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83-Steelers-43
12-15-2006, 04:21 AM
Cowher's future not open subject
Friday, December 15, 2006

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


The Steelers closed the door yesterday to questions about coach Bill Cowher and his coaching future, one day after he said for the first time he has a decision to make at the end of the season.

Cowher was not made available to the Pittsburgh-area news media yesterday, despite numerous requests from local newspapers and television and radio stations. A day earlier, he told reporters on a conference call in Charlotte, N.C., "there will be something at the end of the year" and that he will "sit back and put a lot of thought into it and make a decision accordingly."

Cowher made the comments when he was asked if he will step aside and retire at the end of the season. Speculation that has been rampant since it became known that Cowher and his wife, Kaye, had purchased a $2.5 million home in Raleigh, N.C. Kaye and their youngest daughter, Lindsay, have been living there since the late summer so Lindsay, a sophomore, could play basketball at a local high school.

Speculation was fueled again when Cowher and the Steelers could not agree on a contract extension after the Super Bowl and said they would discontinue negotiations until after this season. Cowher has one year left on his contract.

He is not expected to make any announcement immediately after the season and wants to wait at least several weeks, if not longer, before deciding if he will return. Those familiar with the situation said he also wants to talk with team chairman Dan Rooney and president Art Rooney II about, among other things, a coaching arrangement in the offseason. But, Cowher does not want to leave the Steelers "hanging" about his future and won't drag the decision into the spring.

"Until he does something different, I count on him being back," said linebacker Joey Porter. "He hasn't done anything differently than what I can see. He's human and he's going to make a decision what he feels is right for him and his family. Whatever decision he makes, is going to be the right one for him."

The Steelers (6-7) have three games remaining in the regular season, including Sunday against the Carolina Panthers (6-7), and Cowher's future will become the focal point during the final weeks. Barring some near-miraculous circumstances, the Steelers will not be in the postseason to defend their Super Bowl championship, thrusting the bulk of the attention on the decision of their head coach.

Despite comments made earlier this season by former running back Jerome Bettis, the poor performance by the Steelers will not affect Cowher's decision to return.

"That's something, as a team, we can't control," inside linebacker James Farrior said. "That's a decision that's going to have to be made after the season. It has nothing to do with this team or the players in the locker room on Sunday. But we're going to be watching like everybody else."

Asked if the players discuss Cowher's future, Farrior said: "Nobody talks about it. It comes up every now and then, someone might say something, but it's definitely not something we focus on."

"I'd love to see him come back," said running back Willie Parker. "He's like a father figure to me. But we, as players, don't talk about it."

"That's his call," linebacker Clark Haggans said. "I have no right to be talking about anything like that. I'm more worried about winning and finishing 9-7."

Haggans said people outside the organization complain that Cowher is not as animated on the sidelines and "doesn't appear to be giving it his all," a sign, skeptics claim, he is going to retire.

Similar complaints that Cowher had lost his enthusiasm were made most recently as the 2003 season, when the Steelers finished 6-10 after back-to-back playoff appearances.

Haggans just rolled his eyes.

"I've been cussed out the same way by him a couple games ago the way I was four years ago," Haggans said.

"That's not anything he's going to tell me," Porter said of Cowher's decision. "I wouldn't even ask him about his situation. Certain stuff is private. That's a decision he's going to have to make for him and his family."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06349/746333-66.stm

Atlanta Dan
12-15-2006, 07:41 AM
Doesn't sound like Porter is continuing his previous comments that Cowher is coming back.

This idea that a pro sports coach is like the Queen of England and off limits to questions from the media is nonsense. If the Steelers want to play this game, the Pittsburgh sportswriters and broadcasters should ask Cowher nothing but questions about his status (any thoughts on whether it will be emotional to take the field for what may be your last home game as Steelers coach/ any reason you broke your embargo on discussing your employment status by answering questions from the Carolina media?) at Cowher's weekly press conference next week. Of course, I understand that with the exception of Ed.B. of the P-G and a few others, those who cover the Steelers are such lapdogs that they do everything but wear Steelers gear to the games and visists to the practice facility.

Cowher re-opened the door to this by his comments in Wednesday. The more I read about this, the more I think the Rooneys are to the point they simply may tell Cowher don't let the door hit you on the way out. This team cannot wait for Coach Hamlet to make up his mind sometime after the Super Bowl - a decison needs to be made by early January.

Big D
12-15-2006, 07:53 AM
Doesn't sound like Porter is continuing his previous comments that Cowher is coming back.

This idea that a pro sports coach is like the Queen of England and off limits to questions from the media is nonsense. If the Steelers want to play this game, the Pittsburgh sportswriters and broadcasters should ask Cowher nothing but questions about his status (any thoughts on whether it will be emotional to take the field for what may be your last home game as Steelers coach/ any reason you broke your embargo on discussing your employment status by answering questions from the Carolina media?) at Cowher's weekly press conference next week. Of course, I understand that with the exception of Ed.B. of the P-G and a few others, those who cover the Steelers are such lapdogs that they do everything but wear Steelers gear to the games and visists to the practice facility.

Cowher re-opened the door to this by his comments in Wednesday. The more I read about this, the more I think the Rooneys are to the point they simply may tell Cowher don't let the door hit you on the way out. This team cannot wait for Coach Hamlet to make up his mind sometime after the Super Bowl - a decison needs to be made by early January.

I agree. I think cowhers coaching status is partly to blame for this awful season we have had to go through. I'm ready for the new generation of pittsburgh steeler football

coachspeak33
12-15-2006, 08:00 AM
excellent post atl dan.... Cowher just doesnt get it.... when you do finally win the big one.... you simply cannot continue to act like a big fish in a little pond...come on Bill!!!! BE A PRO.

Big D
12-15-2006, 08:06 AM
excellent post atl dan.... Cowher just doesnt get it.... when you do finally win the big one.... you simply cannot continue to act like a big fish in a little pond...come on Bill!!!! BE A PRO.

I have lost alot of respect for cowher for the way he has handled his situation