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The Case For Cowher

There are definitely some people in this building who believe that Cowher fits the bill for what Snyder would be attracted to. Had a couple of people tell me that this makes a lot of sense to them. Now, as I mentioned earlier Cowher would want full roster and personnel control and probably want to bring some of his own people in as well on that side of things, and it could mean that someone like Vinny Cerrato got shifted to more of a consulting role as well.

But I spoke to a source who knows Cerrato well who said he believes it will be Bill Cowher. He thinks that Cowher will get the keys to the kingdom and become the first $10-million coach, or in that range. "He's going to want the power Parcells had in Dallas," the source said. "Cowher's going to want to shop for the groceries. He lives in North Carolina, that keeps him pretty close to his home. I think that's where this thing is going."

Given the heavy powers that someone like Cowher would hold, he would likely get a title similar to what Gibbs had, and thus that would continue to render a GM moot in the management structure.

So, from what I can gather so far, and we're way early in this process, Williams and Cowher are the names to watch. People around the league have told me that Snyder and his people soured on Gregg after the 2007 season - it's usually hot today, not tomorrow around here - and were somewhat lukewarm at midseason, but became big fans again down the stretch, particularly after the Minnesota game. Still, these guys think indications point toward Cowher.

Bill Cowher is without a doubt the biggest fish out there, and has a Super Bowl on his resume to boot, and that's usually who they target around here.

THe NFL has rules mandating that teams interview minority candidates for these openings, which means the process generally takes some time even if club's essentially have made up their mind on a candidate. Greg Blache, the Redskins' defensive coordinator, has much expereince at the coordinator level, would fit that description, but he also has no head coaching aspirations, sources said, and has been mulling retirement himself for some time. So I don't think he would want to be a part of any dog and pony show; that's the opposite of Greg's style.

By Jason La Canfora  |  January 8, 2008; 11:22 AM ET
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Posted by: 4thFloor | January 8, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Dick Vermeil has a super bowl, too, and several of the coaches on staff were with him in St Louis. It would make a lot of sense. So would Russ Grimm.

Letting this staff go would irreparably harm this team for three-four years.

Cowher is NOT a fit for the Redskins. They'll need a GM first -- Mr. Casserly is available -- and then a coach.

Williams might work well in Atlanta or Baltimore; not sure if he's a head coach type. And please, NOT Al Saunders.

Posted by: dsda3731 | January 8, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

No Cowher! It's gotta be Grilliams, or the whole ship gets blown up and starts from scratch again!

Posted by: 4-12 | January 8, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

please oh please not Bill Cowher........please?!?!?!?!?!

I have the same, don't want it to happen/know its gonna happen feeling I did about Spurrier.....

I have stated my man-crush for Grimm who is my first choice always...

But I think given the circumstances I hire Grilliams and roll the dice, can sunders and hire Grimm as OC...or keep all the same and wait on Grimm down the road....

F all this....sick of drama

Posted by: chrislarry | January 8, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Synder doesn't understand. He needs to back out of all player personnel decisions. He isn't Jerry Jones. He needs to be like Bob Kraft. Stand back and let the big boys you hired do all the work. Then bask in the glory of playoff and Super Bowl victories.

Posted by: johnfitz84 | January 8, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Cowher would be fine if we were in rebuilding mode. We're not. We're a playoff team that's prepared to contend for championships. Don't bring in new blood, new systems, new philosophies, and (most importantly) new unknowns if you don't absolutely have to.

Whatever negatives Williams or Saunders has vs. Cowher are outweighed by the stability that either in-house man would bring to the team.

Posted by: jvwright | January 8, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Of course Cowher fits the bill. He is only one year out of coaching and is a winner. He has a 62% winning record, only 3 losing seasons in 15 years as a head coach, and made the playoffs 10 out of 15 years. The game hasn't passed him by, he's young (50), and he's talented. He also loves the smash mouth, in your face kind of football that is great for outdoor December and January games, and to which 'Skins fans are accustomed.

Why would 'Skins fans NOT want this guy???


Posted by: PDiddy | January 8, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Signing Cowher is so very predictable for Snyder, and it will gain you nothing. Once again, look at this team and this coaching staff right now. Do you think that you have a system in place that will result in success? The answer, I think is no - the NFC East is strong and getting stronger, and the Skins are not equipped to be a consistent major contender. Remember when Gibbs was first hired a long time ago - nobody had heard of the guy, but he was young, hungry, and had a system he wanted to put in place. You need to do the same thing, right now, or I'll guarantee it'll be more of the same, or worse.

Posted by: bendersx6 | January 8, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

didn't cowher coach in one of the worst divisions in the league for 15 years? how many super bowls did he win? one in 15 years coaching in a crappy division. why all the cowher love around the league?

Posted by: jjvettickal | January 8, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone think that Gregg Williams hasn't been privately contemplating a shakeup of his own? His defense has been holding the water for that offense, and does anyone here think he'd be loyal to the Space Cowboys on St. Joe's staff (many of whom would likely retire with their leader anyhow)?

Posted by: PDiddy | January 8, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Cowher is the same guy who was absolutely convinced (after most rational people knew better) that Kordell Stewart was a franchise QB.

No thanks

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | January 8, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Cowher HC/ Def Coord
Grimm Off Coor

They have ties in Pitt. Then Grimm could become HC after Cowher wants to spend more time with his family...again

Posted by: cej75024 | January 8, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Why the anti-cowher stances? He's a great coach. Consistantly got his team in the playoffs over a long stretch of time and won a superbowl. If you look at the teams that have won superbowls lately, with the exception of indy, they all run the 3-4...

Posted by: puttinforbird | January 8, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

oh good god. not another new coach/system/players, etc. i don't care how accomplished he was with the steelers, this team needs continuity.

Posted by: tobynathan | January 8, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Diddy, luv ya, agree with ya normally on range of issues....your dead wrong on this one.

Cowher, fine coach, horrible choice for skins, doomed beyond belief....

Posted by: chrislarry | January 8, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse


I agree with you. Although GW is my first choice (for continuity sake) what's not to like about Cowher?

If he were 60 y/o, I might feel differently, but he's 50 and has a lot of years in front of him.

Posted by: dchandl3 | January 8, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Hiring Cowher would be IDIOTIC! This team is united and the players want Williams. Hiring Cowher would shake everything up and we would have to start from scratch again. It would also show that Snyder has not learned anything after all.

Cowher has stated many times that he does not want to return to coaching for at least another year or two...this is the only thing that gives me hope.

Posted by: Lisa | January 8, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you Diddy. Seems to me the type of football Cowher demanded would fit nicely here. Power running game, smack you in the mouth defense...sounds good to me. I would, however, like to keep GG as well (which I know is a stretch). I like what our D is maturing into and think a shift in coordinator would seriously stunt the development of several young players.

Posted by: mile.high | January 8, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey it takes a real man to admit when hes wrong. Or someone that is a big enough moron to begin with but here it is: Under a rule passed last year, teams can hold coaches to their contracts even if they are offered a promotion elsewhere. No longer can one team raid another's coaching staff without permission.

Posted by: csquaredskins | January 8, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Quick! Someone put a GPS on Redskins One. Follow the contrails to the new coach!

Posted by: terry_busch | January 8, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Quick! Someone put a GPS on Redskins One. Follow the contrails to the new coach!

Posted by: terry_busch | January 8, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse time to get into this fully...this is major league shabingus right here...

The only way I chill if Cowher is HC is if Grimm is OC...

Posted by: chrislarry | January 8, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Cowher = demise of Skins.

Posted by: heisted547 | January 8, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The only reason for hiring someone like Cowher would be if the defense had issues.It doesn't.

This D is one of the best in the league. The fact that it is so good and doesn't have a premier pass rusher (yet) is testament to the work Williams has done - as well the nucleus of players he's assembled.

A good pass rusher (perhaps that guy from U Miami) and I think this D is near the top next season.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | January 8, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

We've had enough drama this year to last several years... we don't need anymore shakeup...

If Cowher comes to DC; I'm afraid we will be rebuilding for all the wrong reason.

Don't do it Dan!

Posted by: EinVB | January 8, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

OK, but let's think about it.

Cowher Plusses...
+Super Bowl appearances ( 1 win)
+Strong defensive minded coach
+Very well respected
+Numerous playoff seasons

Cowher Ngeatives...
- would cost a lot of money
- ummm, help me

Isn't that what "we" want? A guy with a positive history of winning and discipline.
Has he ever headed up an organization?? I don't know , but neither has GGWilliams, or neither had Coach Joe.

Posted by: cej75024 | January 8, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

They should hire Grimm as HC and pay $5 million to Gregg Williams to bribe him to stay on.

Posted by: heisted547 | January 8, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I'm a Gregg Williams guy myself. But let's not hate on Cowher.

I think Williams will be a fine head coach in his second stint. But if it's Cowher, I can live with that. I just can't live with another jerk from Dallas.

Posted by: PDiddy | January 8, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The only two things that would be good about Cowher are that he would demand control over personnel (from Snyder) and that Vinnie would be completely out of the loop.

On the other hand, we'd have to look at that butt-ugly face sixteen games a year. Now that water-boarding is out, they torture prisoners in Guantanamo by showing them pictures of Cowher.

I'm for Williams.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | January 8, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

cej75024 ...

exactly joe never headed a football organization and look how many mistakes were made over these past 4 years...

let's learn from this HIRE A GM and move on...

I would think a good GM would give Greg his shot and not risk undermining this teams, confidence, momentum and trust....

But what do i know...

Posted by: EinVB | January 8, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Williams stays on at all unless he's HC, and I wouldn't blame him.

It's one thing to come here as assistant to Joe Gibbs, quite another to play second fiddle to Grimm or Cowher.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | January 8, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Wait it's been more than 10 seconds someone quick, say continuity again!

Posted by: sams3 | January 8, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Does anyone think that Gregg Williams hasn't been privately contemplating a shakeup of his own? ..."

Posted by: PDiddy | January 8, 2008 11:45 AM

That's my read (and hope) anyway. Saunders' job is by no means safe, which might make for a somber JC leaving the Park out the back door. I remember a Jasno article about Williams and the special files he keeps on every assistant and position coach in the league.

[Also, I agree that, over the time period when Cowher coached, the NFC East had a lot more parity and the AFC North was very lop-sided ... kind of like how the Phins, Jets, Bills have to play the Pats ... some divisions are less equal than others.]

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

if cowher comes here does it mean were switching to a 3/4 ? if so, that means more than a little change in personnel, especially in the defensive line

Posted by: seltzer | January 8, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Diddy,

I can't understand the screams of outrage from the masses/hamsters about hiring a SB winning coach!! Not that I would be upset if Williams is HC, but my God, let's not jump from the highest tower because..*gasp*..Bill Cowher might be our coach.

Posted by: cej75024 | January 8, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: cej75024 | January 8, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

How about Coy Gibbs?

Posted by: dchandl3 | January 8, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I think continuity IS the watchword.

The team bonded this season, it has a good core group of players, a nice mix of vets and youngsters, and keeping this coaching staff in place would be the best thing for their chances of winning in 2008.

Having to change defensive schemes and/or having JC (and Moss, Portis, et al) learn a whole new offense would be disastrous, imho.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | January 8, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse


- GM/COaches almost never work Cowher thinks "He can do it"....disastor

- Cowher would be coming here for 9 MILLION OF THE WRONG REASONS. Its a money grab.

- Him and snyder get along for about....10 minutes...Can you say Marty much? and Cowher was his protogee!

- This is not a time to blow up and rebuild...lets have a Gibbs 2.0 legacy at least which is a new sensible measured direction.

- No more "shiny new toys" Snyder has got to stop that. We thought maybe he had...if he hires cowher thats all kaput.

- How many HOF/SB type coaches have won SBs in second stop? I can think only did Parcells, Holmgren, Seafert, Jimmy Johnson fair?

- Would mean MASSIVE roster overhaul.

- Would be emotionally loaded with negatives after Gibbs, GG ouster, change of culture.

would have more, but slammed at work...

Posted by: chrislarry | January 8, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Another day of not being able to work thanks to this madness......

We all saw Williams bring a defense back from the abyss in 07 to become the part of the team that carried the offense for much of the season. I am sure that Williams can rebuild without tearing the whole building apart.

On the other hand Cowher was allowed to coach for so many years by an owner who ceded complete control to him and had the utmost patience. I do not see this as fitting Danny's style with anyone other than Gibbs.

Most coaches can get this team to 9-7 or 8-8 again next year but I am not sure that any of us have the patience to wait about 8 years for a Superbowl victory. That, I fear, would be the result of hiring Cowher.

Posted by: driley | January 8, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

what was interesting/impressive about Cowher is that he won consistently even though the Steelers routinely lost stars to free agency. (but how much of that was him, and how much was the steeler's fo stocking the cupboard well...)

Posted by: kingbonehead | January 8, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Only Williams or Grimm....there is no room here for Cowher. If he comes to DC we're going to see a lot of players move on that should be wearing the Burgundy and Gold.

Posted by: mlewis31 | January 8, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Lord. Not another train-wreck with the coaching position, please!

Any of the team-building we've done, gone to bits. Any cohesiveness built from the events of this last year, thrown out the window. Core Redskins? What if Cowher doesn't like the people we have here now? What if he or his choice in staff doesn't like Campbell - are they going to Ramsey him, too?

Cowher strikes me as very much of a 'my way' sort of guy. Bringing him in will involve a lot of changes. Had we been coming off Norv Turner, this would have been great. But now, when we've actually got something the team can see and believe him? It's like playing Russian roulette with a semi-automatic pistol.

Posted by: FlimFlam | January 8, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

F Cowher
F Cowher
F Cowher
F Cowher
F Cowher
F Cowher
F Cowher
F Cowher
F Cowher

Oh yeah. and F Cowher!

Posted by: tafka | January 8, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Why would Cowher want this job?

Cowher worked for the Rooney family for many years, a REAL football organization. Why on Earth would he want to come to work for the most dysfunctional organization in the NFL? Why would he want to have a buffoon like The Danny as his boss?

Now, if he were to be offered the Ravens HC position, working with a GM like Ozzie Newsome, that would make some sense.

With his resume, a year from now, he will still have his pick among available HC vacancies. He has said that he is not interested in coming back into coaching just yet. If he were to change his mind, it surely would not be to come to work with the worst front office in the NFL.

Posted by: jkarasek | January 8, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Players would be pretty pissed to not have Williams. Plus, I'd hate to stifle Jason Campbell's development by starting all over again with a new offense.

Yeah, F Cowher!

Posted by: beyes | January 8, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm suprised, but then I'm not. Gibbs looked consumed and I thank him and wish him well...

I'm not as concerned with who the players want. No let's see how many ball get dropped, blocks get missed and interceptions get thrown.

Put the Campbell/Collins competition issue to bed. You think Cowher thinks he can win with Collins

Bye Bye Saunders

Bye Bye Gregg Williams (if he doesn't get the job)

Posted by: rickyroge | January 8, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

For 10M/year.. that's why Cowher would come here.. disfunctional or not.. plus with an owner that wants desperately to win.. can't beat that combo.. and I think JC and Roethlisberger have very similar QB styles, basic pocket passers, big guys, strong arm, but can run if need be.. and look where cowher and big ben ended up ? plus i like that the steelers /cowher built thru the draft.. which is needed here. so don't rule him out..

Posted by: vpar57 | January 8, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Continuity on this team may be a little overrated. Do we want to really keep this middle-of-the-road and aging team together trying to compete in the best confernce in the league?

Um...we aren't the Patriots. We're in salary cap hell (like the budget deficit, someone will need to eventually fix this). Our team is loaded with aging and overpriced veterans. We are a month removed from a 6-7 record and we had a losing season last year. Our best player is dead. Our most promising player is taking his place. The book is still out on JC.

Again, why would we still want to continue THIS? Blowing it up and starting again with a core group of young players isn't that unpalatable at this point. At least with lowered expectations of rebuilding we won't suffer anginy from blown leads.

And, yes, Cowher is not a handsome man, particularly if you own HDTV. Still, we had to look at Norv all those years, so we're used to it.

Posted by: mireland1 | January 8, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to think Gibbs 2.0 was a learning experience of sorts for Snyder. First year we spent liberally, second year we went back to the playoffs and Snyder once again poured it on in free agency (a la 1999 after Norv finally go us to the playoffs)...the following year was a disaster, and Gibbs appears to have helped tame things last offseason and the results speak for themselves. If Snyder blows a wad going after Cowher and blows up the team, he's clearly learned nothing. I say stick with Williams, keep Saunders as offensive coordinator (for the sake of consistency) with the same autonomy Gibbs gave Williams. If that won't happen, go for Grimm - at least he's one of us!!!

Posted by: OldManGibbs | January 8, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Here are the problems with Cowher. During that successful reign in Pittsburgh, Cowher only coached (and did that well) and didn't pick the talent. Tom Donahoe did that. Can Cowher run a whole organization? I am not so sure. If he can hire a personnel guy to help him like Pioli helps Belichick then great! But who the hell knows. Also what kind of defensive system will this team play? A 3-4 like Cowher's teams played. Will he hire away Dick LeBeau from the Steelers to install it? This offseason has gone from topsy-turvy to utterly chaotic it seems to me.

Posted by: college_rat | January 8, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The above post was me.

George Templeton

Posted by: college_rat | January 8, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

All of you are assuming that Williams will keep AS those to will never be able to get along without Gibbs. The offense is going to be new anyway even if Williams is coach. The idiots in Dallas did pretty well with a new coach and offense cordinator. We can not keep using learning a new system as an excuse teams change cordinators and coaches all the time we are the only ones that cry about learning a new system football is football it is not brain surgery.

Posted by: kmdp4 | January 8, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Most of you sit here and discuss Cowher being in a poor division, only winning one superbowl, blah blah blah. The one thing I can recall pretty easy when I think about the Steelers and you can ask any one of their local DC fans this, is that Cowher was a talent builder. Unfortunately he worked for an owner that once the talent was built he traded or did not re-sign it. Something Cowher hated from the start but still stayed loyal to their organization. Now he is presented with a chance to work for an owner that we know wont let money for players be a problem. This team is built for Cowher already. Fast quick receivers, good solid stud running back, great tight end, good safeties and linebackers. Not to mention, if he joins the skins so probably would Alan Fanaca. Ohhhhh it just so happens we need a guard. The transition would be a lot easier then most of you think.

Posted by: aauball1 | January 8, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

As a 49er fan, in order for Redskin to be successful, get rid of Vinny Cerrato. Hire a good GM like Charles Casserly. Then, you can go down the list to hire the coach.

Posted by: u2krazie | January 8, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who understands Redskins football at it's core knows that Bill Cowher would be the perfect guy for the job. He emphasizes pressure defenses and hard-nosed running. He has the stature and reputation to stand up to Snyder whenever needed, and he's a proven talent evaluator (see Willie Parker, Big Ben, Polamalu, Heinz Ward, Joey Porter, etc.) Plus, he's got the respect of everyone in football. Anyone who doesn't want Bill Cowher either doesn't understand football, or at least doesn't understand Redskins football.

Posted by: tpayne | January 18, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

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