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Friday, January 4, 2008

Bill Cowher is not going to save the Ravens

Alright, I woke up to Bill Cowher on the front page of the sports section of The Sun, and that's just plain unpleasant. I went on to read Rick Maese's column about why The Chin is the best option for "a quick turnaround."

Alright, let's dispel the fantasies.

1) Bill Cowher said he's not going to coach next year, and even though people change their mind, that's never a good sign.

2) Steve Bisciotti would probably have to make Cowher the highest paid coach in the league, somewhere around $6 or $7 million a year. Unfortunately Bisciotti has the highest-paid non-coach in the league, to the tune of 15 million dollars over the next three years. That's the worst Baltimore contract problem since Albert Belle. He's not gonna spend the money.

3) Cowher was coach in Pittsburgh for 15 years. Don't doubt his loyalty to his former fan base or the Rooneys, his former bosses. He was the longest-tenured coach in the NFL for awhile, and since the Steelers are division rivals, he might have a sympathetic ear to some people back in Pittsburgh. Look at those pictures - you think that doesn't still make him feel emotional?

4) Even if he does become head coach, think about this: Kelly Gregg, Jonathan Ogden, Mike Flynn, Ray Lewis, Steve McNair, Derrick Mason, Trevor Pryce and Samari Rolle all are or should be thinking about retirement. I guarantee that if the Ravens hire Bill Cowher, a bunch of those guys don't come back. Our camps need to be harder, but veterans with older bodies, particularly Ogden, Gregg and Flynn, aren't going to want to submit themselves to a hard Cowher-coached camp. So even if we get the guy, we lose a lot of experienced personnel, thus making success harder to achieve next year.

5) Even the guys who aren't retiring: Do you think those veterans will take kindly to a tough camp after years of Camp Cupcake and being able to go home at night? I don't think a lot of players will respond to that. It's not Cowher's fault or Bisciotti's fault, I just think that's how it will be. The dreams of "discipline in Baltimore" are not legitimate because older players just don't give a damn. We have personnel that will respond to a player's coach. Let me pose it to you in a different way: If Cowher tells Ray to drop and give him 20, do you think Ray cares?

Cowher isn't coming, and he shouldn't come. There is a time and place for his style and I can't really argue with his success, but he's not going to come and even if he did, our team is structured in such a way that the response would not be as positive as Maese suggests.


Dewey Hammond said...

You make a good point about needing a tougher training camp, and that that might conflict with vets.

PS: I'm not positive but I think only $5M of Billick's salary was guaranteed.

J-Red said...

Rumors are that only next year's $5M is/was guaranteed and the last two years were a club option.

Enough to put a smile on Billick's face, but not so much to cripple the organization.