Why Bill Cowher Is Best Free Agent Coach to Lead NFL Team to Promised Land

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 5:  Bill Cowher stands on the field before the Baltimore Ravens game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 5, 2007 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIDecember 28, 2011

Bill Cowher may be a really good studio analyst, but he was also one heck of an NFL head coach. Right now he has to be considered the top free agent coach on the market.

In 15 seasons as the head guy for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cowher boasted a record of 149-90-1 (.623 winning percentage), was the AP NFL Coach of the year in 1992, led the Steelers to eight division titles, 10 postseason berths, six AFC title game appearances, two Super Bowls and won a Super Bowl title in 2005. 

Cowher commands an immense level of respect among his peers and players. He was an undrafted linebacker who had a successful NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns, and his intensity on the sideline resonates with his players. 

He faced tons of criticism over the years in Pittsburgh, as people felt his message had become stale and new blood was needed. But at no point did the Steelers ever quit on their long-time head coach. 

Right now, Cowher and former Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden are considered the top two guys with head coaching experience on the market. Frankly, I'd take Cowher in a second over Gruden because his teams always played hard-nosed, tough football.

Cowher's extensive experience guiding one of the NFL's marquee franchises makes him the most attractive guy out there right now. I'm not sure that he'll decide to come back to coaching, but if he does, several teams would certainly offer a boatload of cash to him to take over.

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