Bill Cowher is one of the most prolific coaches in NFL history. During his fifteen seasons in Pittsburgh, he racked up eight division titles, 10 playoff appearances, six AFC Championship appearances, two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl win.
Cowher’s name has come up in the coaching carousel every year since leaving the Steelers after the 2006 season. But while his name is thrown around, he has yet to land anywhere or even really consider a comeback.
Why could this be? For starters, Cowher went out the best way a coach could: on top. He finished with a Super Bowl ring and a record of 161-99-1 (including playoffs). Besides going out as the man in Pittsburgh, Cowher could also be looking at Joe Gibbs’ comeback. After being considered a very legendary coach, Gibbs’ return to football didn’t go very well. He finished with a losing record of 30-34 in his four year return.
But before we write off a return for Cowher, let’s take a look at teams who could use his services.
Arizona Cardinals – I would say this is a very, very long shot. Cowher is a run first guy who builds a solid defense. This Arizona team got demolished by Seattle this season, giving up 50-plus points. I’d rule this out.
Chicago Bears – With a good running back in Matt Forte and a pretty established defense, I think that Jay Cutler ruins this for Cowher. All I see is the two of them butting heads.
Cleveland Browns – Cowher played three seasons in Cleveland as well as coaching there for three seasons on the defensive side of the ball. This Cleveland team is young and needs someone to develop them. A young Trent Richardson could provide great success for Cowher. A young defense could provide a spark.
Philadelphia Eagles – LeSean McCoy and a struggling Eagles defense might look promising for Cowher. He played three seasons with the Eagles on special teams. The only thing that might keep Cowher away from Philly would be his loyalty to Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania. Not to mention the slight resemblance of a fading Mike Vick to Kordell Stewart.
San Diego Chargers – San Diego has a strong rush defense but that’s about it. I can’t see Cowher putting up with the drama that is Phillip Rivers.
The top two leading candidates seem to Cleveland or Philly. Let’s go ahead and cross Philly off, assuming that Cowher wouldn’t pick the other Pennsylvania city. So let’s take a look at Cleveland.
If Cowher ended up going to Cleveland, he would have to play the Steelers twice a year. The competition might be one of the top reasons for him to take the job. Every coach has that competitive edge, it’s just an instinct. Cleveland provides Cowher to take a struggling team and to shape them into something great, another instinct for great coaches. I mean, haven’t we all picked the worst team on Madden and tried to turn them into a Super Bowl winning team to prove that we’re the best gamer out there? Exactly. Richardson isn’t quite “The Bus” but he’s young and talented. If Cowher thinks he can build a team around him, I have faith in the fact that he will do it.
Would Steelers fans approve of this move? Most of them probably wouldn’t. But that’s to be expected. If anything, Cowher going to a team that hasn’t been a contender in awhile might scare them.
Cowher’s daughters are grown up and starting to marry off. This could get the rest of his fingers itching for another shot at a Super Bowl ring. As the coaching carousel is just starting to turn, keep an eye out for Bill Cowher to take a spin.
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