The New York Jets are certain to be in the market for a new head coach. With a competent and respected general manager in Joe Douglas, the projected second-most cap space, a plethora of draft picks, and the likely 1st pick, the Jets head coaching opening is surely going to be attractive. Apparently, that thought is shared by Hall of Fame head coach and current CBS Analyst Bill Cowher.
Lost in the news of the Jets firing Gregg Williams was the report from Boomer Esiason alluding to Bill Cowher having potential interest in the Jets Head Coaching job. Per Boomer himself on his show, “Boomer and Gio,” “He was saying to me yesterday, he’s the one that told me the Jets job is going to be really attractive, and they could hire whomever they want, and he told me he loves Joe Douglas.” This report doesn’t necessarily mean Cowher himself is interested in the job, but Boomer also said this, “All I know is that yesterday, he was showing me and Nate film of him coaching on the sideline where he was mic’ed up, and we looked at each other like, ‘Hmm, what does that mean?’.” Esiason continued, “Is he sending a message? I’ve worked with him for 14 years, and I’ve never seen that.”
So, what does this mean? Well, there have been rumors linking Cowher to the Jets long before he retired in 2006. Not only that, but rumors have swirled in the past about Cowher’s potential return. What is eye-opening to me, though, is that Boomer has a close bond with Bill, and for him to say all of this on the air openly, there must be some weight to these statements.
Cowher, at 63 years old, is still regarded as a bright football mind, but he is a bright mind in general. This move could mean two things, Cowher could be indirectly working with the Jets to add more hype around the presumed opening, or there really could be interest on Cowher’s end, and he is trying to float the idea in order to get a sense of the reception.
Could Cowher Fit In NY?
Bill Cowher is a highly respected coach, having went 149-90-1 from 1992 to 2006 with the Steelers and going to two Super Bowls, with a win in Super Bowl XL. Cowher is a proven leader. The issue surrounding Cowher, though, is that he has not coached in 14 years. The game has changed a lot in that time period, and some could say it has developed beyond the kind of coaching style he has. What I would say, though, is that a leader is a leader. Cowher is the kind of coach that has a reputation to rely on. Going from a coach who reportedly has no respect in the locker room to a Super Bowl champion is something that can rebuild a culture. The Jets on the field performance is putrid, but off the field, a potential 0-16 team is going to need not just a cultural rebuild but an entire overhaul.
By bringing in Cowher, the Jets are committing to experience and leadership. Pairing him with Joe Douglas would form one of the most formidable personnel tandems in franchise history. The likelier outcome is that the Jets go to the college ranks or to a coordinator for their next coach, but they are likely to cast a wide search for their next coach. This is an unlikely move, but the premise of a franchise-changing hire like this is enticing.