Posted: Thursday January 4, 2007 11:07PM; Updated: Thursday January 4, 2007 11:07PM
Eight Reasons Bill Cowher Is Leaving the Steelers
Frustration with hard-headed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may be one reason Bill Cowher is stepping down as Steelers coach.
1. The Rooneys don't pay. Sure, Cowher could have gotten a nice extension in Pittsburgh, but he wants to be paid like one of the best coaches in the business and it wasn't going to happen in Pittsburgh.
2. His daughters can ball. Two of Bill's daughters play basketball for Princeton and the third is a high school star in North Carolina. As someone who obsesses over his 10-year-old daughter's soccer games, I can understand why Bill wants to see as many of his kids' games as possible.
3. He's tired. When I saw Cowher this summer riding around St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., on a bike with a built-in motor, I knew his energy level wasn't what it should be.
4. It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that ring. Cowher finally has his, which means no one can ever question his credentials. He can take a step back, reassess and plot his next move.
5. His quarterback was driving him crazy. This may be somewhat of an overstatement, but think about it. Cowher told Ben Roethlisberger to wear a helmet. Ben didn't listen. Think that was the only time that happened?
6. Whiz is leaving. Few coaches have hired such impressive assistants year after year, but Cowher, who knows brainy offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is about to get a head-coaching job, wouldn't so easily have replaced his gutsy play-caller.
7. The Steelers are done. Well, maybe not done, but this team will have to revamp to compete for another title. Like Tampa Bay in 2002, the '05 Steelers were so drained after years of trying to reach the top, they didn't have another run in them.
8. The Brink's Truck is on his way. All Cowher has to do is sit back, chill, maybe do a little TV, and his value goes up ... and up ... and up ... and up. Meanwhile, owners like Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones will become more and more desperate for a proven winner and master motivator who can take their franchises to the top. Can you say bidding war?