Commenting on Bill Cowher’s resignation as Steelers head coach yesterday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bob Smizik asks, “how do you walk away from what many consider the best coaching job in the NFL?”, but not before concluding, “when they say it’s not about the money, it is about the money.”

The best way to get money in professional athletics is by becoming a free agent. That’s what’s ahead for Mr. Cowher. After one or two years sitting at home, he’ll get bored and return to coaching. When he does, he’ll get the kind of money the Steelers were not going to pay him. The Rooneys are not going to pay a coach what Redskins owner Dan Snyder will in Washington and what Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga will in Miami. That doesn’t make the Rooneys cheap. It’s the way they do business and they do it a lot better than Mr. Snyder and Mr. Huizenga.

Cowher might dabble in TV next year or just might spend his time watching his youngest daughter play basketball during the week and his oldest daughters on the weekend. He’s a rich guy on a one or two-year vacation. He can do what he wants.

But the itch will come back. His competitive nature won’t let him sit out too long. One year might be the maximum. When he does, any job that’s open, and a lot that are not, will be available to him. Mr. Cowher has his many critics and they can cook up all kinds of reasons why he’s not a good coach. But here’s something they can’t refute. If every job in the NFL was open, Bill Belichick would be the first pick and Mr. Cowher would be second.

The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune’s Rob Bradford
took the Belichick/Mangini drama to a new level yesterday, quizzing a body language expert.

“The handshake signifies the relationship,” said Tonya Reiman, a regular contributor to Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Access Hollywood.” “The handshake can sometimes make or break a relationship. When you first meet somebody and you get that wimpy handshake, you’re turned off, even if you don’t recognize you’re turned off.”

According to Reiman, there were some hard-to-find aspects to the handshakes which might help fully understand the scenarios.

“In the first one (after the Patriots’ win at Giants Stadium), I saw something that at first I thought was goodwill, but when I went to see it again realized that it wasn’t,” said Reiman. “Belichick tends to lean in first. A lot of times when you lean in first for a handshake it’s somewhat submissive, but in this situation I’m realizing that it’s because he wants to get it over with faster. He doesn’t want a long, drawn out, eye-contact-type of handshake. He just wants to do it for the cameras because he knows he has to do it and get out of there.

“In that clip, Mangini also leans in to speak to (Belichick). He’s looking at him in the face, but Belichick turns his face in mid-word and acknowledges that he’s not even talking to this man, finishes off his wimpy handshake and marches off.”

It seems as though Jeff Fischer has won a power struggle of sorts in Tennessee.  Which has me wondering if he’ll be picking his own offensive coordinator when and if Norm Chow is offered the head coaching gig in Phoenix.