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View Full Version : Bill Cowher needs to read this.


coachspeak33
11-30-2006, 01:23 PM
I have been reading most threads and posting every once in a while on this site for some time now. My first real post dealt with last years NFL draft. I made my case for the front office of this organization to step up and make concious efforts to evolve as a franchise and recognize that times they are a changin'. The draft is not the only means to improve your team. Draft day trades, releasing expensive veterans, and free agency are all big parts of the NFL landscape these days.

I got blasted pretty good by many posters for questioning the all knowing Steelers front office. Everybody (including myself) was on cloud nine following the SB win. How dare I question the personnel decisions of Colbert, Cowher, Rooneys, and company!!!!! "Trust the organization", was the basic piece of advice many of you gave me. I paused stepped back for a moment and quietly waited for the FA season and draft.

Well the draft came and I couldnt have been happier.... We traded up to get Santonio to replace El in the slot and push Wilson.... Reid to replace El on ST's.... Smith to replenish our lack of depth in the defensive secondary due to the loss of Hope.

These day 1 highlights were enough for me to consider the 06 draft a success.

Then Coach Cowher steps in and begins "high schooling" his professional football players. By this I mean he begins placing people on imaginary totem poles or systems of hierarchy. For example, he drafts A Smith because Logan and Carter are not viable options for an entire season. Yet as soon as there is a need at the safety position, whether it is leading up to the game or during the middle of a game, Smith cant get a sniff.

Same thing happens with the dreaded punt returner job. We draft Reid in another day 1 trade. We drafted him to be the return man, period. He was ranked as the #1 return specialist in the draft. We all heard about him breaking Dieons records at FSU. They said that his skills as a WR were "raw and unrefined" but his physical skill set (speed and the ability to make people miss) was NFL ready. So what does Billy do???? He proceeds to place Ric Coclough and Santonio ahead of him on the depth chart. And because of Cowher's "loyalty to his veterans" we watched Colclough (and Holmes for that matter) stink up the entire preseason. Many on this site and print media saw dangerous red flags when it came to special teams during the preseason from beginning to end. Cowher had to have seen it as well.

Did Cowher make a move???? Absolutely not. Instead he "stuck by his players" and kept everything the same. This is not consistency folks. This is not "Rooney stability." This is stubborn and a head coach, who IMO deserves to go to Canton on the 1st ballot, should perform better than that.

Obviously I hold Cowher accountable for many of the Steelers success and failures and why not... the guy has been here for over a decade... if he hasnt earned the right to veto or okay 95% of the decisions made i would be both shocked and disappointed. But Colbert needs to be held accountable as well (just not on this post).

Then there is the Duce situation... I would be willing to guess that the people close to the team knew a helluva lot sooner than any of us that Duce was going to be a non factor. Did that hurt this team????? Yes. Do I blame Cowher, Colbert, and other decision makers for that????? No. Its not their fault he got fat and sassy (literally) this offseason after only significantly helping this franchise a total of 3 games in 05.

What is their fault is one of two things. Either they didnt recognize the problem with Staley soon enough in order to get a viable option to replace him. Or, Cowher remained too "loyal" to his players again. This time, however, the player unfortunately let Cowher and his teammates down by choosing to get fat and lazy.

So they go get Najeh... fine by me... the problem is it was an acquisition made about three weeks too late. Najeh wasnt under contract during the preseason w/ anyone. If he indeed was the guy they felt could solve their big back situation why wait until week 3 of the season to get him? Probably for the same reason we saw Ric Colclough still out there returning punts during the season. Cowher is stubborn, period.

All coaches are stubborn, that is obvious. But could you imagine any coach with the same national reputation as Cowher making such blunders when it comes to personel? Belichick, Parcells, Holmgren, are all HOF coaches. Could you imagine those special teams blunders, by the same people all the time no less, happening on a Belichick coached team???? No Way!!!! Hell, Parcells got rid of one of the highest paid kickers in the NFL, in the middle of a playoff chase, cause he was inconsistent (13-18). Do I want Vanderjact as our kicker.... hell no.... but Parcells didnt hesitate at making a tough decision that he thought would give his team a better chance on Sunday. Bill doesnt like making those necessary decisions. And that is a problem.

I also have a major problem with how Bill handled the NC State, no contract extension, situation. Why does he have to play little b.s. games with the local media in Pittsburgh?? That was nothing more than another distraction to this already distracted team. Bill handled that situation extremely poorly. I mean shit, if your gonna stay, what the hell is the harm in saying "I plan on returning, I want to return, but we are gonna handle that situation at the end of the season." Instead, this "players coach" distracts his staff and previously mentioned players by saying "i Dont Know" or "Im not going to talk about it"

Now here we are 4-7, out of the playoff picture, and to make matters worse everybody and their grandmother knows what our "holes" are .... and our players confidence is extremely rattled. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in order for this team to turn it around next year.

And that doesnt include waiting for guys to get older.... cause you think their gonna automatically get better. That is not how pro sports work. Ask Ike if hes better cause he is older. Ask Max Starks if he is better cause he is older. Or Deshea or Porter or for christ sakes Duce frickin Staley.

Again, a lot of cleaning and rearranging of our house is needed. If Bill thinks he is that guy, great, go be that guy. If not, then I am deeply saddened that he chose to come back and tarnish his legacy by mailing it in during his last season.

:tt02: Go Steelers.

R2sojr
11-30-2006, 02:53 PM
That about sums it up:cheers: !!

Haiku_Dirtt
11-30-2006, 03:01 PM
Stubborn indeed. Or at least I think so.

BigDuke6
11-30-2006, 03:11 PM
That pretty much nails the Cowher situation. I agree 100%. Well resoned, well thought out. Well presented. Props to you, man.

augustashark
11-30-2006, 03:13 PM
I'm just now on the 11th chapter, but I wanted to say you did a pretty good job on your post. I'll respond again when I'm done. J/K.

Good post.

Atlanta Dan
11-30-2006, 03:41 PM
Excellent post

Cowher leaving in the context of this blighted season described above is in some ways similar to that of Noll's departure. Noll probably should have bailed in the mid-80s and when he left it was clear to most fans that it was time for someone with the enthusiasm of the young Cowher to take over.

While Cowher obviously has just had one bad season, his demeanor makes a lot of us ready to welcome someone who is not uncertain whether he wants to be the Steelers HC.

tony hipchest
11-30-2006, 03:46 PM
well thought out and well written. treating the draft like jr varsity tryouts and letting young talent rot on the bench really gets to me.

sumo
11-30-2006, 04:02 PM
I agree with most of what you said, but I don't agree with citing other coaches' decisions to support your agrument - maybe Parcells got rid of the idiot kicker, but he also insisted on starting Vinny and Bledsoe at QB, Gibbs keeps Brunell at QB and runs his O like he still has John Riggins playing in the backfield with eight tight end sets etc...anyway - my point is - Cowher doesn't have the market cornered when it comes to stubborness and insisting on vets over youth - it's a common disease afflicting a lot of older coaches..

dustyblades
11-30-2006, 04:11 PM
Excellent post Coachspeak33.

As much as I hate to admit it, I think you may have a point. As I read your post I was thinking that loyalty to the players and to the team is one of the things that makes the Steelers such a classy organization, and one of the things that I think many of the folks on this board love about them.

Then I remembered Kordell.

Now I'm not here to slap anyone around, particularly those who actually had a snow-ball's chance in hell of actually making it into the NFL much less onto the mighty Steelers, but it is difficult to argue that he had not proven exactly how able he was to lead a football team long before he was removed.

Was that stubborn?

I remember thinking that it was at the time.

Maybe this year he thought he was on a roll and followed his gut for too long.

Just imagine how huge the chin will be next summer if he stays.

Stlrs4Life
11-30-2006, 04:41 PM
Not mucgh to add to that. Good post.

BigDuke6
11-30-2006, 04:53 PM
Excellent post Coachspeak33.

As much as I hate to admit it, I think you may have a point. As I read your post I was thinking that loyalty to the players and to the team is one of the things that makes the Steelers such a classy organization, and one of the things that I think many of the folks on this board love about them.

Then I remembered Kordell.

Now I'm not here to slap anyone around, particularly those who actually had a snow-ball's chance in hell of actually making it into the NFL much less onto the mighty Steelers, but it is difficult to argue that he had not proven exactly how able he was to lead a football team long before he was removed.

Was that stubborn?

I remember thinking that it was at the time.

Maybe this year he thought he was on a roll and followed his gut for too long.

Just imagine how huge the chin will be next summer if he stays.

Actually this is a great point !!!! And one I hadnt been thinking about. Just think how pissed-off, motivated, emotion-filled, demonstrative, demanding etc. Cowher will be next year trying to defend his continued presence and rebound from this disaster of a season.....hmmmmm. Makes one think....hmmm. Thanks for a great point. I've been sitting comfortably on the dump Cowher bandwagon but now....hmmmm.

SteelShooter
11-30-2006, 05:31 PM
Coachspeak33,

IMHO, this is the absolute best, well thought out, logically written post I have ever read on here.

Reps will be coming your way.

Thank you for a most stupendous pice of reading....my hat is off to you!

Mike/SteelShooter

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
11-30-2006, 09:57 PM
Coachspeak33,

IMHO, this is the absolute best, well thought out, logically written post I have ever read on here.

Reps will be coming your way.

Thank you for a most stupendous pice of reading....my hat is off to you!

Mike/SteelShooter

agree........It was like reading an article out of a magazine..

fansince'76
11-30-2006, 10:55 PM
When have the Steelers EVER been a major player in FA?

SteelersMongol
11-30-2006, 11:30 PM
Nice post, man. THANK YOU!

Steel Pit
12-01-2006, 02:47 AM
GREAT FREAKING POST!

The key word being STUBBORN! I've said for many years that Cowher has let his young players sit far too long. His loyalty to inferior veteran players has been for the most part "sickening" throughout the years and it continues to this day.

In the past, Cowher's stubbornness has peaked in AFC Chanpionship games as we've all witnessed him repeatedly run ball carriers into 8 and 9 man fronts with little success. Blame the offensive coordinator if you wish but I've seen plenty of NFL Films-sideline coverage in which Cowher can be heard "overruling" his assistants by telling them that he wants to run the damn ball right at them.

Once again, great post coachspeak.:thumbsup:

Indy_Steelers
12-01-2006, 06:41 AM
When have the Steelers EVER been a major player in FA?

They have always been known for building through the draft. There have been several articles on the success of the Steelers drafting well. Even to this day people talk about the 74 draft in which we drafted 4 guys in the first 5 picks that went on to be in the hall of fame:
Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster. And also the success we have had in recent years: Casey Hampton, Troy Polamalu, Ben Reothlisberger, Heath Miller, Larry Foote, Antwaan Randle El to name a few. I do agree that sometimes I wish the Steelers would do more with free agency but I am glad it is not a big part of how we build a team. I would not want to wind up like the Riaders.

19ward86
12-01-2006, 07:39 AM
our team shouldnt have so many holes, we have the top 5 cheapest rosters, our overall salary cap is top 5 most unused, we have plenty of money but are too cheap to keep important players.

coachspeak33
12-01-2006, 07:47 AM
I fully appreciate the luv.... really i do... apologize for the extended length.... gotta tell you though, it was almost cathartic to get some of that off my chest.... as all of you know already... its been a tough couple of months for Steeler fans.

A few things I forgot:
- think about what belichick did during the deion branch situation... here is a guy who is a super bowl MVP... the favorite target of arguably the best QB walking the planet... he does all the little things like blocking and so on.... and he feels he is underpaid and begins complaining and then holds out.... In a guy like bellichiks eyes, branch became a distraction on the field (by not being there) and in the lockerroom (cause the coaches and players went into the lockeroom everyday and answered Q's from the media about a teammate who wasnt sowing up to work any more... so belichick and co. upped their offer... branch rejected it... and then bellichick shipped his ass nearly 3,500 miles away to the far off northwest.
- whether you disagree with how he handled the situation or not... For a moment, focus on the fact that he did what leaders and decision makers are supposed to do... once he knew what he felt was right to do, he did it, and gave himself and (more importantly) his team the chance to move on and focus on winning ballgames...
what he didnt do was stand on the media podium and say cliche' after cliche', five minutes after his team lost a game because of something he didnt address when he had the opportunity to three or four weeks prior.... all while doing nothing more than crossing his fingers and hoping that one of his veterans will "step up" and then he'd be credited for being a players coach... to me that kinda stuff is b.s. posturing.

Livinginthe past
12-01-2006, 10:17 AM
Excellent posts coachspeak33,

I agreed with alot of what you said in the thread starter - alot of Cowhers game plans dont get much further in the alphabet than Plan A.

I wondered was it just pure stubborness, or an actual inability to think on his feet in a pressure game-time situation?

Im not a massive believer in loyalty being shown to players - unless they have earned it outside of doing what they are actually being paid to do.

You put the guys on the field that give you the best chance of winning a Superbowl - whether that means giving your star QB a rest, or dropping an unproductive vet DB.

It seems that Cowher has no real problem taking the tough decision when it comes to the younger guys on the team - Ike Taylor springs to mind - but often struggles to treat the vets the same way - (O-line, Duce Staley, Deshea Townsend).

I'be interested to read what moves you would make in the off-season to get the Steelers better prepared for next year - and if any of that involves marquee FA's.

Thanks

NM

83-Steelers-43
12-01-2006, 10:19 AM
It seems that Cowher has no real problem taking the tough decision when it comes to the younger guys on the team - Ike Taylor springs to mind - but often struggles to treat the vets the same way - (O-line, Duce Staley, Deshea Townsend).

Since you brought it up (and I agree completely)..........


Question: Why is Ike Taylor the only player who has been demoted? He is not the only one who's had a "few" bad games. - Armando J. Lopez, Huntington Beach, Callf.


BOUCHETTE: I agree. I believe Bill Cowher is trying to motivate Taylor, who received a five-year, $22.5 million contract from the Steelers the week before the season started -- including a $6.4 million signing bonus. Either someone totally blew it on the evaluation of Taylor, or he's just having a bad season. There are others who have joined him in having that kind of season, but they have not joined him on the bench. I do believe that some players are considered untouchable by the coaching staff and Taylor obviously was not one of them.

IMO, this was known for the last 15 years.

Livinginthe past
12-01-2006, 10:33 AM
Since you brought it up (and I agree completely)..........


Question: Why is Ike Taylor the only player who has been demoted? He is not the only one who's had a "few" bad games. - Armando J. Lopez, Huntington Beach, Callf.


BOUCHETTE: I agree. I believe Bill Cowher is trying to motivate Taylor, who received a five-year, $22.5 million contract from the Steelers the week before the season started -- including a $6.4 million signing bonus. Either someone totally blew it on the evaluation of Taylor, or he's just having a bad season. There are others who have joined him in having that kind of season, but they have not joined him on the bench. I do believe that some players are considered untouchable by the coaching staff and Taylor obviously was not one of them.

IMO, this was known for the last 15 years.

Thats the type of favoritism that can cause real problems in the lockerroom.

I know Ike has had a few tough games, and got beat the same way (jump balls) multiple times in the same game - but there are plenty of others who need to have their 'free pass' taken away from them.

The guy is raw, I dont see how him sat on the sidelines is going to help him work out some of the problems he has playing opposing teams WR's.

He has been the guy who takes on the other teams No.1 receiver, making him a sacraficial lamb seems counter-productive.

Whenever I have read an interview of his, he seems to understand that he got beat in a certain game - which is always the first step to sorting the problem out.

Alot of the guys, take the O-Line for example, think its better to pass the buck onto 'game situations' rather than take responsibilty for letting the team down.

NM

coachspeak33
12-01-2006, 11:21 AM
living in the past,
I agree with much of what you say when identifying the actual problem (steelers unwillingness to make tough decisions midstream to make things better or solve problems)... i dont agree when you infer that cowher shows favoritism.... cause i dont see it as favoritism... i see it as an absolute cop out.... unfortunately there are members of the steeler nation who simply refuse to EVER allow anyone else to question the decision makers of the organzation (let alone actually do it themselves)... as a result it seems like every once in a while cowher will pick one small aspect of the problem to "deal w/ publicly"... meanwhile the problem simply isnt addressed... IMO the steelers front office has displayed that attitude when dealing with personnel matters for years...

Not to say they are incompetent... cause their not.... majority of the time they do their job well.... but every once in a while they do things that most know are bad decisions from the jump... and how do they correct it???? They fall back on "stability and continuity"

again more cop outs and posturing to satisfy the sheep... i think that for the most part the local media in Pittsburgh are kinda sheep-ish.... kinda like the press core in the white house during most of bush's tenure... just a tad too willing to swallow whats being fed to them with out any real legitimate reasons

I mean did we ever really hear anything about our 2+million dollar "closer back" that was gonna replace bussy on the short yardage/goalline???

Was any explaination ever given about a four year contract, @ around 2+mill/per, extension to a frickin nickleback (Deshea) pretending to play corner....

Absolutly zero questioning or answers concerning their refusal for the entire season to get their second best receiver (Miller) involved at all.... (could you imagine if Herm E showed up in KC and eight games into the season Gonzalez only had 16 or so catches)

Our young lineman (Starks and Simmons mainly, but i would probably put Okobi, who also got an extension, here as well), have all regressed in the last 3 seasons and we still gotta listen to people talk about how russ grimm is a legit candidate if indeed cowher leaves..... and dont even get me started on whisenhunt.... what team in their right mind would hire him as their HC now????

Cowher/colbert/Rooneys were never really held accountable for their shabby handling of any of those situations....

Ever hear the story about the king, who didnt realize he was naked?????

klick81
12-01-2006, 12:17 PM
Excellent posts.

austin-charles
12-01-2006, 03:05 PM
i never post...but I'll throw in an AMEN!

noto45
12-01-2006, 11:56 PM
that was perfect kudos to you coach!!!!!!!!