Rumors resurface linking Cowher to the Bills

At a time when the official word regarding Bill Cowher in the Bills is that the former Steelers coach has said “thanks” and “no thanks” to the opportunity to take the reins of a team that has struggled at best for more than a decade, a report has emerged indicating that Cowher and the Bills are talking.

Per Sal Capaccio of Buffalo Sports Daily and (he’s the guy who broke the news of T.O. to Buffalo in March), Cowher is “impressed and interested” in the team, and he has not closed the door on becoming the team’s head coach in 2010.

It’s surprising on the surface, but on reflection it makes sense.  To maximize his leverage (if, for example, he wants his $10 million or more salary to be paid in 2011 even if there’s no football that year), Cowher needs more than one suitor.  For now, the Bucs are the only ones who apparently are willing to turn over the keys to Cowher, and to pay him the kind of money he’ll want.

With the Panthers not yet biting, Cowher needs to start showing some leg.  The challenge in this regard is that any interested team will have to be willing to dump and/or marginalize its G.M., since Cowher widely is believed to want final say over the roster.

And given Cowher’s vow that he won’t speak to any team that has a current head coach, the Bills are a team with which he would speak, since Perry Fewell is the interim replacement to Dick Jauron.

The biggest impediment to attracting a big-name coach is, in our estimation, the fact that the owner is 91 and his family plans to sell the franchise after he passes.  Though Cowher would be entitled to have his contract honored if/when new ownership assumes control of the franchise, he likely has bigger objectives for the second phase of his NFL career than finagling a large buyout.

In the end, however, Cowher’s best option could be Buffalo.  Especially if only the Bills and the Bucs show up to the auction.

49 responses to “Rumors resurface linking Cowher to the Bills

  1. Cowher will coach the Bills, just as soon as Jimmy Johnson comes out of retirement to coach the Raiders.

  2. Come to think of it, he’s probably thinking about Buffalo BECAUSE “the owner is 91 and his family plans to sell the franchise after he passes.”
    Once that happens, he’ll be THE man here in Toronto, and the franchise will have loads of money to spend wherever it’s needed.
    Bill Cowher, HC of the Toronto Bills.
    I like it.

  3. I wish he would coach an AFC team- that way, there’s always a possibility that he could stand between Steelers and the Super Bowl.
    What could be better than watching the Steelers have the door slammed on them in the postseason by Bill Cowher?

  4. The more this goes on, the more I think Buffalo should just forget chasing a “big-name” coach, with a superbowl ring, and just hire a competent GM, who can find a competent, hungry coordinator to be head coach.
    When’s the last time a superbowl-winning coach has gone on to win a superbowl with another team?
    The answer is “never”.

  5. Tampa or Buffalo? Tampa is and always will be a football town. Hosting 4 Super Bowls and winning one, any comparison to Buffalo is ridiculous. Buffalo is a “lost” city geographically. Toronto will always be looming nearby. Cowher would bring instant credibility and stability to a Bucs team that has survived it’s transition year. There is much more to offer Cowher and his family, in regards to a warm weather climate. From stadium to training facility, Tampa wins hands down. Now, just pay the man.

  6. Is there any situation you can’t misread, Florio? You were so close right up until the end, when you insinuate that Cowher may actually go to Buffalo.
    The fact is, the Bills set themselves up to be the perfect patsy when they fired Jauron. They have been used as a vehicle for every out of work coach to let teams they would actually consider working for know they were in the market, without commiting the sin of expressing interest in a team that had a coach in place.
    Because of their situation, they will never land a top shelf coach who has any other option. They will have to settle for someone desperate for a head coaching opportunity, like Charlie Weiss or Mark Trestman.

  7. Coach and GM are two entirely different full time jobs in today’s NFL. As good a coach, player motivator and game planner/strategist as Cowher was, the reality is that he benefited greatly from one of the strongest and most stable organizational structures in the sport. Can’t see him (or anyone else) succeeding in both roles in Buffalo, Tampa, Carolina or anywhere else.

  8. Tampa or Buffalo? Tampa is and always will be a football town. Hosting 4 Super Bowls and winning one, any comparison to Buffalo is ridiculous.
    That makes a lot of sense, since other host cities such as Jacksonville and Tempe are such football hotbeds. Once Tampa fans start either sitting in sub-zero temperatures to watch their team suck, or travel to some out of town games, I might consider it a ‘football city’. Otherwise, get in line, right between the other bandwagon towns, New England and Indianapolis.
    I digress. Not a big deal if Cowher goes to Tampa or elsewhere, ahead of Buffalo. Brandon needs to get his front-office in place before he thinks about hiring a coach anyway. I don’t want another Man-Kok situation…

  9. i don’t know. maybe the guy likes a challenge but if it were me and i had his reputation of winning why would i want to risk that. the two divisions i would not coach in are afc south and afc east. manning and brady i would stay away from. can you beat them yeah you can. but the other divisions are easier to win – it’s a fact.
    it’s a no brainer for Coach “Chin”.

  10. Joe in Toronto – The Bills (or for the that matter any NFL team) will never go to Toronto! NFL fans suck in your city. Canada cannot even keep the NHL in Canada, what makes you think the NFL will end up there? The only things Canada is good for are strippers, beer, and the occasional rub and tug at a asian massage parlor. Keep dreaming canuck…

  11. buffalo is still the second largest city in NY and the only city in NYS to have a NFL team.

  12. Beastie Bills says:
    December 30, 2009 8:31 AM
    When’s the last time a superbowl-winning coach has gone on to win a superbowl with another team?
    The answer is “never”.
    Meh. Lame statement. Five different coaches have taken 2 different teams to the Super Bowl. Getting a team there is what counts. Sometimes the difference in whether a team wins or loses the SB (or any other game) can come down to one play or one call or 3 points or whatever. Therefore, it’s not really “less meaningful” that these 5 coaches didn’t necessarily WIN the SB with both teams.
    There’s plenty of teams (probably ablout 32 of them) who would be perfectly happy hiring a coach who can *get* them to the dance— and let the TEAM win the game.

  13. Scrip Club Lover: My examples may be bad, but Tampa is a football city.
    All other states recruit from here for their college players. Tampa and Florida are football fanatics. Tampa is a football city with way more to offer than upstate New York. USF is a prime example of how football is loved in this town. I’m sure Buffalo is a nice town, but not on the same level as Tampa.

  14. can bills fans please take the Takeo Spikes approach and chant out to bill cowher to come to buffalo???? PLEASE!!!

  15. Russ Brandon is a money guy and has no clue about the roster so Buffalo needs a coach who can judge talent. Cowher would be a great fit.
    Judging by the pick up of Brohm just after the Jauron firing, Jauron most likely had final say over talent.

  16. if i were Cowher i wait another year to come out of retirement then if Fox does a bad job in carolina next year, go to carolina and replace Fox.

  17. I just assumed Cowher would want o be in Carolina because that’s where he relocated to be closer to his family.
    I like Cowher, who wouldn’t? There is no promise of what will happen no matter where he goes though, so paying through the nose might just be a waste. Suppose he just wants to be President? What if he says “no more” in three or five years? I would like a coach of that caliber to stick around.
    I just hate all this rumor and gossip. What about Russ Grimm or Dick LeBeau? LeBeau as the coach Cowher as President?
    Truth be told, the Bills organization needs to have a smart plan for when Ralph goes. Someone with football brains needs to inherit the team. VERY INTERESTED people need to inherit the team. WOAH?! Buffalo is not a football town? haha, I guess you’ve never been to Buffalo for a Bills game ever in your life. I have been to Tampa. Florida in general is a College football state. Buffalo is a football town. It’s amazing what Orchard Park goes through every home game. I love seeing the dedication of the locals there. Amazing. the bucs have some hot cheerleaders though.

  18. Wherever Cowher goes, he will be a bust. He won’t have the same chemistry that he had at Pitssburg

  19. Buffalo is a great football town. I could see Cowher choosing Buffalo over Tampa. heck, the last game I attended at Raymond James wasn’t even sold out (technically, maybe; bodies in the stands? no).
    As far as cities, maybe Cowher isn’t as impressed with the strip club density and raging meth proliferation.

  20. Cleggly, You have no idea about Buffalo so please do not compare to Tampa. Let me ask you this, would the Bucs fans sit in 10 degree weather while it’s snowing for a full game? Would they even show up to a game in that weather? The Bills consistently sell these games out even when they have not given the fans a quality team to cheer for. Buffalo is the 2nd largest city in NY and the Bills will be there for a very long time. Just ask Jim Kelly since it will be him and his team of investors buying the team from good ol’ Ralph!

  21. How does Cowher garner such attention. Yes, he won a superbowl, but it took more than a decade to do it. Would Bills fans have that kind of patience. Would ownership want to wait another decade or so to return to winning form? Cowher is not the kind of coach that Parcells is or someone of that ilk. He is definitely lesser babka.

  22. The Patriots would like to continue to get their automatic 2 division wins every year.
    Soooo I’m going to dislike this rumor …

  23. He could also add wording similar to what Parcells did and simply have a choice to cut ties if/when the team is sold.

  24. Florio the funny thing you fail to mention in your report is Sal’s sources also stated the the Bills ownership is one of the most stable in the NFL. Meaning that there is a succession plan. Where as before everything that has been reported about the Bills is that Ralph would not leave it to his family, and would also not sell it.
    Stability means there is a succession plan in place.

  25. As a dedicated Buffalo fan from New Jersey. When I go to the games in January, December, after knowing we will not make the playoffs, I enjoy trudging a mile and a half from the parking spot next to the interstate through several inches of snow/slush/mud, because I am not alone doing it. There are fifty thousand other fans with the same idea who also love this team. I sit on the aluminum benches in the rock pile or in the upper deck because i know I wont be taking my shirt off when the swirling wind/snow/rain comes from Lake Erie like the other more dedicated fans do. I would also like to put a shout out to all of the home owners within the 1/2 mile radium of the Ralph. Thank you for letting me park on your lawn for seven bucks (one guy let me in for five when it was clearly posted seven). The walk is much shorter and I know in that weather your lawn is now destroyed. You do it because you love your team and I admire that. That is why I drive seven hours a few times a year to sit in Buffalo weather and watch my Bills. Buffalo has some of the greatest fans. The best part is, none of us are bandwagon fans.

  26. cleggy LMFAO @ your ridiculous comments. Tampa Bay has been irrelevant besides the Tony Dungy/John Gruden Era. Tampa Bay was known for their 2-14 records. What did they do after they won the Super Bowl and both Dungy/Gruden left? Yeah, you guessed it. They became the laughing stock of the NFL where they belong and have been since the franchise formed. They have been a NFL team for 33 years and have won 6 division titles and 10 playoff appearances. The Buffalo Bills have as much Division championships than the Bucs have in PLAYOFF APPEARANCES!!

  27. Tampa or Buffalo? Tampa is and always will be a football town. Hosting 4 Super Bowls and winning one, any comparison to Buffalo is ridiculous. Buffalo is a “lost” city geographically.
    Tampa only hosts super bowls because of the weather. If you ask 100 random football fans which is more of a football city, I bet at least 95 of them say Buffalo over Tampa. Do the games in Tampa even sell out?

  28. casper67 says: December 30, 2009 8:51 AM
    Joe in Toronto – The Bills (or for the that matter any NFL team) will never go to Toronto! NFL fans suck in your city. Canada cannot even keep the NHL in Canada, what makes you think the NFL will end up there? The only things Canada is good for are strippers, beer, and the occasional rub and tug at a asian massage parlor. Keep dreaming canuck…
    casper67, this comment you made could very well be the most ignorant of all time on this site, and that’s really saying something.
    “NFL fans suck in your city.”
    You know this, even though we’ve never had a team of our own, lol.
    “Canada cannot even keep the NHL in Canada”
    The NHL IS in Canada and always will be. The NHL struggles in certain parts of the states.
    It must be tough going through life with no sense of knowledge whatsoever, Billy Bob.

  29. Pittsburgh and Buffalo are just alike. The Bills fans are like no other and would make Cowher feel like he is home. I for one hope that this happens! Bills fans have been waiting for 9 years to go back to the playoffs and I think we all know we still need to make some quality roster moves to get back to where we need to be.

  30. Its easy to verify but for those that haven’t…Buffalo averages more fans at their home games than TB does. In the snow. Just because their team sucks this year doesn’t mean that their fans don’t support them. So in a comparison of football towns, Buffalo holds up very well. That and the fact they went to multiple SB’s (yes, I know they lost them) holds some weight when comparing to TB.

  31. Cowher could go to Cleveland (where he played) and face the Steelers twice a year. If Mangini can beat the Steelers once a year, surely the “Chin” can beat them twice a year.
    Oh, and Buffalo is definitely the better football town when compared to Tampa. Heck, Cincy is a bette football town. LA is a better football town, and they don’t even have a team! KC, Seattle, Indy, Baltimore…

  32. The bigger story out of Sal’s live broadcast last night was the fact that through his sources the Bills are one of the most stable franchises in the NFL.
    The speculation is Ralph Wilson has adjusted his will. He is now leaving the team to his heirs and they will manage the team moving forward. His heirs are committed to keeping the team in Buffalo. No word on who the heirs to his team are, his wife and one of his daughters would be the logical heirs since he avoids estate tax by leaving the team to his wife. This assures one of the only teams with the no debt in the NFL will be staying in Western NY.
    Cowher is not the news here.

  33. jfkjr812: Would you sit in 105 degree weather in September? Weather comparisons are stupid. This state lives and bleeds all kinds of football.
    gadzod: How many championships have you won? That’s what I thought. Runner up-step child-“2nd largest city” syndrome.
    Mikey D: Except for this year, all Bucs games have been sell-outs since 1998.
    Tampa also has other things to do, along with football. we don’t have to tailgate a week until gametime.

  34. Yeah, cowher and the teams courting him certainly need advice from florio the idiot on how to proceed.
    What a joke.

  35. Tampa is a nice little city with a drug, gang, and illegal immigration problem. A football city they are not.
    You have had a nice 10 year run, now you will wallow in the basement of the NFL just like before. The Glazers are losing money daily and there is not end in sight.
    Although the NFL will allow you to keep hosting superbowls because of the total amount of strip clubs in the area.
    I still prefer the Canadian clubs just over the boarder from Buffalo.

  36. I am going to make a comment here that neither side will agree on. I am a Bucs season ticket holder and have been to games in Buffalo. Get ready – BOTH cities have great and dedicated fan bases.
    The nastiest pieces of human excrement I have ever had to sit with are in Philly and the most arrogant, disrespectful, loud, drunken, care about no one but themselves fans that come to Tampa are Giants fans.

  37. Actually Cleggly, I would sit in 105 degree weather at a game. You definitely asked the wrong person about warm weather. Florida is a college football state (just ask the jags!). The Jags are counting on drafting Tebow to save their franchise. If you look at the history of the 2 teams, you will see that the Bucs cannot compare to the Bills. I don’t have an issue with you or your team, but to compare the two is just stupid!!!

  38. No Joe in Toronto – the Bills experiment has failed miserably and NHL teams HAVE flocked to the US, and WILL NOT be going back to Canada. Canadian fans who do attend Bills games are rude and disrespectful and loyal Bills fans would rather not have them at the games. These idiots come to the games with Jerseys not representing either team playing…
    Stick with the NHL while you still have it. Do you really think that Bettman loves Canada? The NHL values the States not Canada…

  39. Cowher may have only won one SB during his tenure, but he consistently put out a competitive team. He’s no strategist, but he can be a great motivator. Teams with a revolving door policy concerning coaches usually do not do well. So, if your team is looking for the newest flavor of the month, I doubt Bill will be interested (although, money talks). He’s a good coach and would be an upgrade over many others in the league.
    Also, Buffalo is a great football town. You just don’t know it because of the lack of media exposure. They haven’t had a team that is able to compete for quite some time.
    And, this american would rather see NHL teams stay in Canada. At least they appreciate the game… almost as much as us Pittsburgher’s.

  40. I don’t understand why everyone wants Cowher. He was extremely overrated and never truly won a super bowl on his own. The team was a perenial choker (the atlanta braves of the nfl). Not worth $10 million a year

  41. For what it’s worth I’d love to see the Chin in Buffalo. The low profile, low stress, dedicated fan environment might be just what he wants. If Cowher values these things over the traditional glitzy-minded head coach criteria that would be awesome for both the city and him. But that’s a big if. Buffalo needs a HC who wants to be part of the family. They don’t need someone who would use them as a bargaining chip for something ‘better’.
    This is the tragedy of Buffalo. It’s a great football town. But it’s been playing second fiddle for years because it doesn’t have the big city persona that every other NFL city has, GB aside. There is no way, even in the most optimistic of scenarios, that football in Toronto would be anywhere near the same experience. The bigger picture? Buffalo is the indicator of whether or not small market football has a future. I think if we lose Buffalo we lose a big part of what football is about. Hey, maybe Cowher can be the local hero. I hope so.

  42. @Mean D says: December 30, 2009 11:14 AM
    “The nastiest pieces of human excrement I have ever had to sit with are in Philly and the most arrogant, disrespectful, loud, drunken, care about no one but themselves fans that come to Tampa are Giants fans.”
    I agree with you 100%!

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