach getting another job?

  2. Will Bill be looking for a gig at the end of the year? Has he said he will coach in ’09? Will Cleveland be the one that acts and acts first?
    If he wants to coach he will have some choices. I will wait to hear it from him.

  3. Great Brownies!! Go get him. Bring him on. The Steelers will bend in the chin and whip this fool too. Nothing can save Cleveland–doom on you Brownies!!

  4. I don’t know what you mean by “i.e. Ravens” but Cowher played for the Browns. Cleveland retained their history when Modell moved to Baltimore. Any suggestion otherwise is incorrect (i.e. stupid).

  5. i.e. ravens? cowher was never part of the “ravens” organization. pathetic attempt at a cheap shot, mike.
    it would be nice if phil were willing to take a demotion, and perhaps me might, but i doubt it. cya savage.

  6. They better pay Colbert a boat load of money to leave Pittsburgh. Why else would he want to leave his hometown to actually have less say over personnel and on a lousy team at that?

  7. If this is true, and I have my doubts, you have to hand it to the Cleveland brass. Starting Quinn was their call (not Savage, not Crennel). They go after Cowher; a Cleveland fan can NEVER complain again.

  8. He isnt going to the Browns. Jerry Jones will relinquish his GM role and bring Cowher to Dallas. That new stadium is going to need some presence and the Cowher will bring that. (I can dream right)

  9. You know, Cowher going to coach the Browns makes me cringe a little bit, but it’s something I could get over. Taking Kevin Colbert with him is completely different another story. The Steelers were heading towards a downswing in the late 90’s and he’s the key reason they didn’t stay that way. This article left me sick to my stomach.

  10. If I was Savage and I was able to save my own hide, I’d go out and get Russ Grimm from Arizona — I’d be getting a guy who wants to stick it to the Steelers, a guy who will bring the style of play you need in the division, and a guy from the Cowher Tree all at the same time, and I’d be able to keep power too.

  11. The Rooney rule is a joke. They’ll interview some schmoe who knows he has no shot and then hire the Chin. Or worse, they won’t be able to get anyone to interview because it’s a done deal and the league will fine them $500,000 but any Cleveland fan would tell you it was worth it to have competent head coach and front office.

  12. How many coaches have coached a superbowl winner and then went on to coach another superbowl winner? Look at history. The Clowns don’t want The Chin. He’ll NEVER win them a SB. But then again, may they want to continue to be mired in the mediocrity that is the Cleveland Browns.

  13. …and they wonder why it’s hurts to be a Raiders fan. The Browns are linked to Bill Cowher, the Raiders are linked to Jim Fassell, Dennis “They are who we thought they are!” Green and Jim Harbaugh…
    …yay ; ;

  14. Cowher WILL go to the Browns. He has sat on the sidelines long enough. The “urge” has returned, and before long the “Stillers” will regret not having opened the purse strings and paid the “Chin.”
    Of course there is still the line of thought that says Coach Chin was dallying with a little filly, and mama found out, and that ultimately led to his exit – but that has never really been proved.
    Still, time for him to return, and return he will, to the chagrin of all the Rooneys – or whomever ends up owning and/or running the Steelers.

  15. Now, if the Eagles want to fire Andy Reid then they need to pursue Cowher. His gritty personality would fit right in with Philly. I think that’s really the one thing that drives fans nuts about Big Red and Dmac. Same reason Garcia had such a nice time towards the end. Philly fans like grit and fight and enthusiasm. Big Red and #5 both tend to come off as nonchalant which makes it seem (to a lot of fans that is) like they don’t really care.

  16. Considering that Big Ben has set a record for 4th quarter comeback wins, I’d say “Roethlischoker” is a pretty dumb handle.

  17. Please, please, please hire Cowher, Cleveland! New England needs their Defensive Coordinator back.

  18. As a Browns fan, I can only hope that this comes true. I’d love to see what Cowher could get out of this team. But I’d like to hear him say something about it before we get up in arms about anything. I wonder what Phil Savage thinks about all this. He’s probably sending one of his riveting e-mails to Cowher right now…

  19. Savage just sealed his fate. Now, he can stand in the soup line with everyone else.
    No cuts…

  20. Cleveland fans love to fire coaches. What if the Browns go 5-1 in the next 6 games and finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs? Do you fire the coach and GM? The Browns don’t have the players on defense to win. They are still building. Look at the Houston Texans. Just like the Browns expansion team, they are still bluiding. Tony Grossi from the PD complained about “The Hoodie” when he was here in Cleveland and now after all of New England’s Super Bowl appearences, Grossi says he has changed. Belichick has not changed! The only difference between Belichick in Cleveland and Belichick in New England is that he has players in New England. The Browns have an offense, they need a defense and they need time.

  21. He can have Bruce Arians as OC if he wants. Being as magnanimous as we are in Steeler Country…..we’re willing to give up OC just for the Browns fans. They can have Cowher and his run-run-pass-punt style of football as well.

  22. Jim Donovan, WKYC, Channel 3 Cleveland, NBC affiliate, said today, “, kind of a gossipy football website, is saying that a source close to the situation says that the Browns have made contact…” Woo, chalk one up for Florio with the Browns world!

  23. Unless the Cowboys pull off an amazing comeback and win the Super Bowl, I have to believe that Jerry Jones will offer Cowher even more money than that.

  24. People are so fascinated with Bill Cowher. WHy? It took him 15 years to get a ring. Any coach could eventually win a ring if they were with the same team for 15 years. Besides, there isn’t a coach in the world worth 8 million dollars per year. Players win the games.

  25. Cowher played for the “Browns (i.e. Ravens)” as much as Peyton Manning plays for the Colts (i.e. Baltimore Colts).

  26. He may not have gotten a ring until the end…….but his teams were ALWAYS in the hunt. His record as a head coach speaks for itself. It’s not all about getting a ring. The players have to play…a coach can only do so much. And if it weren’t for Niel O’Donnell’s INT’s he’d likely have two rings.
    But Cowher won’t be able to help Cleveland. They have a terrible organization from top to bottom. Organizations win championships. Giants, Patriots, Colts, Steelers…….it’s no accident that these teams have been the most recent Super Bowl winners.

  27. Well, clangille, I guess in that case teams would never have to fire their coaches, if all the wins are a direct result of the players…

  28. Thank you Joe in Raleigh, I was gonna say the same thing just with lots more #$@@’s and &^%$#’s. We don’t have or want the Brown’s history……but we will be keeping Ozzie.

  29. Steelers are on the “down”. Now is the time to throw the bank at Cowher and give him the power too.

  30. Why would Colbert leave the Steelers to work for the browns? I don’t see it. Would they double his salary? pffft.

  31. There was reason enough for the “” website. If it weren’t for the inspiration of Bettis’s home\retirement SB Cowher never would have gotten a ring with the 6th seed playoff team.

  32. Good! Now Romeo can go back to New England where he belongs. Welcome home, Romeo!! We’ve missed you badly!!

  33. @ ChazzMichaelMichaels says: This is a great hire if your goal is to lose multiple AFC championship games.
    Only if the Pats are still videotaping the AFCC games.

  34. @ homerunharris says: Belichick has not changed! The only difference between Belichick in Cleveland and Belichick in New England is that he has players in New England.
    And spycameras and videotape.

  35. cowherbrowns09 says:
    “Who would want to coach for Human Plastic Surgery Icon in Dallas?”
    Jones is an ass, but he’s got a fat wallet and his checks always clear. If he throws more money at Cowher, would you really blame him if he took the cash and laughed all the way to the bank? You know Jones would have NO problem making him the highest paid coach in the NFL. If Jones gave Garrett $3 mill, the sky’s the limit for Cowher.

  36. cowher belongs in philly, he’s made for that city, cowher
    would become more legendary than rocky, the chin in philly
    is a perfect match, mcnabb could even grow some balls working
    with the coach chin.

  37. “Of course there is still the line of thought that says Coach Chin was dallying with a little filly, and mama found out, and that ultimately led to his exit – but that has never really been proved.”
    Yeah, I remember when all of that was going down. Rumors were flying
    that he shagged an Administrative Assistant in the Steelers front office. In fact she was named on a few web sites.
    The local media steered clear of most of it but I remember ESPN alluding to some of it.
    That would go a long in explaining why the Rooney’s never met his monetary demands.

  38. If I have to suffer through watching that crazy big chin and ridiculous scowl dominate my beloved Bengals with two different teams….well, I may just go berserk.

  39. Dear Friends,
    I have just read and signed the online petition:
    “’s Bring Bill Cowher to Cleveland”
    hosted on the web by, the free online petition
    service, at:
    I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might
    agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider
    signing yourself.
    Best wishes,

  40. When the head coach of our (my) football team Has no idea what the problem is nor how to fix it, who does? I have been a lifelong Browns fan, the sad part is, my son was a Miami fan, I have converted him, my youngest was a Dallas fan, I converted him too. I guess I did that so that I can have someone to share in my dismay. Please Please Please Bill Cowher is our man. Bring out some of that mouldy money and get us a real head coach and let him run the team. I bet Bill never admitted to the media that he had no idea how to fix it. I evan know how to fix it, BILL COWHER.

  41. Ugh is all I can say. I want the chin back in the ‘burgh!!! If not in the ‘burgh he needs to become the San Diego Chargers new coach. They are really in need and it’s a much nicer place to live!!!!

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