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83-Steelers-43
06-08-2006, 11:05 PM
Cowher's long-term coaching plans unclear
'I'm just taking it year to year'
Friday, June 09, 2006
Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There is a growing feeling inside the Steelers organization that Bill Cowher may coach one more season or, at most two, and then retire to the $2.5 million home he and his wife bought in Raleigh, N.C., this year.

That sentiment was underscored yesterday with Cowher's answer to a question about whether this might be his final season coaching the Steelers.

"I'm just taking it year to year," he said, reiterating words he first spoke at the NFL meetings in March.

His brief comment came during a press conference yesterday to mark the end of the Steelers' spring workouts. Cowher declined, through a spokesman, to speak further about his future.

That answer conflicts with one he gave two years ago in March just before negotiations began that extended his contract through the 2007 season.

"I have a seventh-grader," he said then, "and I know for at least the next five years, if not longer, I plan on coaching."

His youngest daughter, Lindsay, reportedly left Fox Chapel High School to enroll as a sophomore in the fall in a school near Raleigh, where she will play basketball.

Talks between Cowher's agent, Phil de Picciotto, and Steelers President Art Rooney II have been ongoing to extend the coach's contract, something that has always been accomplished when he has had two seasons left on his deal. It's possible no deal will be struck before the regular season begins and if not, Rooney said talks would then stop until the season ends.

"There's always a chance," Rooney said yesterday. "As you know, he has two years left on his contract. No one's sitting here saying we have to absolutely have something done this year. We can always continue the conversation next year."

Rooney declined to reveal the progress of talks.

"The only thing I can say is we've had some conversations and I expect to have more. The important thing is that Bill's focus is entirely on the challenge of the 2006 football season and that's where it should be."

Asked if he thought this might be Cowher's final season coaching the Steelers, Rooney paused before saying he did not.

"I hate to speculate about things like that, but I would say I would be surprised if this were his last year. I'm sure he's given it some thought at some point about how long he wants to coach. He's at the 15-year mark and that's a long time in this league."

Some members of the organization believe Cowher's decision could hinge on how the 2006 season turns out, but he expressed his desire to possibly retire to at least one person last fall.

Cowher, 49, told an associate not connected with the team last October that he was growing tired of the grind of coaching professional football and might soon retire. It was about the time that he and Mrs. Cowher picked out their new home in North Raleigh, near where his wife grew up. When news of their purchase of the 7,400-square foot home broke in March, it stunned most in the organization. The Cowhers also own a summer home on Bald Head Island, N.C., and the first home they bought when the Steelers hired him in 1992, in Fox Chapel.

There was at least one television report that Mrs. Cowher and Lindsay would move to Raleigh and that Cowher would "commute" when he could, a difficult task for an NFL coach during a season that includes seven-day work weeks from late July to, in the Steelers' case this year when they won the Super Bowl, early February. Cowher's eldest daughter Meagan will be a sophomore at Princeton University and his middle daughter Lauren is enrolled there as a freshman and will play basketball.

Before the Steelers won the Super Bowl, Cowher said it was the one void in his coaching career that he had yet to fulfill. He is the longest-tenured coach in the league with one team. His record of 141-82-1 in the regular season ranks third among active coaches in victories and 14th in NFL history.

"We would hope that he continues to coach for a good while," Rooney said.

If he does retire in the next year or two, assistant head coach Russ Grimm or offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt would be strong candidates to succeed him. Both have been candidates for head coaching jobs in the NFL.

Other successful coaches have retired at early ages, although many later returned. Dick Vermeil retired after seven seasons as Eagles coach at age 46, only to return to coaching 15 years later in 1997. Bill Parcells left the New York Giants at age 49 after winning two Super Bowls, returned three years later to coach the Patriots and Jets for seven seasons and retired again after the 1999 season. He came out of retirement once more in 2003 to coach the Cowboys, where he enters his fourth season. Joe Gibbs retired after the 1992 season at age 52 after coaching the Redskins to three Super Bowl victories and returned to coach them in 2004, after he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Cowher could coach another season or two, "retire" for a few years and, if he wanted, be in high demand as a coaching candidate in his mid-50s.

Asked yesterday what he might do in retirement, Cowher said, "That's a good question. I wouldn't be able to talk to you guys. I'd miss you guys. That's why I'm still here."

Two years ago he said that he loved competing and that he would miss coaching. "Besides that, I'm not sure what I would do with myself. It's something that I love to do . . . I don't foresee taking a break anytime soon, to be honest with you."

He said in March 2004 that when his youngest daughter became a senior and only he and his wife were left at home, "maybe at that point what I need to do is sit back and reassess where I'm at."

That evaluation seems to have begun earlier.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06160/696888-66.stm

MattsMe
06-08-2006, 11:09 PM
Say it ain't so Bill, say it ain't so!

Ohio Steeler
06-08-2006, 11:10 PM
Say it ain't so Bill, say it ain't so!

he will be here for a long time I dont see him going anywhere at all

tony hipchest
06-08-2006, 11:18 PM
call me selfish but bill needs to hire his wife a good looking cuban gardener, find him a sweet young misteress in pittsburgh, and focus on football.

SteelShooter
06-08-2006, 11:19 PM
Say it isn't so! But then........could this be why Ken Whisenhunt stayed in Pittsburgh????

Ohio Steeler
06-08-2006, 11:20 PM
call me selfish but bill needs to hire his wife a good looking cuban gardener, find him a sweet young misteress in pittsburgh, and focus on football.


I like that idea lets send it to him

MattsMe
06-08-2006, 11:24 PM
I like that idea lets send it to him

Of course, we'd have to test her first.

pitt
06-08-2006, 11:27 PM
This doesn't sound good. I want him around for a long time.

Ohio Steeler
06-08-2006, 11:29 PM
Of course, we'd have to test her first.
:tt: you know it :cheers: :yummy:

OX1947
06-08-2006, 11:43 PM
Excellent mind game on the Steeler org. Play the game so the steelers get scared and give him a 6 mil a year contract. C'mon, if burnout was an issue, it would have happened after 10 years. He has total control of his position, no stress as far as job security. I think Bill coaches at least another 6 year and hopefully wins 2 or 3 more titles....

clevestinks
06-09-2006, 03:55 AM
Isn`t it all our dreams to retire by the age 50, if not sooner? I do not want him to ever retire, but that is selfish, if I could attend every game of my daughters and not every have to worry about cash, IM THERE! Just the fact that he is pulling his daughter out of Pittsburg to go to school in NC says something, because on the one NFL show he talk about never missing thier games. I think he will ride off into the sunset. If he leaves thats fine, as long as he doesn`t go to another team, if he bails on us for another team, i`ll be pissed!

Atlanta Dan
06-09-2006, 07:39 AM
I bet Cowher is soon to be gone.

The hours coaches put in during the season, on winning and losing teams, are insane. Having finally achieved the peak after all the agonizing near misses of the last 10 years (as Cowher now has), there has to be an assessment of whether this is all you want to do with the rest of your life.

I believe the main thing holding Cowher back is that he knows he has (for him) the best job in coaching and that once he gives that up any return to coaching will be a poor substitute for his current situation.

Big D
06-09-2006, 08:42 AM
whats funny about this is that i posted a blog on here about a couple months ago saying i could see him retiring and everybody thought i was nuts. Look at it like this though. We arent the raiders if he does quit i think we could get alot of big names from outside the organization. Even maybe somebody in the college ranks

Atlanta Dan
06-09-2006, 08:51 AM
Since any Cowher retirement in the next several years will be voluntary rather than due to poor performance, I assume any replacement will be from within the organization.

However, there is something to be said for making a clean break with the past and hiring from outside the organization (e.g. - when the Steelers went with Cowher rather than with what (unfortunately) would have been a terrible choice if Joe Greene had been hired as HC in 1992).

My main concern is that after having had only 2 coaches since 1969 the Steelers are well past due for a clunker of a head coach selection. Hopefully the Steelers will repeat in 2006and Cowher will be compelled to return to seek a threepeat in 2007.

Big D
06-09-2006, 09:19 AM
i'm sure i'm going to get called stupid for this suggestion but here me out. I think if cowher does retire kirk lafrentz would be a great replacement. He comes from the belichick family and hes a great young coach. I would just hate for us to go with one of our old fo's like hasslett or mularkey.

83-Steelers-43
06-09-2006, 09:22 AM
IMO, Whiz is going to be the man. Cowher and LeBeau are in the process of molding him into a HC.

Big D
06-09-2006, 09:38 AM
says who

83-Steelers-43
06-09-2006, 09:39 AM
says who

Nobody, it's just my opinion in which I thought I stated very clearly. :lost:

clevestinks
06-09-2006, 09:47 AM
whats funny about this is that i posted a blog on here about a couple months ago saying i could see him retiring and everybody thought i was nuts. Look at it like this though. We arent the raiders if he does quit i think we could get alot of big names from outside the organization. Even maybe somebody in the college ranks
I don`t know if we go after a big name, and especially NOT a college coach! How often has a former college coach won the superbowl? Only maybe Jimmy Johnson!

Big D
06-09-2006, 09:59 AM
I agree with that. The fact of the matter is many college coaches fail at the nfl level. Spurrier and Erickson just to name two. However you have to remeber where lafrentz roots are they are from belichick. Let me ask you all a question who would you rather have coaching the steelers Nick Saban or whiz?

tony hipchest
06-09-2006, 10:07 AM
id take whiz or grimm, lebeau (i think hes to old to wanna be a head coach though) and maybe even darren perry over saban. these guys know steelers football.

Big D
06-09-2006, 10:14 AM
did cowher know steeler football when he took it over?

83-Steelers-43
06-09-2006, 10:32 AM
Personally, I would rather have a guy that has been in the organization for a while, learning from the likes of Bill Cowher, Dick LeBeau and Russ Grimm. While I'm not stating Whiz is ready just yet, I think by the time Cowher retires he will be ready.

Big D
06-09-2006, 10:40 AM
so how do you feel about russ grimm he seems to be a hot canidate anytime a position opens up

Haiku_Dirtt
06-09-2006, 01:10 PM
call me selfish but bill needs to hire his wife a good looking cuban gardener, find him a sweet young misteress in pittsburgh, and focus on football.

Tony I'm almost positive we exchanged ideas on this topic only a few weeks ago.

That is when I brought up the comments by Joey and Ben which came months apart and it perked my interest. Joey made strong references to 'Richard LeBeau' and why not. Respect. But then Ben on his 'Euro Tour' made reference to Whiz as "coach" The commentary between the lines is telling.

Jack Lambert and Bill Cowher have alot in common. They have an aspiration for their daughters game (remember that recent Lambert interview). Ironic.

EXIT STRATEGY!

Cowher has lived the last decade with the title of the guy who can't win the big one. And some in Steeler Country should reflect on that shortsightedness. Just the mere fact he his still an NFL head coach is somewhat miraculous.

But Cuban gardeners and hotties in hotel rooms can be found 24/7. If you are a family man watching your kids excel is well (what's the overplayed Visa commercial) I guess priceless.

The newest Rooney at the helm seems to want to put his stamp on the papers. I think they (Cowher, Rooney, Rooney, etc) are all on the same page. And the next Steeler head coach is already working for the Black and Gold.

Door No.1. 'Richard' LeBeau. At his age the horizon isn't long enough for a long tenure. Pray he's in BnG as long as he can breath.

Door No.2. Russ Grimm. He will be a NFL head coach somewhere, sometime. I don't know if there is a job for him in between O-line coach and head coach - not sure if he is a offensive coordinator. Cracking the whip yes.

Door No. 3. Ken Whisenhunt errrr Boy Wonder. We all chimed in on the "Who do we keep - Ben or Troy? Plenty of love for Troy but it was unanimous. And the more Ben and the Whiz become joined at the hips the more irreplacable the Whiz becomes. And from what I can tell Rooney Jr. Jr. might think this is his guy.

I can't think of anyone else on the planet to coach the Steelers right now. Cowher is plenty young enough to get sick of girls basketball for the next 5 -6 years and re-enter the NFL with either a southeastern franchise (John Fox may be unemployed by then) or maybe a new gig in LA with a stake in ownership. A stake in ownership won't be proffered up for a Steeler HC in my lifetime and I'm in my 30's.

I've done a 180 on this. I'm betting the exit strategy is in place and the question is not if but when. This is Cowher's last year as Steeler HC.

OneForTheToe
06-09-2006, 01:25 PM
I think most Steelers starters are signed for two years. Cowher has two years left on his contract ...... seems to make sense to me.

As far as a replacement (similar to what others have said) , while the Rooneys have went outside the organization for an unknown coach the two past times, in both those cases the team was in a horrible state. Presumably, the steelers would still be pretty good if cowher does leave next year or the year after. So, maybe they will stay within org., or go for a better known coaching commodity.

hi by the way.

:cool:

Ambridge
06-09-2006, 05:16 PM
Door No.1. 'Richard' LeBeau. At his age the horizon isn't long enough for a long tenure. Pray he's in BnG as long as he can breath.

Good God......NO!!!!! LeBeau is plain and simple a great D-Coordinator and that's where that should STOP!!

Door No.2. Russ Grimm. He will be a NFL head coach somewhere, sometime. I don't know if there is a job for him in between O-line coach and head coach - not sure if he is a offensive coordinator. Cracking the whip yes.

I agree. Grimm is a good disciplinarian and a better offensive line coach but after that what he can do as a head coach can be a little scary to speculate.

Door No. 3. Ken Whisenhunt errrr Boy Wonder. We all chimed in on the "Who do we keep - Ben or Troy? Plenty of love for Troy but it was unanimous. And the more Ben and the Whiz become joined at the hips the more irreplacable the Whiz becomes. And from what I can tell Rooney Jr. Jr. might think this is his guy.

Anyone who would suggest letting go of the likes of a franchise QB like Ben in order to keep Troy Polamalu should have their head examined.
Sorry Troy!!!........Ben will get the blank check and you'll unfortunately get the open door.
IMO Whiz has to be the early favorite.

Cowher is plenty young enough to get sick of girls basketball for the next 5 -6 years and re-enter the NFL with either a southeastern franchise (John Fox may be unemployed by then) or maybe a new gig in LA with a stake in ownership.

I can see Cowher being the new Panthers HC in about 5-7 years.

clevestinks
06-09-2006, 05:29 PM
id take whiz or grimm, lebeau (i think hes to old to wanna be a head coach though) and maybe even darren perry over saban. these guys know steelers football.
I don`t know if Steelers football can be coached by an offensive coach??????

Black@Gold Forever32
06-09-2006, 06:04 PM
Well I don't want to see Bill Cowher retire early either. He is the only coach I know for the Steelers. I remember Chuck Noll's last few years. But Cowher is the coach I grew up with and thats rare in pro sports these days for coaches to last as long as Cowher has lasted. But if the man wants to retire to spend more time with his family. I say Bill thank you for the great job you did as our coach.

There will never be another Bill Cowher thats for sure. But the Steelers do have some very good coaches waiting in the wings if Bill does retire in a year or two. I don't think Steelers fans ever thought anybody could fill Chuck Noll's shoes when Noll retired. I'm not saying Cowher is as a good coach as Noll. But I think its safe to say that Bill Cowher not only met every Steelers fans expectations. But Cowher also kept up the standard set by those great teams that Noll coached.

tony hipchest
06-09-2006, 06:17 PM
I don`t know if Steelers football can be coached by an offensive coach??????darren perry has played under lebeau, and has had 2 excellent seasons working with a young secondary, coaching under lebeau. i know nothing of his organizational skills or his capabilities to be a leader of men and fire them up but if theres anybody absorbing the zone blitz it is him. he could be the next eric mangini type to jump quickly into a h.c. job, especially if another team is emnamoured with the zone blitz. i cant even speculate how good linebackers coach butler would be as a head coach. lebeau seems and sounds pretty content to let bill do all the dirty work, while he can just focus on the x's and o's. i wonder if his bengals experience has soured him on being the big cheese.

tony hipchest
06-09-2006, 06:28 PM
EXIT STRATEGY!



I've done a 180 on this. I'm betting the exit strategy is in place and the question is not if but when. This is Cowher's last year as Steeler HC.very thought provoking post. other than winning the ring of course, cowher has achieved the pinnacle in coaching. he has assembled a perfect staff and team that can almost fly on autopilot. he no longer has to try to micromanage dc and oc. all those duties are in good hands, which is a true testament of a great coach.

i dont think he is gonna retire, but if theres any time he could and know he was leaving the kingdom in great hands, that time would be now with whats in place. something he and colbert built.

clevestinks
06-09-2006, 07:55 PM
darren perry has played under lebeau, and has had 2 excellent seasons working with a young secondary, coaching under lebeau. i know nothing of his organizational skills or his capabilities to be a leader of men and fire them up but if theres anybody absorbing the zone blitz it is him. he could be the next eric mangini type to jump quickly into a h.c. job, especially if another team is emnamoured with the zone blitz. i cant even speculate how good linebackers coach butler would be as a head coach. lebeau seems and sounds pretty content to let bill do all the dirty work, while he can just focus on the x's and o's. i wonder if his bengals experience has soured him on being the big cheese.
I was curious about Perry myself, since Cowher was hired Rooney has been head of the minority coaching program, so I think he may feel as if he should have a minority coach

Atlanta Dan
06-09-2006, 09:37 PM
I was curious about Perry myself, since Cowher was hired Rooney has been head of the minority coaching program, so I think he may feel as if he should have a minority coach

Good point about the Rooneys being under pressure to give serious consideration to diversity in the hiring process if Cowher retires.

However, the standard career path is to be a coordinator before being considered for HC, so I assume that makes it premature for Perry to merit any serious consideration.

Santonio4
06-09-2006, 09:47 PM
Bill wont go no where!

Ohio Steeler
06-10-2006, 10:15 AM
Bill wont go no where!


oh the day will come when he does lets just hope it is not for a few more years

BB2W
06-10-2006, 01:45 PM
Today, Cowher answered those questions.

?I said this: when I say year to year, it's not just this year,? said Cowher. ?I coached last year that way too, and I have to be fair to myself and to my family, and also to the Pittsburgh Steelers. So, I've been in that mode, that mind set. I love doing what I'm doing? love to coach? very excited about the upcoming season. I don't have a timetable. If I did, I would say that. I don't think people should rush to this, and make any conclusions, but I'm not going to make any long-term forecast. That's just who I am and how I'm approaching it. But like I said, I'm excited about this upcoming season.?


link: http://kdka.com/local/local_story_160155244.html

CowherLover
06-10-2006, 03:32 PM
It's gonna suck when he does leave, hopefully it won't be for another decade or so. Wisenhut did turn down the HC spot,albeit in Oakland so who could blame him, interesting though. Alright, I'm ignoring this thread due to the potential risk of depression.

StillerPaul
06-10-2006, 06:52 PM
If Bill decided to retire within the next year or two, it wouldn't bother me so long as Whisenhunt is the heir apparent.

SteelCityMan786
06-10-2006, 09:41 PM
COME ON BILL STAY. YOU CAN GET THE ONE FOR THE OPPOSABLE THUMB. Coach Cowher after this year is up ONE MORE YEAR! ONE MORE YEAR!

SteelerzGirl
06-11-2006, 08:36 PM
Sometimes a duck is just a duck, and I'm not going to try and read anything into what Coach Cowher has said about this issue other than what he actually has shared. I think he is going to take things year by year simply because he doesn't know what will be happening in his personal life, if he will start to burn out, etc. If everything goes well, I'm sure he will be with the Steelers for many years to come.

Black@Gold Forever32
06-11-2006, 08:42 PM
Well I don't want Bill Cowher to retire also. But he isn't going to coach forever. But if does retire in a year or two. The Steelers do have some young and talented coaches on our current staff that could be a head coach one day. Another question to ask what about when coach LeBeau retires. He isn't getting any younger. But I like Darren Perry to be the next Defensive cordinator. He has played and coached under LeBueau's system. So he has great knowledge about our 3-4 blitz scheme.