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Thread: Cowher calls it quits

  1. #1
    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Cowher calls it quits

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2720242

    Cowher set to quit as Steelers' coach after 15 seasons

    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com



    Ready to end the suspense over his future, and prepared to step aside for at least one season, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher will announce at a Friday news conference that he is retiring after 15 seasons with the team.

    Operating on a timeline established during a Tuesday morning meeting with Steelers ownership, Cowher was originally set to return to Pittsburgh next Monday to reveal his plans. But after driving to his new home in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday, and spending several days with his family there, Cowher apparently decided there was no need to delay a decision that has been one of the NFL's worst kept secrets in recent weeks.

    Cowher apprised Steelers owner Dan Rooney on Thursday afternoon that he had made up his mind and saw no sense in delaying an announcement until next week. The Steelers on Thursday night announced the Friday news conference, which is set for 1 p.m. ET. Although the team did not announce a decision, word of Cowher's resignation was delivered to his assistant coaches.

    The consensus among high-ranking team officials, and sources around the NFL for several weeks, was that Cowher, 49, would retire to spend more time with his family. In fact, it would have been stunning if Cowher had returned from his North Carolina hiatus and announced he was coming back to the team to fulfill the final year of his current contract.

    There has been rampant speculation since last May, when it was revealed that Cowher and his wife had purchased a home in Raleigh that 2006 would be his last season with the team. That speculation was fueled when contract discussions between the Steelers and Cowher's representative failed to produce an extension to his deal.

    It's believed the Steelers offered Cowher a two- or three-year extension that would have raised his salary into the $6 million range at the back end of the deal. Cowher is believed to earn about $4 million per year under his existing contract and some feel he will return after a year away from the game, and having recharged his batteries, and sign a more lucrative contract elsewhere.

    He has been purposely cryptic about his plans but, in a late-season conference call with Carolina-area media, Cowher acknowledged he would resolve his status for the future shortly after the season ended.

    Cowher huddled early Tuesday morning with Dan Rooney and team president Art Rooney II before driving to Raleigh to join his wife and the couple's youngest daughter, who lived there all season. During the Tuesday meeting, Steelers ownership did not attempt to press Cowher for a more expeditious decision on his future, and agreed that he should take some time to deliberate.

    What altered the timetable, which called for a decision next week, is unknown. A source on Thursday night said the Steelers did not force Cowher to accelerate his decision-making process for fear the team might lose some of its own potential in-house candidates to other teams.

    Within the Steelers' inner circle, it had been widely accepted that a decision would come early next week, and that Cowher would likely walk away from the NFL for at least a year. One organizational source said that he felt Cowher "had one foot out the door" as early as last spring. Cowher has conceded that, after the team's Super Bowl XL victory 11 months ago, he considered retirement.

    Once his existing contract with the Steelers expires following the 2007 season, he would be free to seek employment elsewhere. If Cowher exits the game now, many believe he will explore jobs in broadcasting for the 2007 season.

    Typical of Pittsburgh management, the Steelers will allow the situation to play out, and will then react accordingly. Even though the Steelers slumped to 8-8 in 2006, the roster remains a talented one, and the club is capable of a quick rebound.

    For those reasons, and the stability and support of ownership, the Pittsburgh vacancy will be regarded as the plum job of all the current openings. Steelers management is confident it will find a suitable successor.

    In-house candidates almost certainly would include assistant head coach Russ Grimm and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, both of whom are candidates for other current openings around the league as well.

    By making his decision known Friday, Cowher gives the Steelers the ability to talk to some of the assistant coaches currently in the playoffs. The NFL gives teams looking for head coaches until Sunday night to set up and conduct interviews with coaches currently in the playoffs. That could put the Steelers in position to talk to Cam Cameron of the Chargers and Ron Rivera of the Bears among other assistants.

    In his 15 seasons, Cowher has compiled a 161-99-1, including playoff games. Under his stewardship, the Steelers have won eight division titles, earned 10 playoff berths, advanced to the conference championship game six times, appeared in two Super Bowl games and won one.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    Well, I (for one) am actually surprised at his decision. Nevertheless, I wish him the best. He was an awesome coach, and I was glad he stuck around long enough to win us (the Steelers, lol) a Super Bowl. Even with the horrible start we had to the season, he and his staff almost managed to get the team into the playoffs--in the AFC! What a testament to his God-given skills and abilities as a head coach. Hats off to Coach Cowher! Thanks for the memories.

  3. #3
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    What a sad day for fans of high quality, hard hitting football.

    Bill Cowher is the best coach in all professional sports.

    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  4. #4
    Windy City Flyer City of Big Sholdas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    Thanks for the "spitting" moments, and for the high quality fans comment that is a whole other issue I am not going to get into..but he was a great coach and really expressed his feelings to his players...each of the players have something they can never let go...his saliva.
    |Bears 3-5 - Bulls 0-4|Aren't we just on a roll?

  5. #5
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    MSA,

    Have you put any thought into who you'd like his successor to be?

    I haven't put much thought into it, but I know who I want... Dom Capers.

    I want continuity on the defensive side of the ball (3-4, zone blitz). Other than Dick LeBeau, nobody knows the zone blitz better than its co-architect.

    I'm very depressed today.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  6. #6

    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    I think "retire" is an awfully strong word, considering how young he is. I expect him to coach again in the next 10 years.

  7. #7
    Member Moses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    He didn't retire. He resigned from the Steelers organization..He wont coach next year, but he will be back. I can guarantee it.

  8. #8
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    Among other tidbits,

    He clearly did not "retire."

    People close to him said, "It didn't have to end this way."

    The Steelers lowballed him in his extension last summer, and that pretty much sealed this fate.

    Apparently he and Art Rooney II aren't on the best of terms lately.

    The family "motive" is a convenient story, but there's a lot to this.

    In two to three years, he could be back in Pittsburgh making the $$$ he's worth, or somewhere else making the $$$ he's worth.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  9. #9
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    Although I trust the Rooney's to make a great decision, if they don't even interview Dom Capers I'll be dumbfounded.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section19 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    In two to three years, he could be back in Pittsburgh making the $$$ he's worth, or somewhere else making the $$$ he's worth.
    If I had to take a WAG at this, my guess is Parcells has one more season in him - then Cowher can expect a call from Jerry Jones.

    Actually I just kind of hope this because Steelers fans will tie themselves in knots over it.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  11. #11
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    Better there than Cleveland, which has decided to not fire Romeo since Cowher won't be avialable this spring.

    Cowher coaching anywhere other than Pittsburgh is going to be hard to take.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  12. #12

    Default Re: Cowher calls it quits

    Jay,

    I don't think Jim Mora would be all that bad. Junior, that is.

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