Cowher could resign, says PG
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (see http://www.post-gazette.com/sports_headlines/19991127cowher2.asp) reports that "several reports in various media have speculated this week that he will resign at the end of the season either to take another coaching job or pursue a position in television."
I have been down on Cowhead, ever since midway thru the '98 season, when it was readily apparent that his head was not into the sport the way it had been in previous seasons. If this speculation does come true, I won't be overly upset. This current version of Bill Cowher --- who is not the same guy AT ALL, as to the pre-1998 version --- is doing nothing but throwing an anchor around the neck of a solid but unspectacular football team.
Cowher's demise can be traced back to the ludicrous extortion ploy in March 1998, when he hired a big-profile agent and threatened to jump to Cleveland if his salary wasn't raised. He was already under contract, mind you, but Cowhead pulled this extortion ploy, and it worked. However, the big money clearly changed Cowhead. He has been a shadow of his former self, far more resembling his hero and father, Marty Shottenheimer.
The epitome of Marty's Jr.'s ineptitude was the Detroit game last year. Detroit scored, and after the PAT, the Steelers were assessed a penalty, which got tacked onto the KO. The Lion kicker (Hanson) had been BOOMING the ball all day -- high AND deep. Nevertheless, Marty Jr. got this wild hair and decided to try a reverse, despite the hard facts that this would be the WORST time to try a reverse. NOT ONLY THAT, but David Dunn was the player who practiced the reverse, but he had a small cast on his hand, and told the coaches during the TV timeout that he could not execute the handoff. So, with the odds now 1,000,000 to 1 that the reverse would work, Marty Jr. --- rather than scrapping the reverse and going to work against the NFL's 19th-ranked defense --- INSISTED on doing it anyway. He sent Huntey in --- a man who'd never practiced this play in practice. The result, of course, was a hideous fumble; and the Lions got an easy score. This was unquestionably one of the worst piece of coaching in the history of the NFL.
It got worse, however. Deep in Lion territory --- down by 3 --- we called a pass play on 1st down, and the ball was nearly INT'd. As he recalled later, Field Goal Bill stated, "I got SCARED", and he then played turtle, plunging Bettis twice into the line and kicking a FG. This, against 1 of the weakest D's in the NFL.
I've spent considerable space here this season, spotlighting the mulestubborn stupidity of Bill Cowhead. I won't go over that in great details, but in a nutshell:
- Refusal to START Troy Edwards, instead insisting on the veteran mediocrity of Hawkins (ZERO touchdowns) and the mediocre results of Hines Ward.
- Refusal to give more rookies PT, to include 6-5" Malcolm Johnson, RB Amos Z., and OLB Joey Porter, who was been a demon on spec. teams, by the way.
- Supposedly, Marty Jr. gave Gilbride a free reign to do whatever he wanted to do with our offense, as opposed to last year, when Sherman was told to fit his ideas into our offense. So, what's the result? A '99 offense that is such an exact copy of the '98 offense, that Xerox is going to use them as an example in an upcoming TV commercial.
- Asked about his 28th ranked KO return, FGB (Field Goal Bill) stated that "We are not dissatisfied with the play of Will Blackwell or with Troy Edwards returning", and he had no plans to try Amos in that role.
- Hines Ward, the do-it-all RB/QB/WR from Georgia, was supposedly drafted with a chance to fill in a "slash" type role. In over 1 1/2 seasons, Ward has thrown exactly 1 pass and has carried the ball as a RB once.
It's also becoming apparent that Marty Jr. was simply the recipient of the personnel handed over to him by Chuck Noll. Look at Marty's best years --- 1994 and 1995 --- and who led the way?? Rod Woodson, Greg Lloyd, Neil O'Donnell, Dirt Dawson, Barry Foster, and John Jackson. Cowher has done an overly poor job of grooming replacements and getting the biggest bang for his buck in terms of player usage, talent evaluation, and so on.
Yes, at this rate, it is indeed time for Marty Jr. to step down and join his father, Marty Shottenheimer, in the broadcast booth. This is not to say that we'll get a better coach. We might; we might not. However, given the nature of the post-'97 Cowher, there is no sense continuing on in this manner. Cowhead's head is clearly not where it needs to be, and for the 2d straight year he's doing a pitiful job using his resources to their fullest potential. Insanity is stubbornly trying the same thing over and over, expecting to get different results. Clearly, Cowhead has reached this level of being, and we should not follow him into that abyss by stubbornly expecting different results.
See ya, Field Goal Bill. Enjoy those millions that you extorted from the Rooneys. See how popular you will be in Pittsburgh now, ya pompous, mulestubborn clod.
The Still Mill