Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Despite Rumors, No Quit in Cowher

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Despite Rumors, No Quit in Cowher

Article excerpt

Bill Cowher's message to the Steelers, their fans, and the media is clear. He is focusing on football, on winning a game. Any game.

The problem is the focus in Pittsburgh this week isn't on the field, or a long-awaited quarterback change, or even tonight's game against the Jaguars. Instead, it has been on Cowher's future, because media reports have raised a question in recent weeks.

Will he be back as coach?

Cowher's stance is, it shouldn't be a question at all.

"They're all untrue," Cowher said as the Steelers (5-6) prepared to play the Jaguars (10-1) tonight at 8:20 at Alltel Stadium. "There's no substance to them."

The rumors, denied by Cowher and not confirmed within the team, were detailed this weekend in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- that he may resign after the season, and may be added as a commentator for Monday Night Football next season.

Cowher said this week the reports bothered him, and he is bothered that after nearly a decade of success there is a perception that he will quit after this season.

"Sure, it does," he said. "You'd be foolish to say it doesn't, but some things you have no control over. It's unfortunate, but I guess that's what happens when you get involved with the entertainment business."

The business has been particularly tough the past two seasons. Last season, the Steelers missed the playoffs for the first time after making them during Cowher's first six seasons as coach.

In the offseason, Cowher hired former Jaguars offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride to work with struggling quarterback Kordell Stewart, and talked optimistically of a return to the playoffs.

Instead, Stewart continued to struggle and during a loss Sunday at home to the Bengals -- who entered the game with one victory -- Cowher benched Stewart in what he said is a permanent move. …

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