Former Super Bowl winning coach and current CBS analyst Bill Cowher hasn’t been on an NFL sideline since 2006.
The 55-year-old coach may break that near seven-year streak, as he’s been linked to both the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears head coaching jobs.
After letting Andy Reid go after 14 seasons, Philadelphia is reportedly looking at a number of coaches, with Cowher being one of the biggest names supposedly on the market.
ESPN reported Wednesday the Eagles are very interested in Cowher, who ended a 25-year Super Bowl drought for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. However there was a conflicting report from CSN Philadelphia that suggested the Eagles are not considering Cowher.
One question for Cowher might be his allegiance to Pittsburgh. He’s been removed from Steeler Nation for the better part of a decade, but Pittsburgh fans could use it as a reason to tarnish Cowher’s legacy.
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Like many of Pittsburgh’s teams, Cowher focused on defense and rushing the ball. Philadelphia had the ninth best pass defense in the league, but had trouble against the run, and was only 25th in sacks this season. Running back LeSean McCoy is already one of the league's best rushers, and could benefit greatly from Cowher's emphasis on a ground game.
Cowher does have a history in Philadelphia. As a player, he spent three of his six pro seasons with the Eagles, playing mostly special teams.
The Bears are another top organization that fired a long-standing coach in Lovie Smith, and are a big enough market with a rich history that could lure Cowher out of the studio.
Chicago penned their troubles on offense to Smith’s firing, but bringing in Cowher may not be the best idea. The Bears had one of the best defense’s in the league this season, and Cowher could maintain that production, but he’s never been paraded as an offensive minded coach.
Cowher will have to help Bears quarterback Jay Cutler improve, but does have a talented rusher in Matt Forte and one of the best receivers in the NFL in Brandon Marshall, who was third in receiving yards and tied for second in receptions this year.
Though it has not been reported, the Buffalo Bills could be an excellent fit for Cowher. They sport two top running backs in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, and their defense vastly underperformed this past season, despite guaranteeing $50 million to defensive end Mario Williams.
Cowher spent 15 seasons with Pittsburgh, amassed a 149-90-1 regular season record, and went 12-9 in the playoffs. He was named AP Coach of the Year in his first season, and led the Steelers to two Super Bowls, and six AFC title games.
Cowher originally left the Steelers to spend more time with this family. When he resigned, Cowher made no mention of retirement, which could factor in media reports linking him to teams every offseason.
Bringing in Cowher will not be cheap. He was reportedly earning more than $4 million a season during his last years in Pittsburgh.