Twelve years ago, former Steelers coach Bill Cowher flirted with coaching the Jets. The flirtation eventually could happen again.
On his weekday WFAN radio show, Boomer Esiason seemed to suggest that: (1) Cowher may be interested in coaching again; and (2) if interested in coaching again, Cowher definitely is interested in coaching the Jets.
Esiason’s views have built-in credence; he works with Cowher every Sunday on The NFL Today on CBS.
“All I know is that yesterday, [Cowher] was showing me and Nate [Burleson] film of him coaching on the sideline where he was mic’ed up, and we looked at each other like, ‘Hmm, what does that mean?'” Esiason said. “Is he sending a message? I’ve worked with him for 14 years and I’ve never seen that.”
And if Cowher, who made a memorable exit from the Steelers after 15 seasons in a sweater that was out of the rotation for a reason, is ready to come back 14 years later, it could be with the Jets.
“He was saying to me yesterday, he’s the one that told me the Jets job is going to be really attractive, and they could hire whomever they want, and he told me he loves [G.M.] Joe Douglas,” Esiason said of Cowher.
The attitude toward Douglas becomes critical to the broader analysis. In late 2008, Cowher and the Jets didn’t consummate the deal due to the organization’s commitment to G.M. Mike Tannenbaum. If Cowher has no qualms about Douglas, then the sitting G.M. wouldn’t be an impediment this time around.
Esiason at one point expressed concern that his “opinion will get twisted around into clickbait,” that’s exactly what the digital companion to WFAN did.
Clickbait or not, it’s worth keeping an eye on Cowher. Esiason wouldn’t have recklessly thrown his on-air partner’s name in the mix. It could be that Cowher, after nearly as many years out as he was in, is thinking about a Vermeil-style return to the game.