PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 5: Pittsburgh Steelers' Coach Bill Cowher announces his retirement during a press conference at the Pittsburgh Steelers' headquarters on January 5, 2007 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Last week, we brought you the news of Bill Cowher saying he'd likely coach again and return to the sidelines in the future. This weekend on The NFL Today's Saturday edition, Cowher said that he had no plans on returning to coaching.
Wait, back up a minute.
Here's Cowher's exact quote saying he's not going to coach again, courtesy of CBS's press release on the Saturday pregame show:
"Contrary to reports, I have no plans on coaching. I plan on being with one team, and that is this team here at CBS. I know we are going to the Super Bowl. And now it is time to talk about the journey that each of these teams are taking to get there as well."
Well, OK. That sounds like your typical denial of a report from a media outlet that got some facts crossed up. It happens all the time. The only real issue with that is the person who originally said Cowher would return to coaching was... Bill Cowher. When asked by Newsday's Neil Best if he planned on returning to coaching just a week ago, Cowher's one word answer was "yes." As if the CBS pregame couldn't get any more ridiculous, Bill Cowher had to publicly contradict himself.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette elaborated on the story, saying that while Cowher thinks he'll coach again, it might not be for another four or five years (let alone in 2013). The phrasing of Cowher's statement is interesting too, because while CBS holds the rights to the Super Bowl this year, they won't air it again until 2016.
In my opinion, Cowher's decision will rest on what happens around the league with some of the top franchises across the NFL. Cowher might be tempted to jump at the chance to coach the Giants if Tom Coughlin was fired or retired. I think he'd entertain the possibility of coaching the Jets if the entire franchise is blown up. Hell, what if Bill Belichick and Tom Brady ride off into the sunset together in a couple of years and the Patriots need a new head man? What if Ron Rivera didn't pass the test in one more season in Cowher's Carolina backyard?
Someone at CBS probably heard his comments to Newsday and got themselves in a tizzy about potentially losing part of their pregame show and begged him to retract his statements. Unfortunately at the end of the day, this mini-circus makes Cowher look like a flip flopper that is unsure of what his future holds.