For the past couple months, the name Bill Cowher and Cleveland Browns have been tied in nearly every discussion regarding the future of the floundering organization. As the rumors started circulating in the mainstream media, many notable media personalities were split on the likelihood the former Browns player and assistant ending his exile and returning to the sidelines in Cleveland.
Of late, fans are hearing mostly skepticism that Cowher will leave his cozy position on the set of the CBS pre- and post-game shows anytime soon. Until the Browns officially have an opening at the head coach and/or general manager positions and Cowher openly states he does not want to be considered for the post, the speculation will continue.
We have been told that Browns team owner Randy Lerner does want to discuss the situation with Cowher and let the chips fall where they may. What we do know is that neither Cowher or nor anyone closely associated with the former coach has informed the Browns or any other team sending out 'feelers' that he would definitely not coach next season - despite reports stating it is doubtful he will coach in the 2009 season, which remains a definite possibility.
(And now let me step aside from reporting the facts to offer a little commentary)
The story of Cowher possibly returning to coach the Browns is an interesting one. While the potential remains for this scernario to come to life, the odds are against this becoming reality. One of the primary reasons, and rarely discussed, is that Cowher's close compadre Kevin Colbert is under contract for another year in Pittsburgh. Cowher also recently extended his deal with CBS.
There has been nothing which leaves me to believe Cowher will not be receptive to a discussion with Browns team owner Randy Lerner. It will be quite interesting due to Lerner's desire and passion to win - as well as his ability to be persuasive, along with deep pockets and serious drive to bring a winner to Cleveland.
Getting Cowher to once again give away his closeness of family and time to enjoy life outside of the game will be a tough sale - but Lerner as well as a couple other NFL team owners may be willing to offer-up unheard of dollars and power for Cowher's services.
(And now, the rest of the story)
- Whether Bill Cowher is offered the keys to the Browns organization could factor into the timing of securing and naming a new head coach. Cowher remains the 'hot' target and nothing of substance will occur until his wishes are known despite the league policy regarding the required interview process.
- Despite claims within the media that former Browns head coach Marty Schottenheimer will not be considered for the job, we continue to hear there is an avenue available for the former to become involved. While not at the top of the wish list, Schottenheimer could become a safety valve for this organization if a candidate or two fail to impress the wary Lerner.
- New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels name has been bandied about over the past week or two in the local media. If you have been a subscriber to the OBR, this was not the first time you had heard his name in connection to a head coaching position. Young but experienced, McDaniels has a solid reputation and has honed his skills under the direction of Bill Belichick. Despite his youth, McDaniels should not be discounted as a candidate, especially if the Browns happen to discuss a front office, leadership position with Scott Pioli of the Patriots.
- Pioli is a hot name in league circles. It is believed those close to Pioli have lobbed his name into the mix as seeking a general manager position following the 2008 season in New England. Pioli, long under the wing of Belichick will be a certain interview for an organization looking for a highly successful front office executive to build and maintain a roster and front office. In the past, Pioli has refused opportunities to leave New england, but after a successful run as the right-hand man with the Patriots, his time to buiild upon a solid reputation has come.