The home of die hard Pittsburgh Steelers fans. It's not just a team, it's a way of life!

Same old, same old.

July 12, 2001 by Steel Phantom

Stillers seal their fate:

Stillers seal their fate:


Today, the Stiller FO, bowing to Coach Cowher�s demand for a contract extension, prolonged his tenure through the 2005 season.This move is solidly in the tradition established here; again, the FO has waged a bidding war against itself and come away with dubious value.Fathomless stupidity; the Head is entering the 4th year of a (5) year deal.During his (last) new deal, the Stillers rolled to a 22-26 mark.Arguably, the trend is upward but that is by no means clear.True, 9-7 is better than 6-10, or 7-9, but it is bad science to predict a trend from a couple data points; it would have been far better to wait and see what happens this season. From �97 thru �99, the Stillers win totals dwindled from 11 to 7 to 6.Maybe 9-7 in 2000 marks a turnabout; maybe 9-7 was a micro-bump on a long-term skid.


Whatever; there would have been no downside to waiting.If the Stillers are rebounding, do the deal; if not, well, Marvin Lewis will be on the market next year and Tony Dungy may be too.Those are defense-minded Pittsburgh guys, just like Das Jaw.�� Perhaps, after the Stillers now certain 2001 Super Bowl season, Coach Cowher would attract some enormous offer; fine, let him go, collect the draft compensation and move on to Marvin.


It could be said that $3M/year is market for a head coach; in fact, ESPN cited Butch Davis and Jim Fassel as having comparable deals.Well, Davis hasn�t coached for even a minute in the NFL; the new Browns� absolute lack of direction clearly has shown that Bill Walsh, not Policy and Clark, was responsible for the 49ers dominance through the 80�s and into the last decade.


Fassel came to the NYG as an offensive guru but in just a couple seasons, fell from that exalted state.Lord Jim was on a ledge last year when he, somehow, managed to cajole his talent-deprived Giants into the Big Bowl.There, they were beaten savagely but, hey, they weren�t really a very good team.Fassel got the most out of his troops and, for that, a very big contract.However, it is worth noting that John Fox and Seth Payton, coordinators on either side of the ball, figured prominently in the NYG rise to near-glory.In mid-season, Fassel handed the O-side reins to Payton and the Giants took off; all year, that Fox-headed Front 7 concealed the fact that the NYG DB couldn�t cover anyone.


In contrast, Coach Cowher goes through coordinators like fat boys eat chips.Maybe, that�s not all his fault but he is the constant factor in a repeating pattern.It may be tough to work with genius but not even his staunchest supporters award Coach that status.Mr. Cowher is not an X/O man; he hasn�t out-coached anyone on any game day since Barry Switzer swayed half-baked across the field in Phoenix and, as an evaluator of talent, well, consider the Stiller drafts since Modrak blew town.���


No genius, no tactician, no talent scout; no, Coach Cowher is, in fact, considered to be a fiery leader.Well, I guess; what is described as leadership looks like bluster to me but, no doubt, some like it like that.I prefer insight from my leaders but it is absolutely clear now, in the reign of Bush the Younger, that IQ is only a minor pre-requisite to ascension.Be that as it might, Mr. Cowher certainly seems to be a stubborn, proud and determined individual.Tempered, those all are considerable attributes but unchecked this is not so.Coach Cowher�s characteristic strengths as a man have doomed the Stillers to a defensive scheme that has been entirely abandoned elsewhere, to an offensive scheme that has been effectively neutralized by the top teams within the division and to a means of talent evaluation that depends more on personal predilection (�Spike returned all my calls�) than any rational look at the league as it is today.�� Famously, Coach Cowher has gotten the most from modest talent; tragically, so long as he stays on the scene, that will be the most we can expect.���

Like this? Share it with friends: