Every time the Eagles lose the rest of this season, we're going to profile potential replacements for head coach Andy Reid should he resign or be fired at the end of the season. It's a little bit of New Coach Porn to help get you through this disaster. This week's candidate: Bill Cowher.
Name: William Laird Cowher
Career Record: 140-90-1
Nicknames: Cowher Power. The Chin. Spitty McGee.
Credentials: Super Bowl champion. In 15 years as the Steelers head coach, Cowher had a grand total of three losing seasons. He took Pittsburgh to the playoffs ten times and won eight division titles. He even reached the AFC title game once with Kordell Stewart as his quarterback. Having Kordell as your QB is essentially the same as having Mike Vick with all of Vick's limbs sawed off.
Cowher is a great motivator and is highly underrated in his ability to hire a great staff underneath him. Folks like Ken Whisenhunt, Dick LeBeau, Russ Grimm, and countless others have served under Cowher, and his Steelers teams were always well coached, often getting far more out of their talent than other teams. That's important to note in the wake of Andy Reid's disastrous choice to put Juan Castillo in charge of the defense, and his inability to get the most out of an extremely talented roster.
Furthermore, this is just the kind of gig Cowher would probably come out of retirement for. Everything is set up for him to succeed. No rebuilding necessary. All he needs to do is make a few tweaks (and show mild competence) and PRESTO! The Eagles are contenders again. If you fire Andy Reid, you need to replace him with someone who doesn't need to learn on the job. This team is the perfect fit for an established head coach.
Weaknesses: It's been six long years since Cowher walked an NFL sideline. With the exception of Dick Vermeil, there are very few coaches who can take that kind of extended leave of absence and have success right away. Cowher's time away from coaching also calls into question his desire for the job, and whether or not the game has passed him by. Also, you only need to look at the Redskins top know that splurging for a big-name coach can go horribly awry. You don't want a coach who looks at the job as a kind of partial retirement gift, the way Jimmy Johnson did in Miami. You want someone who is fully invested and hungry to prove himself.
Odds Of Being Named The Next Cowboys Coach If Reid Goes: 1,000/1. Cowher has hemmed and hawed about his plans all season long, biding his time to see what jobs will be open and who will land Andrew Luck (he'd be a good fit in Indy, to be certain). If Andy Reid is shown the door at the end of the season, the Eagles are going to have to choose between continuity and outright rebuilding. Bringing in Cowher would essentially serve as one last big bet on this current group of Eagles players. But I just don't see them having the stones to do something quite this dramatic.
Do You Want Him?: Only you know for sure. Let us know in the comments.