Not according to Mike Holmgren. Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column on SI.com reports Mike Holmgren, Cleveland Brown team President, says Cowher, “wasn’t ready to come back and he was very honest about it.”
That is a huge statement coming from a guy like Holmgren. Mike Holmgren is an immensely respectable coach and person of football operations. And because of that I’ll ignore his jaded past with Cowher of being the guy on the other sideline who whined and cried when the Steelers won the one for the thumb – possibly influencing his thoughts on Cowher? But if Holmgren didn’t think Cowher would be a great fit for the Browns, I don’t think he would even bother talking with him. Needless to say, Cowher with the Browns doesn’t seem like an option in the near future.
Looking Into the Crystal Football
Will Cowher ever be ready to come back? It seemed as though he was poised to come back into the league as early as last year with all the continued rumors floating around. But with Kaye’s death only seven months behind him, does Cowher have the drive and passion for coaching to take the reigns of a new team – especially one like the Browns who clearly still have a couple years of rebuilding to do. It’s clear that he is a true family man as he left the Steelers back in 2007 for his daughters. That’s 5 years removed from the coaching world.
At a .623 win percentage (.571 in the playoffs) Cowher ranks 13th in all-time winning percentage (Holmgren ranks 17th). Cowher was always surrounded by good personnel on both sides of the ball. Not wanting to take anything away from his achievements, but his personnel had a big factor in the Steelers’ success during his tenure. Where Cowher’s biggest strength resided was in his passion and intensity on the sidelines. I always felt that Cowher’s job was to stick out that chin and control the emotional side of his players. It’s interesting to compare Cowher ‘then’ to Tomlin ‘now’. I feel that Tomlin’s role with the Steelers is very similar. Tomlin alluded to that in an interview with Fox for part of their Super Bowl XLV pre-show. Asked why he always appears to be calm, Tomlin said that players are very emotional men and that his job is to manage those emotions. I think Cowher was the same way, and that is how the Rooney’s built their football team.
With all that in mind, is Cowher ready to be the one to manage the emotions of players? To fire them up at the most critical time or to stick out that chin of disapproval to get the team to dig in and focus on a 4th and goal stance? Are the Browns (or any team) built in a way that they have a good supporting staff of coordinators and coaches to help him be successful?
Perhaps he’s not ready as Holmgren says. And that’s just fine. I would rather Cowher not pull a Jimmy Johnson or Tuna and come back only to flame out a couple years into it because he realized what we all already knew. I loved Cowher for who he was when he was, but it just seems like the broadcast desk is the best place for him now. In fact, I think he’s one of the better player/coach turned broadcaster out of all four shows. He has passion in what he talks about and has some really nice segments for CBS.
So what do you think Steeler Nation? Would you like to see Cowher coach another team? Or stay behind the desk?