Goddamn, welcome to Nitpick Central. As the Steelers’ Bill Cowher prepares to lead his Pittsburgh squad to his 2nd Super Bowl appearance, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac considers where Mr. Crazy Jawline stacks up in the All-Time Coaching ranks.
And so it is that despite winning 152 games, despite winning more division titles (8) than all but four coaches in NFL history, despite making 10 playoff appearances in 14 years and becoming the first coach since Paul Brown to start his career with six consecutive playoff appearances, Cowher ultimately will be judged on his ability to win a big game.
Never mind that he reached the Super Bowl in only his fourth year as a head coach. Or that the Steelers, needing four victories merely to make the playoffs, became the first team since the New England Patriots in the 1985 season to win three consecutive playoff games on the road to make the Super Bowl.
In the end, if the Steelers don’t beat the NFC champion Seahawks at Ford Field, Cowher will start to be remembered as the Bud Grant of his time — a coach with plenty of division titles but no Super Bowls.
Since the Super Bowl began in 1967, Grant is only coach with more tenure with one team — 17 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings — not to win a Super Bowl. That’s why Cowher is not satisfied merely making the Super Bowl for the second time in the past 10 years.
Should Buffalo’s new head of football operations be relieved or insulted that Cowher be remembered as “the Marv Levy of his time”?