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#pounditThursday, June 20, 2024

Bill Cowher has pointed message about potential Steelers changes

Bill Cowher smiling

Oct 30, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; NFL network analyst Bill Cowher talks prior to the game between the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher may have sent a message to his successor Mike Tomlin when discussing potential staff changes.

Cowher appeared on The Pat McAfee Show Thursday and discussed the importance of making changes, including the Steelers’ decision to part ways with offensive coordinator Matt Canada earlier in the season. In Cowher’s mind, such changes are sometimes necessary, even when an organization has been successful in the past.

“The biggest thing as a head coach, to me, is the accountability is with the players, but it’s also with the coaches. I was hard on the coaches, and sometimes I made change just for the sake of change,” Cowher said. “It’s an infusion of energy, there’s something new, there’s something fresh, particularly with what you’re doing if it becomes stale. I think that’s the biggest thing in the National Football League, to me, is you don’t want to become stale, you don’t want to become stagnant, predictable. Bring somebody in with a fresh set of eyes, a fresh set of ideas, doing some things that are a little more creative.

“I think there’s a lot of places, even in Pittsburgh, you got to sit back at the end of the season, give yourself a week, remove the emotion, but be very objective about where you are. I’ve always said this as a head coach: my only loyalty I have is to winning. It’s not to coaches, it’s not to certain players, it’s to what’s in the best interest to us to win on a regular basis. … Sometimes that means it’s lonely at the top. It’s tough decisions you have to make.”

It’s quite easy to read this as a message to Tomlin. The Steelers have historically been reluctant to make staff changes in-season, and many felt the team waited too long to fire Canada after Week 11. The move did not significantly improve Pittsburgh’s offense, which has been dreadful all season.

One thing Cowher appears to be saying quite clearly is that the Steelers need to take a long look at everything after this season. This is an organization with a reputation for competitiveness and hard work, and some younger players do not seem to be buying into that. Tomlin may need to find that new voice that Cowher is describing.

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