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Old 10-19-2007, 11:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: 10 years ago: The 1997 Steelers

Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
The decline of that team after 1997 illustrates 2 points: coaching matters and don't let the players dictate hiring deisions.

IMO Kordell's skills and flaws would have been better handled if Chan Gailey would have remained as offensive coordinator through at least 1998.

Instead, Gailey became HC of the Cowboys and Kordell allegedly was given input into the decision to hire the infamous Ray Sherman as O-coordinator. Sherman was so bad that Cowher stripped him of play calling responsibilities before firing him at the end of only one season. Then it was on to Kevin Gilbride trying to turn Stewart into a pocket passer and the team becoming so bad that Cowher almost lost his job after the 1999 season. Whiel Kordell had a very good 2001 regular season, his confidence & mechanics were shot.

A similar inmates running the asylum downward spiral quite possibly would have resulted if Grimm would have been hired over Tomlin.
I think after that 1997 AFC Title game loss and the collapse afterward caused some of the fanbase started to turn against Cowher. My memory still stings over how horrible those late 90's teams were. The offense couldn't move the ball for crap. I remember it getting so bad that Cowher tried Kordell back at the WR position again against Jacksonville in 1999.

Yes, Gailey leaving after '97 was bad, but it was in 2001 that it was finally confirmed that Kordell just didn't have "it". He had a pretty good resurrection year, but he was making the same stupid mistakes he was making in '97. 2001 AFC title game loss vs. Pats ring a bell? For some of you that don't, Korky tossed 3 horrible INT's in that game too.

It just makes me wonder that if Cowher would've stayed after last year, he would've put more time into Ben as much as he did Kordell. But with the latest reports that Cowher DID NOT want Ben in 2004, and with Cowher's supposed habit of scapegoating/neglecting players that weren't "his guys"(Ike Taylor), I would hinge my answer on no.
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