COACH CHIN PLOTTING HIS RETURN?
A league source tells us that there is already talk in league circles that former Steelers coach Bill Cowher is planning his potential return to the NFL. Per the source, Cowher already has spoken with multiple teams about filling a potential vacancy in 2008.
The source also says that one of Cowher's demands will be full control over the football operations.
The teams, the source says, are believed to be the Browns, Redskins, and Panthers. Another league source confirms that Cowher has had at least one private discussion with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder about the possibility of replacing Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs, if Gibbs calls it quits after the 2007 season.
We're also told that Cowher has begun the process of discreetly lining up a personnel executive to run the front office, subject to Cowher's final say on all roster moves. Per the source, the list includes Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert, Steelers business operations coordinator Omar Khan, Chiefs executive vice president and COO Denny Thum, and Saints vice president of football administration Russ Ball.
Is any of this surprising? Yes, but no. With Cowher expected to be the hottest commodity on the coaching market come January 2008, teams that think they might have a coming opening would be stoopid not to commence the process of seeing what it would take to get him.
Money is a key component in this regard. We've yet to hear anything about Cowher's expected salary, but we suspect he's hoping to get at least as much as Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren (who is in the $7.5 million to $8.5 million range), given that Cowher beat the Big Show in the Big Show less than 18 months ago.