Before the 2012 NFL season began, it was a safe bet that Bill Cowher would be one of the first names mentioned for most any prominent head coaching vacancy. Yet by the time Black Monday rolled around and seven teams had openings, Cowher suddenly seemed like an afterthought.
How’d that happen?
Perhaps, as some have suggested, Cowher is looking for more money and more power than teams are willing to give. Or maybe he’s just not ready.
“No, no, no,” was Cowher’s response Tuesday when asked if he planned to seek any of the jobs sill out there. The occasion was a CBS press event touting the network’s blanket coverage of Super Bowl XLVII, so the former Steelers coach turned CBS Sports analyst used that as an opportunity to plug his current employer.
“We have the Super Bowl this year,” he said. “All the coaches want to get to the Super Bowl, I already know I’m going to be there.”
Assuming Cowher waits another year to get serious about a return to the sidelines, that would be seven years away from the coaching business. Not a problem, said the 55-year-old Cowher, who coached the Steelers from 1992-2006 and got them to two Super Bowls, winning one.
“I think it’s a non-issue,” he said. “I did it for 27 years. You don’t just forget it overnight. The one thing about this job is that it’s been really good because it allows me to study the game, do features on the game. I watch tape. It’s not like you’re out of it. I know how the game is changing.”
Cowher’s hard-nosed style must come to terms with the changes that have taken place regarding player safety and limits on hitting, but he’s prepared for that.
“Some of the hits that are now illegal are hits I was showing the night before the game. But that’s the way the game is evolving. You just have to teach the right thing.”
Cowher doesn’t think the changes will make it too difficult for him to get back into coaching, though he admits it won’t be easy.
“It would be a challenge,” Cowher said “But that’s probably why I’d get back in – because of the challenge.”
Cowher’s name was mentioned often in New York before the Jets hired Rex Ryan in 2009. With Ryan firmly on the hot seat in 2013, don’t be surprised to see his name come up again. And given the hubbub over Ryan’s Mark Sanchez tattoo last week, someone asked Cowher if he’d ever consider getting a Ben Roethlisberger tattoo.
“I’ll tell you what,” he said, tongue in cheek, “at least he won me a Super Bowl.”