PDA

View Full Version : Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...


abowens
03-14-2007, 08:16 PM
How good was Cowher - really? I know this may be viewed as treason by some. But just consider the following points / questions:

We hear so much about the stability and success of the Steelers organization (the Rooneys). That is the foundation for every Steelers success - large and small. It is also the foundation for the success of all the coaches we've had whose name I acutally know. (I have no clue who came before Knoll). So, how much of the genius of those coaches can be attributed to the Rooney family?

Like so many players who were so good in Pittsburgh but floundered elsewhere, how will Cowher do elsewhere? Knoll never coached again so we'll never know. But Cowher will coach again. Years down the road we'll have evidence as opposed to speculation. So how will Cowher do with another organization? How would he have done if his first job had been with another team? Would we even know his name today?

Regardless of the acutal state of the Steelers when he arrived, he still arrived to the Steelers and the Rooneys, which means he inherited the same foundation that Tomlin now inherits. That foundation, without question, set him up good from the start. So what if Cowher would have went to any other team who would expect measurable success in 3 years? How many coaches who have been fired after 3 years or 5 years, would have evenutally went on to win a Super Bowl and rack up a great win-loss record if given the time, support and patience of the Rooney's? Can the Rooney's take most any coach and make them succesful like the Steelers system makes solid but average linebackers look great - like the Broncos "system" makes average running backs look great?

From what we hear, he was a players coach. He was a strong leader. He was a vocal motivator. We've heard all the good things and the bad things. But did he make the Steelers a good team or did they make him a good coach?
Given the exact same set of circumstances, tenure, players, staff, etc. that Cowher had, how many other coaches (not counting the "star" coaches we know of - the average ones) would have put more than one Lombardi trophy in the Steelers case?

Sure, he'll be in the Hall of Fame someday. I think he deserves to be. But with all of those AFC championship games, shouldn't he have more rings?

For some of you, these questions may be intriguing and thought provoking. I'm sure there are some that will instantly make the case the Cowher was truly special. I'm not saying he's not. I'm a huge fan...I really am. But I've always felt like - with what he had to work with - he underacheived. I certainly make no claims to know anything at all about how he should have done things better. I'm just wondering - how good was Cowher - really? What do you think?

PisnNapalm
03-14-2007, 08:28 PM
But did he make the Steelers a good team or did they make him a good coach?

I think it was a bit of both. He was not much older than many of his players initially. Tolim is in that same boat. Cowher always commanded respect and got it. Don't forget.... 3 years into his tenure he had the Steelers in a Super Bowl. One we should of won if not for Niel "Freakin" O'Donnell. :banging: :banging: :banging:

Anyway.... I will not question Cowher's legacy in Pittsburgh. I loved him as our coach and only during his last season here did I feel he wasn't into it like he should have been. For the other years I believe he gave us the best he could.

GBMelBlount
03-14-2007, 08:42 PM
I think it was a bit of both. He was not much older than many of his players initially. Tolim is in that same boat. Cowher always commanded respect and got it. Don't forget.... 3 years into his tenure he had the Steelers in a Super Bowl. One we should of won if not for Niel "Freakin" O'Donnell. :banging: :banging: :banging:

Anyway.... I will not question Cowher's legacy in Pittsburgh. I loved him as our coach and only during his last season here did I feel he wasn't into it like he should have been. For the other years I believe he gave us the best he could.

Cowher was a great coach. His heart was questionable his last year. He wasn't as motivational, fired up when they lost, nor did he (nor the other coaches) pull Ben when things were obviously wrong with his health.

Stainless Steel
03-14-2007, 08:48 PM
Cowher was a leader. He brought out the good in his players and in his assistant coaches. THAT is the major job as head coach.

He brought in some good talent as assistant coaches and in his players that brought success to the team, when he had bad assistant coaches, the team suffered. Those coaches got fired and new coaches were hired.

tony hipchest
03-14-2007, 09:32 PM
rooneys were around for 40 years with no success. they didnt achieve it but with 2 coaches in their long history.

cowher starting his career with another team couldve very well ended up like bill belichick.

the rooneys arent really plugging tomlin into a system. they didnt invent fiscal responsibility as far as the business world is concerned. theyre also not dictating that he revamp the steel curtain, 3-4 zone blitz, or power running scheme. they hired who they thought was best and are gonna let him do his job.

cowher lasted 15 years with 1 team. 6 afc champ games in that span (once every 2.5 years) that in itself says it all.

abowens
03-14-2007, 09:56 PM
So it took the Rooneys a long time to figure things out just like anything or anybody. Practice makes perfect. Cowher definitely benefited from the time he was given.

Of course speculating about "what if's" is pointless. But we spend so much of our lives doing it - why stop now?

So let's say "The Tackle" never happens or Vanderjact does not miss. The Steelers fall short again. Cowher continues his struggle with retirement - loses focus - 2006 goes down no differently then it did...he retires without that Ring, how is Cowher remembered? What is his legacy then? Hall of Famer then? Probably not (unless he got it done with the next team). Loved by all Steelers fans? Probably not. Instead of Champion it's "he followed in the footsteps of his mentor - played too much Martyball - couldn't win the big one" - you know? The same story we heard so much before Superbowl XL?

I do not discount Cowher's legacy - who he was as a coach and what he means to all Steelers fans. He was the face of the franchise for a lot of good years...and a very positive and upstanding face. It would be great to put these questions in a time capsule and see how it all unfolds 20 years from now...

Stlrs4Life
03-14-2007, 10:02 PM
I think it was a bit of both. He was not much older than many of his players initially. Tolim is in that same boat. Cowher always commanded respect and got it. Don't forget.... 3 years into his tenure he had the Steelers in a Super Bowl. One we should of won if not for Niel "Freakin" O'Donnell. :banging: :banging: :banging:

Anyway.... I will not question Cowher's legacy in Pittsburgh. I loved him as our coach and only during his last season here did I feel he wasn't into it like he should have been. For the other years I believe he gave us the best he could.



Well said.

HometownGal
03-14-2007, 10:04 PM
So it took the Rooneys a long time to figure things out just like anything or anybody. Practice makes perfect. Cowher definitely benefited from the time he was given.

And the Rooneys and the Steelers definitely benefitted from Cowher as their coach - no doubt about it.



Of course speculating about "what if's" is pointless.

Agreed.

But we spend so much of our lives doing it - why stop now?

It would be great to put these questions in a time capsule and see how it all unfolds 20 years from now..

I much prefer to remember these last 15 years with one of the best modern day coaches in the NFL who is a legend in his own right, and appreciate him for all he was to the Steelers organization, players, fans and this city.

GBMelBlount
03-14-2007, 10:22 PM
And the Rooneys and the Steelers definitely benefitted from Cowher as their coach - no doubt about it.



Agreed.



I much prefer to remember these last 15 years with one of the best modern day coaches in the NFL who is a legend in his own right, and appreciate him for all he was to the Steelers organization, players, fans and this city.

He had more chins than a chinese phone book. Will miss him.:rofl:

SteelCzar76
03-14-2007, 11:22 PM
And the Rooneys and the Steelers definitely benefitted from Cowher as their coach - no doubt about it.



Agreed.



I much prefer to remember these last 15 years with one of the best modern day coaches in the NFL who is a legend in his own right, and appreciate him for all he was to the Steelers organization, players, fans and this city.


Very well said HTG.:thumbsup: Coach Cowher kept the franchise very competitive for the most part of his tenure. And IMO what is so impressive about this is the fact that very often it was done with units comprised mostly of 'overacheivers'.
Keeping this in mind and considering his record in regards to winning seasons, playoff appearances, division titles, two trips to the Superbowl, and a World Title,......and i think it's fair to say he's a Hall of Famer and easily one of the greatest Coaches of the modern era.

tony hipchest
03-14-2007, 11:37 PM
So it took the Rooneys a long time to figure things out just like anything or anybody. Practice makes perfect. Cowher definitely benefited from the time he was given.

Of course speculating about "what if's" is pointless. But we spend so much of our lives doing it - why stop now?

So let's say "The Tackle" never happens or Vanderjact does not miss. The Steelers fall short again. Cowher continues his struggle with retirement - loses focus - 2006 goes down no differently then it did...he retires without that Ring, how is Cowher remembered? What is his legacy then? Hall of Famer then? Probably not (unless he got it done with the next team). Loved by all Steelers fans? Probably not. Instead of Champion it's "he followed in the footsteps of his mentor - played too much Martyball - couldn't win the big one" - you know? The same story we heard so much before Superbowl XL?

I do not discount Cowher's legacy - who he was as a coach and what he means to all Steelers fans. He was the face of the franchise for a lot of good years...and a very positive and upstanding face. It would be great to put these questions in a time capsule and see how it all unfolds 20 years from now... thats like asking what if the rooneys woulda provided cowher with a legitimate qb and he won 4-6 of 6 sb appearances.

how is cowher remembered? keep in mind belichick without brady is just another ex browns or pats coach (dont stretch your brain trying to figure out or remember who those guys are)

Steel Pit
03-15-2007, 04:43 AM
For the most part I enjoyed Cowher's coaching tenure with the Steelers, all of the division championships and playoff games were most exciting.

Granted, Cowher did overachieve when you consider most of the QB's that led his teams but to say that Belichick is basically nobody without Tom Brady is unfair. Belichick DRAFTED Tom Brady! And mind you he drafted him with a freaking 6th round pick. It's not like he inherited the Patriots with an established Tom Brady. So the Belichick comment may be true but it's very unfair.

For the better part of Cowher's coaching tenure he was well aware of the fact, ALONG WITH THE REST OF US, that the Steelers NEEDED a QB. Prior to Roethlisberger, Cowher drafted a few QB's and obviously none of them panned out so chalk one up for Belichick. Many Steelers fans have announced the brilliancy of the Steelers front office for moving up in the draft to snare the likes of Troy Polamalu, or for the acquisition of undrafted free agent Willie Parker, so let's give kudos to Belichick for his draft selections.

I'll also add that Cowher's early success was achieved with approximately 60% of Coach Chuck Noll's draft choices. If you look at the 1992 through 1995 rosters you will find a lot of Noll's players.

Once again the playoff games were most exciting but the outcome of those games was a very-bitter pill to swallow. After the 3rd AFC Championship Game loss I kind of wished that we hadn't even made the playoffs. The playoff losses were that difficult for me to handle. I bashed Cowher for being too D A M N conservative in those games. He coached scared in those games.

In closing I'll say this. During the interview process in 1992, if the Steelers Front Office would have announced that they were considering hiring a coach that would lead us to 8 division championships, 6 AFC Championship games and 2 Super Bowl appearances during his 15 year tenure as head coach, all of us would have said YES, YES, YES, HIRE THAT MAN!

But if they would have added these stats to the equation, two 6-10 seasons along with a 7-9 season, a career 12-9 post season record, loser of 4 out of 6 AFC Championship games, wins 1 of 2 Super Bowl appearances and that Super Bowl win is FIFTEEN (15) years down the road.

All things being considered I believe that I would have said, NO, please consider hiring someone else. PLEASE!

I don't know, when I input Cowher's coaching data into my mind it comes up with 2 words, "Marty Schottemheimer"

http://officialinsidesports.com/articles/2005/11/critical-look-at-two-great-coaches.html

fansince'76
03-15-2007, 05:05 AM
thats like asking what if the rooneys woulda provided cowher with a legitimate qb and he won 4-6 of 6 sb appearances.

how is cowher remembered? keep in mind belichick without brady is just another ex browns or pats coach (dont stretch your brain trying to figure out or remember who those guys are)

Agreed - if we would have had a legit QB, Cowher would have walked away with 2-3 more SB wins, period, end of story. For instance, who screwed the pooch for us in SB XXX? Sorry, but it wasn't Cowher. As far as Brady and Belichick are concerned, I also agree. Living in Denver for the past 11 years, I saw Shanahan being constantly referred to as "the Mastermind" when Elway was still behind center. Since Elway retired in '99, the Broncos have won a grand total of ONE playoff game (after winning 2 SBs back-to-back at the end of the Elway era). I also haven't heard Shanahan being referred to as "the Mastermind" around these parts in quite a while - funny how that works, isn't it? Belichick drafting Brady was a masterstroke, albeit a lucky one - sometimes you win, sometimes you lose where the draft is concerned. The fact remains that Cowher took alot of teams deep into the postseason that would have been lucky to see 8-8 records under ALOT of other coaches.

polamalufan43
03-15-2007, 05:54 AM
I will agree w/ some. I mean, truly I really don't think we will know the answer to this question. We might have an idea, especially if Cowher decides to coach again, but I think there are too many factors that come into play. But my thoughts, I think it was a little combo of both.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

tony hipchest
03-15-2007, 09:54 AM
For the most part I enjoyed Cowher's coaching tenure with the Steelers, all of the division championships and playoff games were most exciting.

Granted, Cowher did overachieve when you consider most of the QB's that led his teams but to say that Belichick is basically nobody without Tom Brady is unfair. Belichick DRAFTED Tom Brady! And mind you he drafted him with a freaking 6th round pick. It's not like he inherited the Patriots with an established Tom Brady. So the Belichick comment may be true but it's very unfair.

short of winning it all every year, therse nothing better than waking up the morning of tha AFC champ game knowing that if your team wins they get to participate in all the hype, drama, and festivities of the superbowl. cowher delivered that 6 times (more than any other team during his tenure). only 25% of the teams in the nfl have even won 1 superbowl during that time so i am glad to be one of those 8.

in retrospect, the odds are that we be one of the 24 teams not to win one, if we could look at cowhers failures and say "no, please consider hiring somebody else." i guess its a glass half full or half empty type of deal.

as for belichick i wasnt really calling him a nobody or slamming him. without brady, i did lump him into a group that has shottenheimer and pete carrol. it could even include sb loser parcells, or the pats coach who lost their 1st sb (was it a white haired guy named macphereson?).

sure he drafted brady (to be a back up), but if drew doesnt get hurt i dont think belichick ever makes the move to rip his starting job away from him. bledsoe may never have been traded for all the high draft picks that have given the pats a great leg up on teams.

19ward86
03-15-2007, 11:48 AM
it was definitaly a bit of both, the steelers have a great organization which makes the players and the coaches good.

abowens
03-15-2007, 12:57 PM
As for Cowher's selection of players, he made his own bed of sub-par talent. It's not just a QB thing. Not only was there O'Donnell and Maddox, but Amos Zeroue, some would say Verron Haynes, Duce and a whole list of other guys that Cowher liked that left us scratching our heads. And Cowher did not find Willie...a Rooney did.

Ultimately, all NFL coaches are quickly forgotten without the coveted trophy and ring. Despite everyone's glowing memories of Cowher (which I also happen to cherish), those memories would not be so glowing if he would have retired after 2006 without the Superbowl XL ring. I don't care what claims are made, Cowher was a shoestring tackle away from going out under the feet of the Steelers Nation. Thankfully, the '06 season is still drowned out by memories of Superbowl XL and he will live on as a legend in our hearts.

coachspeak33
03-15-2007, 01:07 PM
Here are my thoughts on evaluating Cowher and comparing him to the premier coach (Belichick) of his era...
- Cowher is a hall of famer...his SB win solidified what I, at least, already felt was a HOF worthy career.
- Cowher should go down as one of the elite coaches of all time, in terms of his abilities as a motivator
- He had a knack of getting superb play out of ordinary players
- He (and all of his coaching staffs) also did an amazing job of replacing players (typically lost to FA) from within the organization...this happens with good old fashioned teaching and coaching fundamentals...he and his staff made a lot of guys in the NFL rich by teaching them how to play only to watch them leave for greener (as in cash money not necessarily wins and losses) pastures
- Any comparison between Cowher and Belichick is an abo****e joke though...they are not even in the same league...even though they will both go to the hall of fame...hell, marv levy is in the hall of fame but think about it...who gets a better seat at a HOF event, levy or Shula...or Lombardi...or Walsh...or Noll...oh yeah thats right Chuck Noll would never go to an event cause he fell off the face of the earth upon retirement (gosh is it me or is one of the 3 or 4 greatest coaches of all time never seen or heard from? anyways..)
- Cowher is nowhere near Belichick in terms of gameday strategy or adjustments...that was proven in multiple AFCCG, often times with both coaches in question on the field and we know how those matchups ended up
- Belichick is much more creative, and maybe more importantly, flexible with his gameplan and personel on gameday...you dont often see a Belichick coached team beating their head into a wall by running between the tackles against 7 and 8 man fronts...this was a personal fav for "the chin"
- Belichick has lost players over the yrs too...and albeit not nearly as much as Cowher, was asked to replace those starters from within...without the help of FA at times
- Belichick does not want to be considered a players coach and Cowher really enjoyed being that (or at least the perception of being that)
- Belichick made decisions, at a much quicker pace than Cowher, decisions that players may not have liked so well, but it gave the team a better chance to win...and ultimately players want to play for a coach that they think can win them championships
- Belichick would never start a guy solely because he is a veteran...I dont have enough fingers and toes to count how many times the Steelers lost games due to personel/depth chart decisions, where instead of putting the best guy for the job out there, he ran some long in the tooth veteran whom he trusted and/or respected
- Hey that is one way of doing things...but at times it cost us...and the times it cost us was usually in the playoffs, because winning in the playoffs and winning championships comes down to two things...talent and execution of the gameplan prepared by the staff...not motivation, because in Dec and Jan players and coaches on both sidelines are all motivated
- Belichick seems to have the ability to fix problems faster than Cowher did by being flexible...
If NE has issues with special teams...he doesnt run to the media room and scowl and bark about how that will never happen again...instead, he tells starters (who are starters because they are better football players, to play special teams (something a "player coach" like Cowher never likes to do and inspite of over a decade of horrible ST's play he very rarely did...he did it a little in 05...wait, we won the SB that yr...hmmm)
If NE had a problem in goal line situations and needed another weapon in the red zone, Belichick has no problem utilizing the talents of a defensive player (Cowher, on the other hand, had no problem w/ being passive, settling for a FG and putting his D on the field... well, losing your aggressiveness and settling for FG's win regular season games and gets your ass beat in the playoffs)
If NE had depth issues at DB...no problem he simply inserts one of his smartest and best athletes who just happens to be a WR (this creativity and flexibility by Belichick is way too progressive for a self-proclaimed "old school, player coach" like Cowher)...This specific example is not a serious aspect of my argument or thought process but Rod Woodson was one of the top 10-15 premier athletes of any sport on the entire planet...would he have been a better threat as a 3rd and long WR??? Or how about this simple question...did Cowher utilize 100% of Woodson's gamebreaking ability???
- Cowher showed flashes of ingenuity during the early phases of the Kordell experiment...things got bad for Cowher, Kordell, and the entire franchise when Cowher attempted to turn Kordell into a regular quarterback...undeniably absurd...that is about as smart as asking Reggie Bush to be a 25-30 carry RB every sunday...that is not how you fully utilize Reggie Bush and all the talents he bring to the table...you put him in the slot, run him in motion, start him out wide, etc
- An evaluation of how Cowher handled Kordell is even worse now, when you look back at the last 6-7 yrs and Korell couldnt play for anybody...look, there are a TON of bad teams/franchises out there, with bad, bad play at the QB position...this guy when utilized as a weapon and not simply a QB was a league MVP candidate...try to make him a QB only and he apparently isnt good enough to even hold a clipboard on the sidelines on sunday
- Cowher should not accept sole responsibility for the Kordell debacle, but a hefty amount falls at his feet
- Cowher wanted things to be simple and deliberate...and that is okay...it was his philosophy and he won a lot of games...but championships arent won by "out-stubborning" your opponent...at least not anymore...the season is too long...players switch teams too often...a coach must adapt and be flexible to win championships...and IMO there in lies the major difference between Cowher and Belichick...that and a few more Lombardi trophies...a couple of which were won by Belichick at the expense of Cowher himself
- The comparisons to marty are obvious...he is another excellent motivator and teacher of the game
- The evidence of this lies in the fact that at least one team in every franchise marty ever coached reached the playoffs...and coaches who coached recently before and after him at those same places never got over that big hump and reached or won a SB
- As a lifelong steelers fan, SB XL was amazing...but if Cowher were to coach another franchise in a year or two, I would expect very Schottenheimer-esque results...numerous playoff appearances but very little playoff success (he was 12-9 while in Pitt in the playoffs...he has HOF quantity but questionable HOF quality)
- I feel that Cowher will end up in a demanding environment that expects championships...Dallas seems like a logical choice...Phillips has no chance of a long tenure in Big D...way too low key for a franchise who probably reserves a corner office with a view for Chris Mortenson and the rest of the ESPN football crew...I see Jerry Jones throwing a boatload of cash at Bill, trying to get over that SB hump...i dont see Cohwer doing a whole lot better than Parcells did in an environment like that

tony hipchest
03-15-2007, 01:28 PM
whew. take a breath coachspeak. well written and thought out post. i still think 'chick gets a bit too much credit. i guess cowhers stubborness could also be called conventional wisdom that you dance with who brought you there, and you dont abandon what you do best. cowher did that in 97 against denver when jerome was pushing them all over the field. tried to get cute with the passing game and it cost us. i wish he woulda remained stubborn then.

fansince'76
03-15-2007, 02:08 PM
Cowher is nowhere near Belichick in terms of gameday strategy or adjustments...that was proven in multiple AFCCG, often times with both coaches in question on the field and we know how those matchups ended up

The biggest difference between Cowher and Belichick? Simple - Brady, and that's about it. I'm sick of the genius crap - Shanahan was also labeled a "genius" when Elway was behind center as well. He hasn't been quite the genius over the last 8 years since Elway's retirement and the Broncos have managed to only win one solitary playoff game in the meantime. And how many SBs did Belichick win in Cleveland without a great QB? I rest my case.

abowens
03-15-2007, 03:09 PM
I heartily agree that Belichik is no genius. I think the big difference - to borrow in summary from coachspeak - is thinking outside of the box. If you do the same old thing all of the time expect the same old results. Belichik thinks outside the box - Cowher doesn't. I always dreaded the 4th quarter in games where we had a lead of any amount. Cowher's need to burn the clock and sit on a lead took years off of my life - regardless of how effective it was.

I don't think either coach deserves credit where credit isn't due.

coachspeak33
03-15-2007, 05:53 PM
never said belichick was a genius...

just said cowher was a motivator first, fundamental teacher of the game a close second, and a gameday decision maker a distant third...

throughout the cowher years we saw similar holes on many of the "contenders" that lost in the playoffs...even after we would cycle through a group of core players and get back in the hunt again the same problems seemed to get us...

special teams, defensive backfield, holding on too long with veterans while young players sit, mishandling of every QB he has ever had, also, people seem to forget that he had been trying to push Bettis out for 4 yrs before the unbelievable XL run

i hate belichick.. but being realistic about it...right now he is the man u gotta give the guy his due...he won 21 in a row for christ sakes...

was at that game when we broke that streak up by the way...so much fun.

another way of putting it is this if cowher has the better team he has a good chance to win the game.....belichick is so creative with his personel and gameday decisions that when you play him you just have no idea what he is gonna try to do to ya

coachspeak33
03-15-2007, 06:09 PM
The biggest difference between Cowher and Belichick? Simple - Brady, and that's about it. I'm sick of the genius crap - Shanahan was also labeled a "genius" when Elway was behind center as well. He hasn't been quite the genius over the last 8 years since Elway's retirement and the Broncos have managed to only win one solitary playoff game in the meantime. And how many SBs did Belichick win in Cleveland without a great QB? I rest my case.

Having a legitimate QB definitely makes things easier for a coach...agreed...hell, look at what Cowher did when Ben started playing...

but there is a lot more than just QB play seperating Cowher and Belichick....

as far as shanahan is concerned...i agree wholeheartedly...but shanny is no bellichik either...belichick has done it with different players at nearly every position throughout his run...havent seen things belichick is doing in a while....

meanwhile marty is running all over the nfl....what four different franchises...in both confrerences....putting on one hell of a cowher impersonation

fansince'76
03-15-2007, 07:03 PM
throughout the cowher years we saw similar holes on many of the "contenders" that lost in the playoffs...even after we would cycle through a group of core players and get back in the hunt again the same problems seemed to get us...

Yep, and the one constant through most of the Cowher era was the (very noticeable come playoff time) lack of a championship caliber QB, and the one constant through Belichick's run in NE has been Brady. You cannot win SBs in the NFL today without a championship caliber QB, period. The Ratbirds winning it in 2000 and the Bucs winning it all in 2002 are the exception, not the rule....

tony hipchest
03-15-2007, 07:57 PM
Yep, and the one constant through most of the Cowher era was the (very noticeable come playoff time) lack of a championship caliber QB, and the one constant through Belichick's run in NE has been Brady. You cannot win SBs in the NFL today without a championship caliber QB, period. The Ratbirds winning it in 2000 and the Bucs winning it all in 2002 are the exception, not the rule....charlie weiss pretty much backed this statement up today in an interview on sirius radio. :hunch:

Steel Pit
03-15-2007, 11:54 PM
Yep, and the one constant through most of the Cowher era was the (very noticeable come playoff time) lack of a championship caliber QB, and the one constant through Belichick's run in NE has been Brady. You cannot win SBs in the NFL today without a championship caliber QB, period. The Ratbirds winning it in 2000 and the Bucs winning it all in 2002 are the exception, not the rule....


This eventually came to fruition BUT..... There's just no way that you can say that Brady was a "championship caliber QB" in 2001 when the Patriots won their 1st Super Bowl. Heck you probably wouldn't even call Brady a "championship caliber QB" until after the Patriots had won their 3rd Super Bowl.

fansince'76
03-16-2007, 02:18 AM
This eventually came to fruition BUT..... There's just no way that you can say that Brady was a "championship caliber QB" in 2001 when the Patriots won their 1st Super Bowl. Heck you probably wouldn't even call Brady a "championship caliber QB" until after the Patriots had won their 3rd Super Bowl.

OK, so the criteria to be labeled a championship caliber QB is a minimum of 3 rings? I realize that after the 1st SB, Brady was considered a fluke - he proved that assessment to be dead wrong in the years following that. That's what separates him from a QB like oh, say, Kordell Stewart....

Steel Pit
03-16-2007, 04:34 AM
OK, so the criteria to be labeled a championship caliber QB is a minimum of 3 rings? I realize that after the 1st SB, Brady was considered a fluke - he proved that assessment to be dead wrong in the years following that. That's what separates him from a QB like oh, say, Kordell Stewart....

Nope, I didn't say that. I'm just saying that Belichick didn't have a "championship caliber QB" when the Patriots won their 1st Super Bowl in 2001.

The 2nd part of my reply was based soley on my opinion. I'm not going to say that Brady was a "championship caliber QB" in 2001. He hadn't won anything at that point. After the Patriots did win the Super Bowl I still wouldn't label Brady as a "championship caliber QB"

After winning the 2nd Super Bowl I would certainly entertain the thought of calling him a "championship caliber QB" but I wasn't completely sold on him. H e l l the Patriots were winning Super Bowls with game plans and last second field goals.

Now after winning the 3rd Super Bowl I most definitely called him a "championship caliber QB".

I understand that Brady has "always" been a better QB than the likes of O'Donnell, Tomczak, Stewart, and Maddox. Steelers QB's probably cost Bill Cowher at least 2 additional Super Bowl wins but Cowher chose to put them on the field. It was Cowher's responsibility to find a viable option.

It would not have taken a 1st round pick to bring in a viable option. The Steelers had the perfect system for a veteran QB to come in and simply manage victories much the same as Jeff Hostetler, Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson did. These QB's all won Super Bowls with organizations that #1. Played great defense and #2. Possessed a run first approach in their games.

I'm not trying to disagree with you Fansince76. I understand that Belichick has won Super Bowls with a much better QB. Cowher's QB's have STUNK, no doubt about it. I'm just saying that Cowher either didn't have the know how, or simply chose not to do anything to fix the QB problem whether through the draft or free agency.

fansince'76
03-16-2007, 04:40 AM
I'm not trying to disagree with you Fansince76. I understand that Belichick has won Super Bowls with a much better QB. Cowher's QB's have STUNK, no doubt about it. I'm just saying that Cowher didn't do anything to try to fix it.

Yep, I can agree with this point - I don't think 6 years was necessary to figure out that Kordell was not an NFL QB. However, the FO gave Kordell a very big contract after the '97 season, so I think Cowher was limited to a point as to what he could do in that regard. I also think Belichick is a great coach, but I still think he gets a bit too much credit as well. What if Vinatieri would have missed a couple of those kicks? Scott Norwood, anybody?

abgroove
03-16-2007, 06:27 AM
I don't think you could have one without the other. A good coach with a bad ownership team (Marty in DC, Green in Zona) will not be a success. And vice versa. It's true that Cowher had a good team in the background, but the Rooney's had a good coach.

DACEB
03-16-2007, 08:23 AM
cowher was a motivator first, fundamental teacher of the game a close second, and a gameday decision maker a distant third...

I respect Cowher for all he did, but let's take the rose colored glasses off. Let's be real and admit that before Super Bowl XL, after the hugely dissappointing losses in the AFC Championship games at home, you all didn't want to see Cohwer gone.

Please let's be honest and admit that he is a great coach, just like Marty!

coachspeak33
03-16-2007, 09:27 AM
Cowher served his role well...his teaching ability allowed the steelers to remain a competitive, playoff calibar team during a rough era of steelers football...when cowher took over the whole nfl was going through major changes within the collective bargaining agreement, players union issues and the development of modern free agency...before heinz field was built the rooneys were not able financially to acquire players in the FA market...

i love how we steelers fans (myself included) take so much pride in the idea of remaining a winning team while "choosing" not to participate heavily in FA...that contains a bit of revised history...without the psl's and big time sponsorships that come along with new stadiums the rooney's were unable to play ball during the FA periods of the middle to late 90's...

Cowher (and all of his staffs) were able to coach up the young guys and prepare them to take starting jobs after a couple yrs of training and ST's...as a result of teaching middle round draft picks how to be professional football players anyone watching closely could see a huge bond developing between cowher and his players...

that to me is cowhers biggest legacy...his coaching and teaching abililties...unfortunately that is exactly how you get to the playoffs often ....only to fall short just as often...marty does it everywhere he goes...but come playoff time players on both sides are motivated and coached up...

that is the time of year that talent, execution, and scheme wins games...Cowher's playoff scheme's were often way too simplified with little room for adjustments...at least that is how it appeared...and at 12-9 the proof is in the pudding

coachspeak33
03-16-2007, 09:54 AM
Yep, I can agree with this point - I don't think 6 years was necessary to figure out that Kordell was not an NFL QB. However, the FO gave Kordell a very big contract after the '97 season, so I think Cowher was limited to a point as to what he could do in that regard. I also think Belichick is a great coach, but I still think he gets a bit too much credit as well. What if Vinatieri would have missed a couple of those kicks? Scott Norwood, anybody?

As far as the vinatieri point....four words....mike "idiot kicker" vanderjact!!!!!!!!

if he makes that 42 yarder...maybe the folks in canton hold off on asking cowher what size gold blazer he will needing


As far as the QB situation....cowher had been here for 15 yrs and the QB position was a complete joke....HE MUST SHOULDER A LARGE PORTION OF THE BLAME

Cowher won several power struggles throughout his tenure with fellow decision makers (donohoe initially comes to mind) to gain vetoing power over personel decisions...needless to say many of the decisions made during the mid/late 90's and into the early 00's had cowhers fingerprints on them

The QB position was one that seemed to befuddle The Chin every single year...
whether it was choosing whether or not to sign the QB to a long expensive contract,

or it was not being able to provide offensive schemes or surrounding talent that was condusive for successful QB play

or finding a young QB to groom behind the lame duck starter and prepare him for the starting job down the road

Cowher may not have been solely responsible for those decisions .... but at the very least he allowed whoever to make those decisions to convince him they were the right thing to do...

Then there was last season...he was vindicated after SB XL ....he had all the stroke in the world in western pa and especially the offices on the south side leading up to the 06 season...and look what happened

fansince'76
03-16-2007, 10:10 AM
As far as the QB situation....cowher had been here for 15 yrs and the QB position was a complete joke....HE MUST SHOULDER A LARGE PORTION OF THE BLAME

Does he also get the blame for the 10 years between the retirement of Bradshaw and his arrival, when our QB situation was also a mess? Sorry, my bad - I forgot franchise QBs fall out of trees.

coachspeak33
03-16-2007, 10:45 AM
Does he also get the blame for the 10 years between the retirement of Bradshaw and his arrival, when our QB situation was also a mess? Sorry, my bad - I forgot franchise QBs fall out of trees.

fansince76,
i love this kinda dialogue between knowledgable steelers fans!!!!!!
i love the site
this is my feeble attempt to not pis off any fellow members of the nation...ha

nope they (franchise QB's) dont fall out of trees....but Bill Cowher is the one apparently who would sign two guys (stewart and maddox) to franchise QB $$$$....
two guys who are no more franchise QB's than my grandmama is

Look i love the chin....but these are the facts....it happened under his watch....and if you want to be paid the big big coaching dollars (around 7-8 million per season)....then you simply cant make mistakes like that when it comes to the premier position on the team

my guess is the rooney's took this into consideration when thinking of a dollar amount for the coaching services of one William Laird Cowher

did belichick get lucky with brady....sure...but he made his own luck....after all he was the one who drafted brady...
more importantly he didnt hesitate to give the team to brady when he came to the decision that beldsoe simply put, was not "the guy"....
and he didnt get all emotional and sappy about his relationship with bledsoe....
who by the way prooved belichick right by proving to the world that he is not a lock down franchise qb who just poops out playoff wins

cowher on the other hand appeared as confused as a monkey playing with a rubics cube when dealing with the qb issues/debates/contraversies that every nfl head coach must handle effectively...or the team will not succeed

ODonnell, Stewert, Maddox, and Ben were all considered by Cowher at various times during their steelers careers as "franchise QB's"...

they turned down chances at other experienced qb's to come in and replace a very average qb in odonnell (montana and marino are two of the sexier names that over the years have been revealed)...

Cowher goes to the SB and learns first hand that 9 times out of 10 you have to have a legit QB to win...

so what does he do lets odonnell go (rightfully so) only to replace him with a guy that proved to be unable to earn a paycheck as a backup ANYWHERE else in the nfl...all the while allowing the lockeroom to turn into a circus...where the whole world revolves around Kordell's psyche...

then drags his feet in acknowledging that the kordell experiment was a mistake by throwing an insurance salesman out there (maddox)....and suddenly we "upgraded" at the QB position....

Then gets a little belichick-esque draft day QB luck...gets Ben...even though their first choice was clearly Rivers...

more luck for cowher as maddox's injury gives cowher no choice but to play ben...imagine how many more games wwe would have had to suffer through with good old tommy gun at the helm????

more luck....roethlisberger goes in there and completely wills his way to surviving the pro game...only grasping about half the playbook...wins rookie of the year....then a SB...in spite of the same old problems that exist on every cowher-led team (ST's blunders, poor DB play, etc)

and finally lastt year cowher continues his ways of mismanaging whoever is playing the QB position as ben is run out there far too soon, there is no real positive relationship with his 24 yr old SUPER BOWL WINNING QB!!!!

Cowher never had a positive relationship with anyof his QB's (Kordell/Cowher...probably the best working relationship out of them all)....I am not a big fan of any of those QB's except for Ben but dam...they all had beefs with cowher....is it possible for everybody but cowher to be wrong???

cmon...if you want someone, especially the frugal rooneys, to pay you 8 milion a yr for your services, then you have to be ahead of the curve when dealing with QB's

just one other aspect of coaching that cowher should call belichick and beg him for instruction

fansince'76
03-16-2007, 10:56 AM
fansince76,
i love this kinda dialogue between knowledgable steelers fans!!!!!!
i love the site
this is my feeble attempt to not pis off any fellow members of the nation...ha

nope they (franchise QB's) dont fall out of trees....but Bill Cowher is the one apparently who would sign two guys (stewart and maddox) to franchise QB $$$$....
two guys who are no more franchise QB's than my grandmama is

Look i love the chin....but these are the facts....it happened under his watch....and if you want to be paid the big big coaching dollars (around 7-8 million per season)....then you simply cant make mistakes like that when it comes to the premier position on the team

my guess is the rooney's took this into consideration when thinking of a dollar amount for the coaching services of one William Laird Cowher

did belichick get lucky with brady....sure...but he made his own luck....after all he was the one who drafted brady...
more importantly he didnt hesitate to give the team to brady when he came to the decision that beldsoe simply put, was not "the guy"....
and he didnt get all emotional and sappy about his relationship with bledsoe....
who by the way prooved belichick right by proving to the world that he is not a lock down franchise qb who just poops out playoff wins

cowher on the other hand appeared as confused as a monkey playing with a rubics cube when dealing with the qb issues/debates/contraversies that every nfl head coach must handle effectively...or the team will not succeed

ODonnell, Stewert, Maddox, and Ben were all considered by Cowher at various times during their steelers careers as "franchise QB's"...

they turned down chances at other experienced qb's to come in and replace a very average qb in odonnell (montana and marino are two of the sexier names that over the years have been revealed)...

Cowher goes to the SB and learns first hand that 9 times out of 10 you have to have a legit QB to win...

so what does he do lets odonnell go (rightfully so) only to replace him with a guy that proved to be unable to earn a paycheck as a backup ANYWHERE else in the nfl...all the while allowing the lockeroom to turn into a circus...where the whole world revolves around Kordell's psyche...

then drags his feet in acknowledging that the kordell experiment was a mistake by throwing an insurance salesman out there (maddox)....and suddenly we "upgraded" at the QB position....

Then gets a little belichick-esque draft day QB luck...gets Ben...even though their first choice was clearly Rivers...

more luck for cowher as maddox's injury gives cowher no choice but to play ben...imagine how many more games wwe would have had to suffer through with good old tommy gun at the helm????

more luck....roethlisberger goes in there and completely wills his way to surviving the pro game...only grasping about half the playbook...wins rookie of the year....then a SB...in spite of the same old problems that exist on every cowher-led team (ST's blunders, poor DB play, etc)

and finally lastt year cowher continues his ways of mismanaging whoever is playing the QB position as ben is run out there far too soon, there is no real positive relationship with his 24 yr old SUPER BOWL WINNING QB!!!!

Cowher never had a positive relationship with anyof his QB's (Kordell/Cowher...probably the best working relationship out of them all)....I am not a big fan of any of those QB's except for Ben but dam...they all had beefs with cowher....is it possible for everybody but cowher to be wrong???

cmon...if you want someone, especially the frugal rooneys, to pay you 8 milion a yr for your services, then you have to be ahead of the curve when dealing with QB's

just one other aspect of coaching that cowher should call belichick and beg him for instruction

My apologies for the sarcasm earlier, coach - the truth is that Cowher did indeed have his faults. I appreciate your well-reasoned responses as opposed to so many that I've seen that say in a nutshell "Cowher sucked as a coach because I say so!" Know what I mean? And yes, Cowher was NOT worth $8-$10 mil a season as many thought he should get, but IMO, no coach is - that's crazy money.

coachspeak33
03-16-2007, 11:21 AM
My apologies for the sarcasm earlier, coach - the truth is that Cowher did indeed have his faults. I appreciate your well-reasoned responses as opposed to so many that I've seen that say in a nutshell "Cowher sucked as a coach because I say so!" Know what I mean? And yes, Cowher was NOT worth $8-$10 mil a season as many thought he should get, but IMO, no coach is - that's crazy money.

8 million is a lot of dough.....man i couldnt even imagine that much fake money.

but just stop for a moment and think about bellichick coaching some of those cowher led steeler squads!!!!!!!

Yikes....he and his system made willie maginest appear to be charles haley for goodness sakes...
rodney harrison into ronnie lott....
deon branch into cliff branch...
and the fact is EVRY SINGLE NFL TEAM MISJUDGED TOM FREAKIN BRADY...
and luck or not belichick is the guy who got a joe montana clone in ROUND 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Imagine if belichick could got his hands on:
Woodson..in his prime!!!!
Carnell Lake...every bit the player Harrison is....belichick would have valued his versatility far more than chinny-chin-chin
Kirkland, Brown, Lloyd, Greene, Nickerson, Porter...for my money these guys (in their prime) are every bit as good as Willie Miginest (sp?) was during their 3xSB run


God I gotta stop ........ complimenting belichick makes my stomach turn into knots...HA

tony hipchest
03-16-2007, 12:00 PM
i love how cowher always takes all the heat for the qb situation but our beloved rooneys come away squeaky clean. when the rooneys were purging their own super talent was cowher supposed to open his own checkbook to get montana to play his final years with the steelers? and wasnt the steelers biggest blunder of all (other than dumping unitas) passing on dan marino in 83 a personal call by rooney?

its almost amazing we got out of bradshaw what we did, and sad that if the injuries at the end of his career werent so grossly mishandled we mightve gotten a little more.

abowens
03-16-2007, 12:29 PM
This is exactly the kind of dialogue I was hoping to see when I started this thread. I thought we'd never get past the first two pages of throwing rose petals on Cowher's path!

Some excellent intelligent points have been made. I just wanted to say thanks - seriously. This is the only place I have the opportunity to view and participate is such discussions.

I did not start this as a Cowher bashing session either. I just had some of my own questions and wanted to see if anybody else had the same thoughts. I don't think there are many of us, regardless of how many negatives we bring up, that would say "I hate Cowher". On the contrary, like myself, I'm certain most every Steelers fan loved seeing Cowher on the sidelines. At the time he was hired and throuhgout his tenure, there probably weren't many opportunities to obtain a Hall of Fame caliber coach. Just like franchise QB's, they don't grow on trees.

For all his faults and successes, I don't think there is anything wrong with us being greedy in wanting more SB Rings out of his tenure. If making millions and wanting to double that salary is o.k. then it's o.k. for us to want more victories and trophies from said millionaires and to be unhappy when we don't get them.

coachspeak33
03-16-2007, 12:53 PM
here here tony,
Reggie Bush is the ultimate litmus test...old schoolers like Cowher...and apparently, as you pointed out, dan rooney might be the perfect guys to ruin or waste such a unique talent...

just what exactly do you think those guys would do with a dynamic player like bush who simply cant be pigeon-holed or categorized as a traditional RB....

Look around the NFL....the elite difference makers in the league are becoming (more and more) non-traditional hybrid types

WR - Calvin Johnson has everybody salivating cause he runs like a deer and he is 235 lbs...jack Lambert didnt play at 235!!!! Hell our two starting inside LB's (who are pretty good by the way) only way 240

LB - Adalius Thomas was all the buzz this off season... solid solid player...he played snaps this season at every defensive position from DT to S....yes thats right...gamesnaps at safety for a natural DE

DE - guys like freeney and kearse....they are not your fathers defensive ends...these guys are world class athletes capable of versatility, the likes we have rarely seen before...hell jason taylor plays all over the field

TE - this position (maybe more than any other has evolved during the last 3-4 seasons) has freakish athletes like Winslow, Gates, Shockey, Gonzalez, etc. who have the versatility to play out wide, in the slot, or in the backfield as a h-back ...

A lot of blame should go around for the mismanagemnt of the most important position on the entire football team since the middle of Bradshaws career...Cowher was like my grandmother at McDonalds when it came to decisions, especially at QB

my granny would show up at McD's every morning to get coffee and paper...although the menu rarely changed she would struggle mightily to make a decision....every year (until 05) we all knew our QB situation was a mess...but the rooney/cowher "stability and consistentcy" hindered us in solving the most important problem a football organization can face

I better stop, as I am starting to worry about the development of Big Ben...cause as much as i love him....he still has a lot of work to do....

last year he FLAT OUT REGRESSED UNDER COWHER, WHIZ, and WHIPPLE...PERIOD

I look at young coaches llike and Mangeni and Peyton...who arent afraid of the new age in the NFL....where flexibility & versatility arent feared...instead they are actually utilized

I keep saying it....the farther away from last year i get, the more i analyze last year objectively and stop being a "fan".......the more comfortable I feel with the rooneys decision to give Grimm and Whiz walking papers & go with a young guy like Tomlin

In spite of an small concerns i have with rooney's old school mentality....I fully trust them to find an effeective coach to modernize the team....hopefully Tomlin and Colbert work well together

tony hipchest
03-16-2007, 01:33 PM
I keep saying it....the farther away from last year i get, the more i analyze last year objectively and stop being a "fan".......the more comfortable I feel with the rooneys decision to give Grimm and Whiz walking papers & go with a young guy like Tomlin

In spite of an small concerns i have with rooney's old school mentality....I fully trust them to find an effeective coach to modernize the team....hopefully Tomlin and Colbert work well togetherben gets a pass for last year. he woulda done the same under belichick. and if anyone thinks chick wouldnt have started him if he thought he was the best player to win with, they can ask ted johnson.

its almost scary that the rooneys have about the same philosophy in regards to qb's that al davis does. his last 1st round pick was todd marinovich. havent the raiders only taken 3 in the 1st round the past 30 years or something? sounds familiar.

i think the rooneys have decided to embrace the new age with the direction of tomlin, and i think its good. but here is an important question. in the war room who is the captain of the ship? in the past weve always heard the draft and f.a. decisions were 50/50 cowher and colbert. and now its gonna be 50/50 tomlin/colbert. doesnt colbert share some blame? hell our o-line showed it couldnt pass block last year (everyone thinks they were horrible in 2003 because of rotation and injury). we got pulling guards, blocking wr's blocking te's. what about pass protection? it seems like colbert is gonna have to change HIS drafting philosophy and mgmt style. is tomlin really sailing the ship then? or is it (and has been) the rooneys all along?

GBMelBlount
03-16-2007, 11:01 PM
ben gets a pass for last year. he woulda done the same under belichick. and if anyone thinks chick wouldnt have started him if he thought he was the best player to win with, they can ask ted johnson.

its almost scary that the rooneys have about the same philosophy in regards to qb's that al davis does. his last 1st round pick was todd marinovich. havent the raiders only taken 3 in the 1st round the past 30 years or something? sounds familiar.

i think the rooneys have decided to embrace the new age with the direction of tomlin, and i think its good. but here is an important question. in the war room who is the captain of the ship? in the past weve always heard the draft and f.a. decisions were 50/50 cowher and colbert. and now its gonna be 50/50 tomlin/colbert. doesnt colbert share some blame? hell our o-line showed it couldnt pass block last year (everyone thinks they were horrible in 2003 because of rotation and injury). we got pulling guards, blocking wr's blocking te's. what about pass protection? it seems like colbert is gonna have to change HIS drafting philosophy and mgmt style. is tomlin really sailing the ship then? or is it (and has been) the rooneys all along?

All 5 SB victories were with 1st round QB picks. Interesting. Need a strong supporting offense though. Back to Cowher. He wasn't the same last year. He didn't have the verve (sp?) last year. With all the crap we had to deal with 8-8 wasn't that bad. That being said. Turnovers aside, we could have easily won another 3-4 games! Cincinnatti, Atlanta, Oakland, etc. Sorry to babble.

coachspeak33
03-17-2007, 01:48 PM
Fansince76 pointed in out on another post....Franchise QB's dont grow on trees....so when you get one (and i think the Rooney's think they got one in Ben)....you better develop him and handle him with kit gloves....

Something Cowher proved unable to do in 15 seasons with mutliple guys he treated (and allowed the steelers FO to treat them financially) as franchise QB's....Tomzcak was the only QB Cowher treated as a temporary solution...even though that is what most of his QB's turned out to be

Hell look at the Bengals....that organization is currently an abortion....bottom line....
the arrests obviously are embarrasing to them and the NFL, worst of all many of their better players (Henry, Joseph, Thurman, J Smith) are the ones getting busted, they have major injury concerns (Pollack comes to mind), their "vocal leaders" (TJ Housh, #85) are total idiots and not real leaders, their coach is not on the hot seat...but its gotta feel pretty warm anytime Marvin Lewis pops a squat

All that being said...as long as Carson Palmer is standing upright...they are gonna be competetive....that is the feeling of most when it comes to franchise QB's.... cause my guess is more than 65-75% of the teams in the league feel that they DO NOT have a franchise QB