January 05, 2007

Cowher resigns, Steelers begin coach search: The link says it all.

posted by usroute17 to football at 03:26 PM - 26 comments

I'm glad Cowher got a ring before his Steelers gig ended. Jeff Fisher's now the longest-tenured coach in the NFL, which is of great disappointment to me as a Fisher hater. I was hoping the Jags might contribute to his firing one of these years, but instead he helps get our coaches canned.

posted by rcade at 03:46 PM on January 05, 2007

Well i'm sad to see him go, and i'm not a steeler fan. For me he represented the nfl is so many good ways. Plus, i'll miss that permanently pissed off look on the sidelines (now only gruden is left). That said, i have the highest respect for him wanting to give to his family. Not many are willing to forego another 4 million bucks to be with their families, but that just proves what a great guy he is. Best of luck to him; i hope to see his jaw jutting out in anger again one day.

posted by brainofdtrain at 03:46 PM on January 05, 2007

That said, i have the highest respect for him wanting to give to his family. Not many are willing to forego another 4 million bucks to be with their families, but that just proves what a great guy he is. I'm sorry, but when I hear that a person wants to spend more time with his family, I usually wait one year before I tend to believe them. It's nothing against Cowher, but if he's still not coaching a year from now, I'll be very surpised.

posted by grum@work at 03:49 PM on January 05, 2007

if he's still not coaching a year from now, I'll be very surpised. Two years tops. Since Whisenhutt is supposed to be the hot assistant coach now, I would think that the Steelers would try to lock him up.

posted by graymatters at 04:18 PM on January 05, 2007

If he was really that serious about his family he would have "retired" at the top of the game last year, with nothing left to prove. But watching him walk away when the going got tough makes me associate Cowher with something I never thought I would.... Pussy.

posted by antwan at 04:23 PM on January 05, 2007

I have never been a huge fan of the guy but I respect his body of work. His Steelers have always been a physical, smash mouth type of team that always seemed to bring it on Sundays. It will be strange not seeing him roaming the sidelines next year. I do believe, as others have stated, that he will be back in coaching in a minimum of two years. On preview, antwan I wouldn't call him a "pussy" for that. If I recall, there were talks of him leaving before the season began. I think regardless of the outcome of this year, he was leaving and he knew it.

posted by ampto11 at 04:28 PM on January 05, 2007

Antwan: Cowher built the Steelers from nothing a couple of times in his 15 years. Hanging a quitter label on him now because he finally left the job to somebody else is harsh. You can't always go out on top.

posted by rcade at 04:44 PM on January 05, 2007

The Steelers were 6-10 in 2003. So the going had been tough before. Then they went 15-1 in '04 and won the Super Bowl in '05. But you are the same genius who thinks Eli Manning should have been considered for post season awards. Cowher's youngest daughter is a sophomore in high school. I bet he gets back into coaching when she graduates.

posted by SummersEve at 05:51 PM on January 05, 2007

Thanks Coach Cowher! Best of luck in all that you do!

posted by steelerchooks at 08:28 PM on January 05, 2007

Ed Bouchette of the Post Gazzette made a comment on FSN that indicated it might not be "about family". Supposedly he had some info from an inside source (that's reportedly Cowher himself) that Cowher has some bad feelings toward management over something that happened early last year. He didn't elaborate on what that was. I normally don't buy into those things, but it makes sense for a few reasons 1) Cowher definitely didn't have the same "fire" this year. Aside from the last game of the season (which he realized would be his last for the Steelers) he was not the same spitting/yelling coach. He simply seemed to not care this year and us steeler fans have been talking about that from the beginning of the season 2) He bought the house in Carolina before the season started. He had to know at that point he was going 3) No real tears or sadness at all in his goodbye press conference. Not exactly something you would expect from someone who's a) leaving an organization he worked for for 15 years b) is leaving the sport for good 4) It would explain why he's all of a sudden leaving the steelers but NOT mentioning anything about "retiring". I suspect he fully intends to sit out a year and come back and coach elsewhere.

posted by bdaddy at 08:40 PM on January 05, 2007

The chin-to-coach ratio in the NFL just took a mammoth hit. Fortunately, Bill Parcells keeps an extra for just such an emergency.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:20 PM on January 05, 2007

Prediction: Bears do not extend the contract of Lovie Smith and Cowher comes aboard in '08.

posted by wdminott at 09:26 PM on January 05, 2007

i hear you grum, but i think that we are making a lot of assumptions about his motives. Why does only spending one year off the sidelines make his statements disingenuous? Maybe he will take a year, spend it with his family, but decide that he wants to return to the game; why does that make him a liar? I didn't realize that you weren't allowed to change your mind without being a liar. Anybody who wants to make a Saban reference at this point, completely different, don't go there.

posted by brainofdtrain at 10:08 PM on January 05, 2007

He may be coaching again in a year or two, but that doesn't mean he's not sincere about spending time with his family. How many of us would love to take a year or two off and hang out with the wife and kids without having to worry about finances? It's almost a lock that there'll be an opening somewhere whenever he's ready. As for him being a pussy, give me a break! He's ridden out his share of shit storms in 15 years. If he's ready for a break, he's earned it.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:45 PM on January 05, 2007

Well damn, I'm a Hawks fan and still wish Cowher all the best. I also believe he will be back coaching, the deliberate use of the word "resign" instead of "retire" speaks volumes. "resign" of course can be used in two opposing ways, like "resigning a contract" or like this article's type. What's that called when the same word can mean opposites? This is the only example of that I can think of, but there's got to be more...

posted by vito90 at 12:21 AM on January 06, 2007

Dust. Left. Recover.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:11 AM on January 06, 2007

Wdminott as a Packer fan I sure do hope your wrong, but Cowher's brand of football and Chicago's are one and the same. I think when he comes back will depend on what jobs are open at the end of next season, I don't see him taking a job with a team who's owners don't have the will to win. I.E the Lions, the Raiders or a team with a total lack of talent. I could however see him being the next coach of the Cowboy's when Parcells departs.

posted by CB900 at 03:17 AM on January 06, 2007

Predictions: Option A: 1-2 years out and then take the job at Carolina. The drive from Raleigh to Charlotte is even possible as a (long) commute and he could still spend time familmy. Option B: 1-2 years out and then joins staff at NCSU as heir apparent (he's an alum).

posted by FonGu at 05:58 AM on January 06, 2007

Do any of you really believe the "spend more time with my family" line? If so, you must not follow current events. Athletes, coaches, politicians, high-powered executives - in less than a year they all end up putting in the 16 hour days again, just for a different organization. Spend more time with my family is a tired cliche used for CYA because it's such a noble sentiment.

posted by whitedog65 at 10:41 AM on January 06, 2007

I guess I'm naive'. Mike Prisuta in the Pittsburgh Trib-Review: ...But the transition could have been more respectful. Cowher thanked Dan Rooney but not Art Rooney II, and Kevin Colbert but not Tom Donahoe. Rooney II must have anticipated as much. He spoke for all of 41 seconds at the outset, and that included introducing his father to present Cowher with his Tiffany's trophy. Cowher and Art Rooney II also somehow managed not to shake hands.

posted by SummersEve at 11:53 AM on January 06, 2007

FonGu, neither job you mention will be available in 1-2 years. Despite the disappointing season, we're quite satisfied with the job John Fox is doing with the Panthers, and Osborne at State will be there for years to come.

posted by carolinared at 11:53 AM on January 06, 2007

Even the best coaches suffer burnout and Cowher was one of the best even though I am a Bear fan the Steelers were my adopted playoff team during crappy years from my Bears and I always enjoyed watching Cowher and the Steelers with their terrible towels and I wish him the best of luck

posted by luther70 at 12:55 PM on January 06, 2007

From SummersEve's link: Here's hoping the guy who fills those monster shoes left behind can do so with a little more class than the Crafton kid living the dream. Apparently the Pittsburgh media hold their regional luminaries to a higher standard of courtesy than themselves. It never ceases to leave me flabbergasted the way writers will call an individual out for a graceless exit at exactly the time the writer should be acknowledging the local contributions of that individual. Kind of like admonishing somebody for their poor manners with your finger jammed up your nose.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:29 PM on January 06, 2007

I agree BPP. I've seen a bunch of local writers give Cowher crap for his press conferences. I guess thy never listened to Andy Reid's or Tom Coughlin's. Cowher actually answers questions. His press conferences were one of the few that I found interesting to watch. (Parcells' press conferences are wildly entertaining, but that's just because he taunts the writers.)

posted by SummersEve at 02:04 PM on January 06, 2007

Best of luck to Cowher, stepping down on your own terms just doesn't happen in the NFL much anymore. Let's face it, the mentallity of owners today is to win now. If he burned out, hey it's been 15 years. He only outlasted 94 other coaches in that span. Other owners could learn something from the steelers on how to work with their coaches. And I'm not a steeler fan either.

posted by robi8259 at 04:52 PM on January 06, 2007

The below info is not from me but from the steeler's newsgroup. Again a "heard it from an insider" post, but it certainly FITS everything about the situation, and also matches what both Ed Bouchette and Mike Prisuta have said, and also jives with what Mort from ESPN said about the $ figure Cowher was looking for that would convince him to stay. I certainly believe it to be true, anyways. For what it is worth, and what I have heard from an insider in the Steelers organization, this is what happened with Cowher: Cowher left because he was snubbed by the Rooneys after he won the SB by not being offered a contract/ extension that was in line with what coaches of his pedigree make around the league. He wanted to renegotiate his contract to a considerably higher (in the 9-10 mil a year range) salary & extend it for at least five years, the Rooney's told him they would go 6-7 mil max & extend three years. This was not acceptable to Cowher, so he asked for release from his contract, and the Rooneys (more specifically, Art Jr) told him to honor his contract, and that they would be willing to further negotiate it in his option year. Apparently, Art Jr was upset that Cowher wanted more money because of his SB victory when the Rooneys stuck by him in the late 90's when the Steelers struggled, and expressed this to Cowher in an ugly fashion during one of their negotiations. Cowher waited till the option year of his contract & resigned. He will likely coach the Browns, Panthers, or Redskins when his contractual obligation to the Steelers passes in 2008. The source I quote is in a support role within the organization, and I'll leave it at that. Add it all up & it explains a lot of things that have happened in the past year. (Cowher's seeming lack of passion, Deuce's staying far beyond his welcome, the complete lack of discipline within the team as a whole, the purchase of the North Carolina home right after the SB, etc.) I also heard that Dan Rooney wanted Cowher back, and Art Jr wanted him gone. So who prevailed? Certainly not the fans of the Steelers...

posted by bdaddy at 10:48 PM on January 06, 2007

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