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The San Diego Media and Bill Cowher

Let me start off by saying that I am a big fan of Bill Cowher. I think he was a very good motivator and disciplinarian. I also think a great deal of his success was due to things out his control, like the drafting of players, a winning atmosphere and play-calling. This is not an anti-Bill Cowher post. This is an anti-San Diego media post.

The San Diego media is borderline retarded. They want Bill Cowher, the most successful unemployed Head Coach under the age of a thousand, to be the coach of the San Diego Chargers so badly that they will believe any crazy person on the street corner that starts yelling about him going to San Diego. This is exactly what has happened in the past few days, with "rumors" about Cowher wanting to come to San Diego popping up everywhere.

Here's where I stand on Cowher.

  • Will he listen to an offer? If he's interested in returning to coaching, it behooves him to listen to all offers and pick the one he feels is best. Just like it makes sense for him to at least feign interest for any and all open positions to potentially start a bidding war for his services.
  • Will he make the Chargers a Super Bowl contender? Not necessarily. Cowher made the Super Bowl twice in his 15 years in Pittsburgh (winning once), and his team has returned twice in the 5 years since he retired (winning once). That leads to me thinking that their success had more to do with the players and the system (most notable, Dick LeBeau's defense) than Bill Cowher.
  • Who would he bring with him? This is the biggest question the Chargers have to ask Cowher if he's sitting in Dean Spanos' office asking for $7 million per year. He doesn't call offensive or defensive plays, so the success of those sides of the ball will have more to do with the coaches that want to work with Cowher than Bill himself.
  • What effect would the layoff have on him? Again, it's been 6 years since he's coached in the NFL. This would be similar to grabbing Joe Gibbs or Art Shell out of retirement and expecting them to be successful coaches. It's a real risk that shouldn't be ignored.
  • Would the Chargers pay him? Getting Cowher would theoretically mean getting rid of both Norv Turner and A.J. Smith, due to Cowher's ties to people say. I think Marty's beef is probably more with the man that fired him (Spanos) than Smith, but let's ignore that for a second. Getting rid of both of those guys means the Chargers have to pay them $12 million to go away. Cowher is demanding somewhere around $7 million a year for himself, plus you'd still have to pay whatever coaches and GM he brought along with him. For a team to make that type of investment, they would have to almost have a guarantee of a Super Bowl within the length of the contract (which is why Belichick is the highest paid coach) or be run by someone like Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder (which is why Shanahan is the 2nd highest paid coach).
  • Is Bill Cowher coming to San Diego? It would be the shocker of the year in the NFL if he did, and the Chargers ownership doesn't really have a reputation for shocking the world by spending inordinate amounts of money (example: a new San Diego stadium). 

    So, I'll go out on a very strong and sturdy limb and say no. Ignore your local sports radio blowhards and Chargers online forums, Bill Cowher is a terrible fit for the San Diego Chargers and will not be their Head Coach. If he has any contact with them, it's simply to up his price for some other team. If Cowher ends up as the coach in San Diego in 2012, I will happily eat my own hat. This hat right here: