Bill Cowher Said To Eye 2010 Return To NFL, Possible Destinations Include Tampa Bay And Carolina

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Schefter: Cowher Wants To Return To NFL In 2010

Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher has been rumored to return to the NFL for years now, and talk has heated up in recent months. On Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweets the most substantial rumor yet:

Word around the league is that Bill Cowher is poised to return to the sidelines in 2010. Potential landing spots: Tampa Bay and Carolina.

Yes, yes...I used the phrase "substantial rumor" there, but Schefter is one of the most well-connected journalists on the NFL scene, and he isn't wrong often. Tampa Bay and Carolina -- who face tenuous coaching situations -- seem like feasible destinations. To boot, they're both in the NFC, where Cowher wouldn't have to face the Steelers as often, if at all. Cowher has long said that if he were to return, he would not want to have to coach against his former team.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Cowher: Or There's This Possibility...

ESPN's Dick Vitale offers his unsolicited, and characteristically ZANY opinion on Cowher's search for a coaching home:

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GO BIG!

And for the record, crazier things things have happened... Like Lou Holtz, still employed and featured regularly on ESPN. At 1:30: "There'll be 108,000 people in the stands, but remember this: they're unarmed." So, uhhh... Remember that.

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On Semantics And The Buffalo Coaching Search

Did Bill Cowher snub the Buffalo Bills, as our earlier headline suggested? Maybe not. Our resident Buffalo Bills expert clarified for us in the comments:

Cowher has NOT snubbed the Bills.

He told Buffalo that he would not be talking with teams, including Buffalo, until the end of the season.

Is it unlikely that Cowher comes to Buffalo? Hell yes it is. But Cowher has NOT unequivocally said that he will not coach in Buffalo. Not yet, anyway.

Indeed, as Yahoo! Sports’ Mark Miller reports, Cowher didn’t rule out joining the organization at season’s end:

He reportedly told the team that he’s didn’t want to interview for the gig “at this time.”

Cowher is supposedly happy to wait till season’s end to see what other jobs come available. It’s not likely that the Bills will wait till the end of the season to hire a new coach. The team supposedly wants someone to be signed on before then.

So while Cowher hasn’t ruled out joining Buffalo, by refusing to talk to them now—when, you know, the Bills are conducting a search and interviewing candidates—he’s all but made their decision for them. Does that constitute a “snubbing”? Perhaps not, but it definitely doesn’t bode well for Buffalo fans eager to see that magnificent mustache roaming the sidelines in Orchard Park.

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Cowher Too Pricey For Chicago?

From the Chicago Tribune comes a brief reaction to the news of Cowher’s interest. Namely, he wants to get paid HOW much?

[The Cowher rumors will] simply make the anti-Lovie contingent among Bears fans even more antsy. But the same report said Cowher would command in the range of $10 million per-season – a staggering price even for a head coach with a Super Bowl ring.

But realistically, Smith still has two years and $11 million remaining after this season on his contract. Can you see the Bears paying a coach $10 million per year? Didn’t think so.

And who could blame the Bears for blushing at that number? There’s no reason to ever pay a coach that much. There are enough talented football minds roaming the league’s assistant ranks to find someone cheaper and just as good, and mainly NOBODY IS THAT SMART. $10-million-a-year to manage a football team and a cadre of assistants that wind up working 80 hour weeks to help you prepare? Someone will definitely make that mistake (looking at you, Mr. Snyder), but you can’t blame the Bears if they don’t want to walk down that road.

Cowher’s been successful, but not that successful. He won a Super Bowl and made the playoffs most years. Suddenly he’s a mastermind? Besides, there’s a history of disaster with these big contracts.

Remember when Steve Spurrier was given a $25 million deal?


Oops.
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SBN's Buffalo Rumblings: Is There A Backup Plan?

With the news that former Steelers coach Bill Cowher will reportedly wait until the offseason before making a decision on the Buffalo head coach/GM job, Bills fans over at SBN's Buffalo Rumblings are beginning to wonder where the team goes from here:

The prevailing theory behind the timing of Jauron's firing is that Wilson and COO Russ Brandon wanted to get a head start on the competition for the services of the big-name coaches above. In terms of men who want tocoach, that's Shanahan and Cowher - and they're probably going to be the top two candidates for every job opening this season (with the exception of Shanahan being a candidate for a possible opening in Oakland).

As such, Shanahan and Cowher are smart. They know they're coveted. Cowher has said that he won't listen to any offers until after the season is over; he doesn't have to. There will always be a market for his services. The same goes for Shanahan, though he will meet with Buffalo this week to at least discuss the opening and, as everyone is putting it, hear what Buffalo has to say. [...] Shanahan and Cowher are the only options out there that truly fit the GM/Head Coach role that Buffalo seems to prefer. 

While Cowher and Shanahan are certainly big names, it's worth remembering that neither of them has had much success (or in Cowher's case, experience) wearing both hats as coach and GM. Cowher did not have control over personnel decisions in Pittsburgh, while the Bronco's floundered under Shanahan once he assumed the dual role of head coach and GM (in particular, Shanahan struggled picking defensive players).

Given that landing Cowher or Shanahan seems like a long-shot at best in what figures to be a crowded coaching field this offseason, Buffalo Rumblings turns back to what moves the Bills should make to restore the franchise to respectability:

[Charlie] Weis is just one of a handful of second-tier coaching prospects that are apparently on Buffalo's radar. Other names that have been mentioned include Jim Haslett, Kevin Gilbride, Marc Trestman and Perry Fewell. That's great and all, but that doesn't fix the Bills' real issue - the front office. Shanahan and Cowher at least do that in theory; none of these Plan B coaching options have the clout or respectability to handle the dual role the Bills seem to prefer.

My nerves - shot by a decade of brutal football - would be soothed tremendously if we started hearing names of personnel men linked to Buffalo. [...] Buffalo needs to start working on Plan B. Perhaps they already are - and if they are, good on them. Reach out to the available general manager-types, such as Holmgren or Casserly. Make a list of potential GM candidates currently employed by other organizations to speak with in the (likely) event Shanahan and Cowher take jobs elsewhere, or else don't coach at all. And if we can just never bring up names like Weis or Haslett again until a front office voice is chosen, that'd be fantastic as well.

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Bill Cowher Snubs Bills, Would Not Snub Bears Or Texans

At or near the top of almost any NFL coaching list would be longtime Steeler head coach.  He brings with him a history of winning, a Super Bowl ring and a jaw that could crank a walnut.

The Bills, currently without a head coach to call their own, made a Hail Mary shoutout to Cowher to see if he might be interested.  With the changes to the salary keep looming and the Bills being located in Buffalo, NY,  Bill let his suitor down gently.

Cowher informed the team that he is not interested in speaking to any clubs about potential jobs until after the season, however, according to the sources, and he could have several options available to him should he opt to return to coaching in 2010.

Upstate New York copy editors everywhere shed a tear at the lost potential of having a Bill coach the Bills.

That would be that except that Cowher is apparently now telling folks that if that offer would come from the Bears or Texans, he would be much more interested.

An NFL Network report Monday night cited a source that said the idea of coaching the Bears or Texans "would excite,'' Cowher if the job becomes open.

That'll simply make the anti-Lovie contingent among Bears fans even more antsy. But the same report said Cowher would command in the range of $10 million per-season - a staggering price even for a head coach with a Super Bowl ring.

When Jim Mora Jr. floated the idea of coaching the Washington Huskies while employed by the Falcons a few years back, he was vilified.  Now Cowher isn't working for another squad, but to publicly throw his name out there for two jobs that currently have head coaches, well that just seems like some sort of breach of Head Coach Fraternity Code.  It will be interesting to se if Cowher gets a pass on this, especially in Chicago where many might be more than happy to push Lovie Smith out the door for The Chin.

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