Bill Cowher has been deep in the NFL head coaching rumors at the end of almost every season, but this could be the year he finally leaves the television booth — and the Los Angeles Rams could be the team to do it.
Cowher has been enjoying his work in the CBS studios since leaving the sidelines nearly a decade ago, though every year at least one team tries to entice him back to the sidelines. While there are not yet any solid rumors connecting Bill Cowher to the Los Angeles Rams, the team would likely be one of the frontrunners for Cowher this season.
Since firing Jeff Fisher in the tail end of their inaugural season back in the City of Angels, the Rams have reportedly been trying to seek a high-profile replacement. The team was rumored to be making a run at Jon Gruden, though more recent reports indicate that Gruden is content remaining ESPN’s highest-paid employee and not returning to the NFL.
That could leave Bill Cowher as the next target, a move that would make sense for both parties. Sources close to Cowher have said many times over the past few years that he would be willing to make a return if the circumstances were right, and Los Angeles could be the right fit. The team plays in a desirable city — certainly more attractive than bitterly cold Pittsburgh — and could make Cowher among the best-paid coaches in the game, if not the best.
Interestingly enough, Bill Cowher has actually been sounding off on the Los Angeles Rams head coaching vacancy. In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cowher made the case that the Rams need a coach with greater control over personnel decisions and not necessarily an offensive tilt — a description that sounds a lot like the Pittsburgh Steelers legend.
“I don’t think it has to be an offensive head coach,” Cowher said. “I think it needs to be a head coach with a vision and has his hands, more importantly, in the personnel department and bring in the players that he wants to develop. But an offensive coordinator has to be (a) Number One priority.”
Since deciding to leave the sidelines in 2007, Bill Cowher has been in the rumor mill almost annually. Last year, it was the New York Giants who were rumored to be trying to lure Cowher away from the comforts of the television booth. There were even some reports of negotiations between Cowher and the Giants front office.
Metro noted that Cowher was seeking greater control over roster decisions for the Giants, but nothing ever came of it.
“It’s long been said the Cowher covets the Giants job as the front office in New York is just as stable as the one in Pittsburgh. ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio wrote this week that Cowher would want full control of the Giants personnel decisions – which would mean Big Blue would have to fire GM Jerry Reese. A brash move like firing a guy who was recently told his job is secure would be out of the ordinary for the Giants, but if the prize is Cowher – who has been one of the top coaching candidates on the market for a decade – anything is possible.”
Cowher was also connected last year to the Giants divisional rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. The team’s longtime announcer, Merrill Reese, suggested that Eagles player personnel director Tom Donahoe could pull some strings to bring Bill Cowher to the team.
“I do know they named Tom Donahoe, the former Pittsburgh Steelers general manager as their acting player personnel director,” Reese said (via 247 Sports). “And Tom Donahoe has a strong connection with Bill Cowher. I’m not saying that it’s going to happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Donahoe investigated Bill Cowher’s interest in returning to coaching.”
The previous year, Cowher sparked rumors when he was spotted in Buffalo just hours after Bills coach Doug Marrone opted out of his contract, but the Bills ended up picking Rex Ryan.
While there are no solid rumors yet connecting Bill Cowher to the Los Angeles Rams, that could change as soon as the season ends and the NFL coaching job hunt heats up.
[Featured Image by Paul Sancya/AP Images]