Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cowher to Miami? - UPDATE

Update - January 4, 2006 4:42PM PST
According to radio station "Double-X Sports" in San Diego (1090 AM on the radio dial) Dolphins' owner Wayne Huizenga is willing to offer the next coach, assuming he is one of a stature that warrants such a consideration, "full control" of the football operations (i.e. General Manager and Head Coach).

This might be the holy grail that Bill Cowher seeks -- the fact that others have tried before and failed be damned -- in leaving Pittsburgh. It still seems unlikely, after all Mr. Cowher was victorious in his well-chronicled power struggle with then General Manager Tom Donahoe, but it may be that the allure of such an opportunity would simply be too appealing to his ego to ignore.

If such a development would come to pass the question becomes what kind of compensation the Steelers could expect to receive in return -- after all a position of the kind possibly available in Miami would represent a promotion and that might lessen the obligation that the Dolphins would have to compensate the Steelers.

Additionally, wouldn't next season's matchup between the Steelers and Miami (at Heinz Field) be a hoot?

Original Posting
The hysteria surrounding the imminent departure of Bill Cowher is building to a crescendo, and more than one media outlet in Pittsburgh is speculating that Mr. Cowher may be headed to the rudderless Miami Dolphins.

Now comes an item from the Miami Herald which adds fuel to the fire. In the article, which discusses several of the leading candidates to replace Nick Saban, writer Armando Salguero offers this:

"The Dolphins will now start gauging their interest in candidates in earnest. The Steelers, Cowher and his agent might be among the first they contact. If Pittsburgh grants the Dolphins permission to speak with its coach, a person close to Cowher said Wednesday he would be willing to listen.

Although Cowher has a year remaining on his contract and is said to be on a family retreat in North Carolina to mull his future in Pittsburgh, the man who guided the Steelers to two Super Bowl trips and the title last season wants to coach again.

Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and defensive coordinator Dom Capers, both former head coaches, also coached under Cowher in Pittsburgh. Capers suggested he would like to be considered for the Miami opening; Mularkey would not say. It's not known if they would stay if Cowher were hired.

There are obstacles to Cowher joining the Dolphins. He reportedly wants a contract extension in Pittsburgh that would pay in excess of $7 million annually; the Steelers offered $6 million. And the Steelers would demand draft-choice compensation in return for releasing him from his contract.

The Dolphins also would have to gauge Cowher's personal situation to see if he indeed is willing to take on a job long-term rather than for a two- to five-year spurt.

But the obstacles are not insurmountable if Cowher is receptive. Huizenga has deep pockets and said Wednesday that he badly wants his team to win.

'I don't care what it takes, what it costs, or what's involved,' he said.

Miami's most successful coach, Don Shula, cost the Dolphins a first-round draft pick in 1970 after he was hired away from the Baltimore Colts

It is difficult -- no, impossible -- to believe that Bill Cowher would leave the friendly confines of the North Side of his hometown in order to coach a franchise that has become the Arizona Cardinals of the East, but then again he wouldn't be the first transplanted Pittsburgher to land in South Florida.

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