Cowher is lining up assistant coaches

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported it last week, and Steve Wyche of echoes it today:  Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher has been making calls in the hopes of putting together a coaching staff.

Possible additions, in our view, include offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who parlayed his time with Cowher in the 1990s into the Cowboys’ head-coaching job.  After Cowher resigned from the Steelers after the 2006 season, wearing his finest Cliff Huxtable throwback sweater, Cowher recommended not Ken Whisenhunt nor Russ Grimm but Gailey to be Cowher’s Steel City successor.

Defensively, it’ll be interesting to see whether Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau chooses to leave the Steelers and reunite with Cowher.  Last year, there were rumors that LeBeau was thinking about retirement.  Perhaps LeBeau, who has won two Super Bowls in Pittsburgh and who is five weeks away from a near-certain election to the Hall of Fame, is looking for a new challenge.

In past years, Cowher has made similar calls to round up men he’d take with him to a new job, including Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert and Steelers director of business operations Omar Khan.  It’s unknown whether Colbert and/or Khan have gotten the call this time around.  ESPN reported last month that Colbert ultimately might decide to stay with the Steelers.

But even with Cowher getting ready to return, it remains to be seen whether an NFL team will meet his likely asking price of $10 million per year and surrender the control over the football operation that Cowher covets.  It could be that, in order to return for 2010, Cowher will have to compromise on one or both points.

It also would be naive to think that Cowher hasn’t sent out smoke signals to teams that legitimately are in the running for his services.  Despite indications that John Fox will return as head coach of the Panthers, Fox’s status is hardly clear — and a chance remains that he’ll leave with a reduced buyout. 

33 responses to “Cowher is lining up assistant coaches

  1. He is coming to Buffalo,,, Watch the Thurman,Jim,and Nix press confrences his name comes up EVERYWHERE!!!

  2. I’m pretty sure Colbert and Khan are dying to leave the most successful professional football franchaise in history to go to the Bills, a team that might not even be playing in Buffalo in a couple years.

  3. Mike Holmgren – President of Football Ops
    Kevin Colbert – General Manager
    Omar Kahn – Director of Business Ops
    Head Coach – Bill Cowher (Lerner will pay 10 mil
    OC – Chan Gailey
    DC – If not LeBeau, Ryan will run the same style 3-4.
    The only part that doesn’t make sense is Cowher not having all the power. But, Holmgren is an offensive guy. Cowher is a defensive guy. Together, they would make for a nice tandem to put together a very strong team, in my opinion.

  4. Funny. You criticize Jones for not giving total control to someone else and in this article indicate that Cowher may have to compromise on his wish to get total control anywhere. Cowher’s a football guy, right? Matter of fact, aren’t Vinnie Cerrato and Matt Millen “football guys”? Joe Banner’s supposedly a “football guy”, but the Jones/Phillips setup has won more games than the Lurie/Banner/Reid setup has since Phillips joined the Cowboys. How did consummate “football guy” Jimmy Johnson do after he left the Cowboys and got the control that he craved? I seem to remember the Cowboys winning a Super Bowl after he left.
    Another question I have been wondering about is at what point a guy becomes a “football guy” in your mind, because you don’t seem to think that Jones qualifies after 20+ years as an NFL GM.

  5. Dallas… Jerry can pay the man. Just not sure if even Texas can handle the egos of Cowher and Jones.

  6. He’s going to the Skins or Carolina if they drop Fox. Buffalo, you have NOTHING TO OFFER…

  7. # DB26 says:
    Mike Holmgren – President of Football Ops
    Kevin Colbert – General Manager
    Omar Kahn – Director of Business Ops
    Head Coach – Bill Cowher (Lerner will pay 10 mil
    OC – Chan Gailey
    DC – If not LeBeau, Ryan will run the same style 3-4.
    The only part that doesn’t make sense is Cowher not having all the power. But, Holmgren is an offensive guy. Cowher is a defensive guy. Together, they would make for a nice tandem to put together a very strong team, in my opinion.

  8. Chan Gailey? Oh yes, he was a monumental success as a head coach.
    Their offense will struggle just like it did with the Slash to Slush experiment.
    Buffalo, if you get Gailey, buckle up for more woe and misery.

  9. Could Dick LeBeau leave the steelers???? Uh-oh steeler fans……and we thought that D was mediocre this year….

  10. Who really cares. What did he do – win one super bowl in how many years of coaching? Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sooner or later. I know, there are people who will say he won the division title so many times and had a winning record so many time but the bottom line is it means nothing unless you win the super bowl. Let’s face it, he would’ve been fired after several years if he coached anywhere else than Pittsburgh. The only thing that makes him standout is his chin. But there will be an owner somewhere who will pay him well.

  11. Laxative37. Hate to burst your ‘billy bubble, but they are not the most succesful profesional football team in history. History does not start in the 70’s my hillbilly friend. Go back and google, most succesful profesional football teams and you’ll see that the Packers, Bears, Browns and Giants, all have more championships than the steelers.

  12. At 72 years old, LeBeau will not leave Pittsburgh unless they don’t renew his contract and how stupid would that be.
    Shanahan is also lining up assistants and has more money to spend. Should be interesting to see who goes where.

  13. If Kevin Colbert is coming to Seattle to be President of Football Operations, Cowher is going to be he GM/Head Coach, similar to the role that Andy Reid & Tom Heckert have.
    He would definitely turn this team around and whip are players into shape.

  14. Gee whiz I hope he goes to Buffalo. However I think he’s going to Carolina. He wants to be near the fam.

  15. I love what Kevin Colbert has done for Pittsburgh and hope the heck he stays with us. From an innocuous signing of OC Jeff Hartings to the present, the list is long of wise moves engineered at the hand of Colbert. Big Colbert fan here.
    Omar Khan has also quietly been a very big plus for the Steelers – we need him to stick around too.
    And NO QUESTION: Dick LeBeau is the crown jewel of defensive coordinators; a man who is both deeply beloved by his players and profoundly respected and admired by his peers, a group that will soon (hopefully) include the NFL Hall of Famers. It’d take too long to extol LeBeau’s virtues – but we HAVE to keep LeBeau.
    Colbert, Khan and LeBeau are 3 key figures to Pittsburgh’s success – let’s keep them intact. Personally, I think it’d be better for them too. Why go to some miserable freakshow like what Danny Snyder is running in DC – when you can work toward Lombardi number 7?

  16. The Bills have as much to offer as any other team. Unless you’re Willis McGahee, Buffalo doesn’t have enough Hennesey, crack and whorage. For Cowher, a dollar goes just as far in Buffalo as anywhere else, but Florida, who has better tax incentives.

  17. Colbert won’t leave, he’s from Pittsburgh and he doesn’t have any loyalty to Cowher. Omar Khan, on the other hand, is said to have been on Cowher’s Keep List, not to mention the fact Khan could get a promotion, therefore, no permission from Pittsburgh is needed. Colbert could not be promoted to higher than his current position, so Cowher would have to ask his old boss if their GM could interview.
    I’m gonna guess the answer would be no.
    Cowher and Holmgren are not fans of each other. I don’t see that working out in any way at all. He can go to Buffalo, or Carolina, and be in charge of everything football-related. Bring Khan in to report to him directly on player personnel and he’d have exactly what he’d want.

  18. dbob, totally agree, 15 yrs. 1 superbowl win. That division he coached in was horrible. Bangles, Browns and Ravens. I’m not saying that he’s not a good coach, just sayin folks should not view him as Lombardi and pin all their hopes to him.

  19. The Chin is too tall and has too much integrity to stoop low enough to kiss Danny M. (Midget) Snyder’s $ss.
    Redskins will make a big splash (more likely a big “splat”) but they won’t get the The Chin.

  20. IF Bill Cowher is making those phone calls – and at this point, nothing is proven yet – then you can bet that this isn’t a scheme to drum up interest from some team to hire him. It isn’t likely that Cowher would damage his professional credibility with these people by using them as pawns.
    No, it’s more likely that Cowher has a pretty firm offer waiting at the table for him. With which team? Could be one of the obvious choices, teams who have already fired their HC and are working with interim coaches; teams who are very clearly known to be ready to fire their current HC as soon as today’s games are completed; or, more likely in my opinion, a team that hasn’t widely been thought of as wanting to fire their current HC, but is disatsified with him enough to want to make an unexpected change.
    I’m not going to speculate on which teams these may be, I am far from qualified for that. But I’ll lay money that it’s one of those latter teams that has approached Cowher with enough assurance that he’s putting a staff together (where there’s smoke, there is almost always fire indeed). This team will unexpectedly fire their current HC within a week or two, follow the inane and reverse-prejudicious “Rooney Rule” by legitimately interviewing a true minority in a very public dog-and-pony show, and within a month Cowher will be announced with a ready-made staff that is free and clear of the 2009 football season, post-Super Bowl.
    You read it here first.

  21. lol yea when people think of success in the NFL ..the Browns are a top of their list. HAHAHAH

  22. I recall some MSNBC posts saying Bills made error hiring GM who is 70 years old and not household name. Later MSNBC posts say that the presence of that GM will deter Cowher. Stands to reason he is perfect guy to have there to get Cowher. Not long term, not an ego guy and offers transition.

  23. Colbert is basically an empty nester in Pittsburgh. He is very good friends with Cowher. Show him the money, he will go. He has not been acting his usual self.

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