Bill Cowher will coach when he's ready

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Bill Cowher has been out of football for a while, but don't think for a second he's missed a beat.

Every year at the end of the NFL season, coaching positions open and accomplished men are whisked out the door, while more accomplished men and sparkling young coordinators are speculated to fill the vacancies.

Bill Cowher has been mentioned every year since he left the Pittsburgh Steelers following the 2007 season, and yet The Chin remains an analyst for CBS' NFL Today pregame show, unwilling to surrender his post within the TV.

This has led to the idea that Cowher is ready to walk away from the game for good, something he dispelled Tuesday when talking to Neil Best of Newsday, according to

"It would be a challenge," Cowher said. "But I think that's probably why I would get back into it, because of the challenge."

Cowher's six-year hiatus from the sideline has began whispers that the game will, or already has, passed him by. Nothing could be more foolish.

Cowher has done it all in the NFL, running the gauntlet from player as a hard-nosed linebacker with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles before getting into coaching.

After working his way up the ladder under Marty Schottenheimer in Cleveland and then with the Kansas City Chiefs as a defensive coordinator, Cowher got his shot at the big time.

The Pittsburgh Steelers hired Cowher to replace the legendary Chuck Noll in 1992, one of the toughest gigs ever received. Nobody could have expected the following run of success; 10 playoff appearances, six AFC Championship games and two Super Bowl showings with one championship.

In those 15 years with Pittsburgh, Cowher only suffered three losing seasons while registering a 149-90-1 mark.

If Cowher wanted to coach right now, he would shoot to the top of everyone's coaching list. The man known for his raging intensity and passionate rhetoric made his money because he was a terrific defensive mind, something that doesn't change over night.

Cowher has taken his time since resigning in Pittsburgh back in 2007, dedicating himself more to family affairs, tending to his wife, Kaye, before she passed away in 2010 from skin cancer. As time passes, the likelihood of Cowher coming back actually increases considering his personal situation.

Nobody has ever accomplished more with less that Cowher. The man who received his first shot at head coaching when he was 34 years old never had a great quarterback and yet still produced a winner consistently.

Consider the following: Cowher went to those half-dozen championship games with Neil O'Donnell, Kordell Stewart and a very raw Ben Roethlisberger.

Don't think he could get Tony Romo and those boys over the hump? Think the game has passed him by to where he couldn't get Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall to a Super Bowl with that defense in tow? Please, don't embarrass yourself.

When he decides to come back, Cowher will unabashedly succeed. Cowher is a rare breed, someone who can take a team of afterthoughts and build them into a contender with sheer will and solid fundamentals. He makes ordinary men better than they thought they could be, the true mark of a great coach.

The notion that if Cowher continues to take time off he'll be forgotten is laughable. Teams are constantly searching for the man to lead them out of despair and darkness.

When Cowher floats his name out there, he'll need a switchboard at his house, and rightfully so.

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