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Cowher doesn’t directly deny report of interest in three teams


Last Sunday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that former Steelers coach Bill Cowher is targeting three teams for 2011: the Giants, Texans, and Dolphins. Unless Mortensen was picking through garbage like he does in that Dwight Freeney commercial, Mort got the info from Cowher or someone close to him. (The prevailing view is that the info was planted by Cowher’s agent.)

On Sunday, Cowher addressed the report during The NFL Today on CBS. And while he said some of the things that he needed to say (but that he should have said far closer to last Sunday than this Sunday), Cowher didn’t directly deny that he’d like to coach the Giants, Texans, or Dolphins.

“I answered this question with USA Today two weeks ago when they asked me, and I said then I will not deal with any hypothetical situations, and I certainly am not gonna speculate,” Cowher said. “Now I’ll just say this: For anyone to insinuate that I have a wish list of coaches to be fired, at this time of year, I have too much respect for the profession, I know how hard it is. I don’t wish for anybody to be fired, and for someone to insinuate that I am doing that right now is disrespectful to them and I’m insulted by it. I would not do that to the profession, I hope that every one of these coaches have an opportunity to come back.”

Though Cowher wouldn’t “do that to the profession,” someone apparently has done it on his behalf. And this gives Cowher a way to belatedly take the high road, well after the message was sent.

“I’m not naïve enough to say that there won’t be changes at the end of the year, but I will address that at the end of the year. And besides, I have a pretty good team up here right now. You know what, we’re going to the playoffs, and I want to enjoy and embrace every moment. I’ll say what I said before: I’m insulted that someone would imply that I’m out there wishing that anyone would get fired.”

If that’s true -- if Cowher is insulted by the report -- his position should have been articulated last weekend, and repeated in vehicles like an Associated Press interview. To take a common term like “wish list” and twist it into a suggestion that he’s hoping for men to be fired while blowing out birthday candles is a tad disingenuous. The report was/is that Cowher is interested in those jobs if they come open. The response comes off as damage control that, at its core, does nothing to dispel the notion that he’d like to be the next coach of the Giants, Texans, or Dolphins.