Could It Be?
There are a handful of names that come up every year toward the end of the season as teams are failing and coaching changes and rumors inevitably begin. Some of those rumors actually come true. I point to John Gruden coming back to Las Vegas. But there is one name that is gaining a lot of traction this year more so than previous years.. Bill Cowher. And I believe he will come out of retirement to coach my New York Jets. I said what I said.
We don’t really need to point out Cowher’s 149-90-1 record. We don’t really need to point out his 12-9 playoff record. We don’t need to point out his 2006 21-10 Super Bowl win over the Seahawks or his 6 AFC Championships. The biggest Cowher question is can a coach come back after 15 years and win? Spoiler alert, he can. Dick Vermeil did it. Gruden did it. Joe Gibbs did it. Cowher is certainly in that elite level of coaches and there is no reason to believe Cowher is the one that can’t make it happen.
The biggest argument from the nay-sayers is Cowher was a run heavy coach and he wouldn’t adapt well to today’s NFL. I disagree. Cowher has been directly involved with the game as an in studio analyst on The NFL Today and he fully understands how the game is played in 2020. Do the haters really think that Cowher couldn’t adapt and mold a team to work in the Air Raid era? You seriously aren’t paying attention to the game if that is your position.
The next argument is that Cowher would want total control. Again, I disagree. My take is Cowher would be 64 years old in 2021. Sure some coaches would want that level of control over personnel and player decisions, but that mindset shows me a lack of trust a potential coach would have to have with the front office for that to be the case. I’m talking in terms of coaches coming out of retirement. Of course Bill Belichick has that control because of the years he has put in with the franchise in New England, but a coach coming back to the game very likely has different motivations and goals. Not saying it is a constant, but you can’t rule out the possibility. Think for a second here.. Cowher has openly said he loves Joe Douglas. I firmly believe that Cowher would have a mutual respect with Joe Douglas and vice versa and the two would be more than happy to discuss free agency together, discuss the draft together, and I believe Douglas would have no issues letting Cowher select his own coaching staff. I say Cowher would love the opportunity to just coach. Not worry too much about the management level of a franchise. Let Joe Douglas handle that aspect and Cowher train the Jets to finally be a competitive NFL football team. Low pressure, low expectations and the potential to solidify his coaching legacy by turning around a storied franchise who has been plagued by terrible decisions at the ownership level. Terrible coaching. Terrible management. Terrible drafting. Terrible free agent moves. Cowher has the ability to wipe that slate clean.
So, I’ve gone over the legitimate analysis aspect of Cowher’s return, let’s talk about the conspiracy level and long shot takes. First, Cowher’s wife is a BIG Jets fan. Like, bleed green level Jets fan. If there was any team out there to have a wife of a former coach to sign off on coming out of retirement, it’s the Jets.
Second, Boomer Esiason broke this story on his Boomer & Gio Show on WFan. The interesting thing about this point is it has been Boomer himself that kills the Cowher rumors every year. But
this year, all of a sudden, Boomer actually gives validity to the rumors. Why? Does Boomer need clicks? No. Is Boomer not credible? He absolutely is. His story on B&G talked about how Cowher was showing mic’d footage of himself on the sidelines coaching and was very nostalgic. Boomer reported that Cowher said the Jets with the #1 pick, $100M in cap space rolling over the next 3 years, 13 draft picks in the first 3 rounds of the next 3 years, is the absolute most attractive NFL coaching job. Boomer also reported Cowher’s respect and love for Joe Douglas. Factor in that Nate Burleson confirmed all of this the following day after the information broke on the show. It all points one direction folks.
Now, some of you may comment that Cowher came out and said “I have no interest in coaching” and to those people, I will just say let me throw out the actual FULL quote that you’re referring to.. Bill Cowher said when asked about coaching in 2021 in general: “I have no interest in coaching” Then when was asked about the Jets he said: “I have too much respect for the coaching profession to talk about a job that isn’t open, from that perspective, any job that is open, I have no interest in coaching.” That is saying Cowher won’t confirm an interest while a coach is employed because that is disrespectful to the coach and the coaching profession. And he’s correct. But the open jobs right now, the Lions, the Falcons, the Texans… He’s not interested. Reading between the lines though, that says to me that Cowher is NOT ruling out a return to coaching if (and when) the Jets job becomes available.
I have Joe Brady currently as my top coaching choice for my Jets in 2021, but that is only because we don’t have a real confirmation on the Cowher rumor. If we did, I would have Bill at my #1 choice by a mile. No other coach prospect would even be close. I would also bet that if Cowher does, in fact, come to the Jets, we could get an elite OC to come with him. The opportunity for a Joe Brady or an Eric Bieniemy or an Arthur Smith to become part of the Cowher coaching tree and inherit the Jets after the re-retirement would be an amazing opportunity. And on a personal level, I would love to bring the Jets franchise to a point where we are home growing coaching talent similar to the Patriots and having McDaniels waiting in the wings. This could be transcendent for the New York Jets and if true, has my stamp of approval.
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