Big Lead Sports Bar


The Official Steelers Coaching Candidates List

The Bill Cowher Circus has been a sideshow all year for the coach and his team. Once the season was over, it was expected that Cowher would make a quick, painless decision and everyone involved would move on. The Post-Gazette led their Sunday edition with a "Cowher leaving Tuesday" story, over prominent current-events stories such as the death of a former President and the hanging of a ruthless dictator. Chris Mortensen was all over ESPN on Tuesday, telling anyone who would listen that "The Rooneys demand an answer from Cowher by the end of the day". Speculation was running rampant. Grimm to Atlanta. Whisenhunt to Atlanta. Whisenhunt to Arizona. Rivera to Pittsburgh. Wannstedt to Pittsburgh. That's right, Wannstedt to Pittsburgh. The old rumor, once contrived by, gets dug up from the grave once again.
Despite the immaculate credentials of Ed Bouchette and Chris Mortensen, they have been completely incorrect on the Cowher situation so far, because absolutely nothing has happened. And somehow keeps getting mentions from national media outlets despite rumor-mongering such as the Wannstedt story and "Moss and/or Jerry Porter to the Steelers" fantasies.
With that in mind, I touched base with all of my contacts in the NFL, in the media, and in the football world to give you the definitive list of coaches who the Steelers are looking at, along with their respective pros and cons. This is the best job in the NFL, so don't be surprised by the big names. I'm sure ESPN will pick up this list and mention it on all of their various outlets tomorrow.
Chuck Noll, former Steelers coach
Pros: 4-time Super Bowl Champion coach
Cons: A guy used to coaching Hall of Famers will struggle to come to grips with a lineup featuring Cedrick Wilson and Deshea Townsend

Dave Wannstedt, head coach, Pitt
Pros: Will recruit the best, most athletic free agents in the offseason and make the Steelers look great on paper
Cons: Don't be surprised if a team leader disappears to smoke pot in a tent in Australia on his watch

Frank Beamer, head coach, Viriginia Tech
Pros: His "Beamer Ball" style will mean great special teams for the Steelers
Cons: He still won't be able to beat Pitt

Jerry Glanville, former head coach, Houston Oilers & Atlanta Falcons
Pros: Showed he has guts by trading a useless rookie named Brett Favre to Green Bay while runnning the Falcons
Cons: Will waste two coveted Steeler tickets per game at will-call for Elvis Presley

Jim Mora Sr. and Jr, former NFL head coaches
Pros: Father-and-son coaching combination would be NFL first; absence of Michael Vick will ensure no coaches are killed
Cons: Playoffs may be a pipe dream; the allure of the Washington Huskies job will always be a distraction

Joe Paterno, head coach, Penn State
Pros: Proven he can display the loyalty to an organization that the Rooneys require; will coach through pain
Cons: Will probably be offered more money to take the Alabama job if Nick Saban passes

John Bunting, former head coach, North Carolina
Pros: 26-45 career record at UNC means he's due for a few winning seasons
Cons: Will continue to bench Willie Parker

John L. Smith, former head coach, Michigan State
Pros: Will never have a boring Tuesday-afternoon press conference

Cons: Will have extremely talented teams that continue to disappoint, year after year
Larry Coker, former head coach, Miami Hurricanes
Pros: Will nurture the ball-hawking, taunting style the 2006 Steelers displayed, thus enabling continunity with the players
Cons: 60-15 career coaching record just not good enough for the Hurricanes or the NFL

Marvin Lewis, head coach, Cincinnati Bengals
Pros: Knows the division, having coached in Baltimore and Pittsburgh
Cons: Probably will turn down the job due to lack of bad-character players he can help "rehab"

Mike Ditka, former head coach, Chicago Bears & New Orleans Saints
Pros: "Pittsburgh guy"; Super Bowl Champion coach, NFL Hall of Famer, Pitt legend
Cons: May trade the entire draft for Adrian Peterson, then make him pose in a wedding dress.

Mike Gottfried, former head coach, Pitt
Pros: Doesn't have anything else going on
Cons: Players won't be able to understand him when he talks; insists on inclusion of Pam Ward on his staff

Neil Gordon, head coach, Penn Hills HS
Pros: Will never draft Anthony Morelli; likes to run the football
Cons: Would still consider Gateway the toughest opponent on his schedule
Nick Saban, head coach, Miami Dolphins
Pros: Highly-respected coach who learned under Bill Parcells
Cons: Will leave Steelers in 2008 to coach Auburn; when asked who he models his career after, he answered, "Larry Brown"

Russ Grimm, offensive line coach, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pros: Assistant head coach on an NFL Champion; Scottdale native; Pitt legend
Cons: Wishes he could erase the 2006 Steelers O-Line tapes from his resume

Tom Bradley, assistant coach, Penn State
Pros: Will write 30 handwritten letters to each highly-coveted free agent on the Steelers radar, just like he did for Justin King
Cons: Insists on bringing Joe Paterno along as the true head coach, just for old times' sake

Walt Harris, former head coach, Pitt Panthers & Stanford Cardinal
Pros: Developed NFL offensive stars like Larry Fitzgerald, Antonio Bryant, and Kevan Barlow while at Pitt
Cons: The consequences of a one-win season as Steeler coach would make Saddam Hussein's treatment look gentle


noslenwerd said...

I'm going to make a bold statement here and say that Cowher comes back for the last year of his contract and thats it.

Furthermore, they will go on to win superbowl 42. The Steelers play great when they have something to rally around. And what better reason to rally than winning your coach another superbowl for his last year in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

I've always said that Ditka would be a great fit with the Pirates.

noslenwerd said...

So on a serious note, turns out Marvin Lewis really is a candidate for the job?

vinnie said...

WOW! Who's the Burberry freak-bot in the picture with Walt Harris.