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Old 03-14-2007, 08:16 PM   #1
abowens
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Default Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

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?
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

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Originally Posted by abowens View Post
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.

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.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

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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.

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.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

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.
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

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.
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

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...
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:02 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PisnNapalm View Post
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.

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.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

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Originally Posted by abowens View Post
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.

Quote:

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

Quote:
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.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

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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.
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Reflecting on & questioning Cowher's success...

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
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. 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.
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