Chicago Sun-Times

Clayton shoots down report of Bears reaching out to Cowher

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The Bears held a high level meeting at Halas Hall last week after a report was made that the club had extended back channel feelers to Bill Cowher to gauge his interest in potentially coming on board in 2010. Eventually, the brass in the building decided the best response for the club to have was no response at all, so the organization has remained silent on the issue.

Someone has spoken up now. ESPN's John Clayton went the other way and said it wasn't accurate in an appearance on WMVP-1000 this afternoon.

"Literally, about two minutes ago I was just talking to someone about this in the Bill Cowher camp,'' Clayton said. "And that is 100 percent inaccurate. No reaching out to Bill Cowher and no reaching out to Bill Cowher representatives, friends or anything of that nature. And Bill has made it known that he doesn't want to affect any current coach, whether it is an interim coach or a head coach, who is under a contract until the end of the season because he wants to be true to all the coaches that are currently coaching.

"There is no contact or illusion of a contact. Nut I will tell you this factually, he is interested in two jobs: one being the Chicago Bears, and the other being the Houston Texans. Both would have to open for that to happen but he is interested. But in the end there hasn't happened anything that would give him any indication that he would be contacted."

In a way, it seems as if we're dealing with semantics here. No, the Bears haven't reached out to Cowher. But, yes, he'd be interested in the job if and when Lovie Smith no longer holds the job. That's been out there for a while, that Cowher would have interest in the Bears or Texans. It's a moot point, though, unless there is an opening. Remember, Dave Wannstedt went 4-12 in 1997 and returned to post an identical 4-12 record in 1998. Dick Jauron went 4-12 in 2002 and returned to go 7-9 in 2003. In each instance, the Bears kept their coach until they had to pay him off for only one remaining season. Smith is signed through 2011.

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12 Comments

Let me knbow when it comes from the Bears or Cowher, not PR people. But just to point something out that I thought was funny with this report.

First this is said
"Bill has made it known that he doesn't want to affect any current coach, whether it is an interim coach or a head coach, who is under a contract until the end of the season because he wants to be true to all the coaches that are currently coaching."

Now this is said in the same report.
"Nut I will tell you this factually, he is interested in two jobs: one being the Chicago Bears, and the other being the Houston Texans. Both would have to open for that to happen but he is interested."

Then this.
"In a way, it seems as if we're dealing with semantics here. No, the Bears haven't reached out to Cowher. But, yes, he'd be interested in the job if and when Lovie Smith no longer holds the job."

So he doesn't want to effect a coaches job but a super bowl winning coach with a great record wants to coach the Bears if Lovie isn't their. How does that not effect Smith or the team that is struggling.

I read this and now I am pretty sure it happened, I think the Bears did reach out and Cowher and the Bears are trying to cover their own backsides. This is standard PR stuff. Notice none of the actual parties have called it a lie. Its all PR people. Cowher doesn't want to look like he undermined Lovie does he?The Bears also don't want ot look like they undermineded him? Its basic PR protocol.

Now I don't think they will get Cowher because I think he wants to much power and money and the Bears have put themselves in a bad position. But he would probably rather have the Texans job. Better team, better players, better weather.

I know Shanahan wants a ton of power as well, but I do like Brads idea of putting Shanahan and Kubiak together thats a major pair right their, but neither solve the defensive problems.

I would be happy with Kubiak as the OC period. I look at Cowher as a great head coach but not a great coordinator. He is a pure head coach but he would need a good system to work with, you give him that and he will get the most out of his players, he always has. Shanahan is a defensive genius, but makes poor personel choices and is to controling, either way neither guy fixes the main problem which is the GM. No big name coach is going to want to work with Angelo. Not to mention in their first year which is a transition year they have no draft picks and may not be able to get any of the top FA because with no players agreement, Free agency goes from 4 years to 6 years.

The Bears have put themselves in really tough spot.

Final thought, i am all for not having Mike Martz here, the Bears have enough problems.

My understanding is that Cowher was not the GM in Pittsburgh but had great input and even veto power over the GM's decisions. If that's true, then there's no reason why he couldn't work with Angelo.

But let's not get too excited. Remember the Dave McGinnis debable? The Bears have a habit of bringing a knife to a gunfight when it comes to getting topnotch coaches. They usually go after the guy that no one else wants. So, it's great if they want Cowher, but I'm pretty sure they'll find a way to screw it up.

Look Brad to be fair to Lovie, and I will be what has he done to create a pass rush for this team in the last three years? I don't blame him for bad personel, I would rather see Angelo go than Smith, but over the last three years what has he done? He isn't good with the clock or challenges and as a defensive coach the defense has stunk. Stopping the run is number 1 thats what he says, but they are bad against the run. How about pass rush? He has done nothing. He wanted Rod and he got him and the line is worse this year. He makes poor coaching choices and player choices as well. So what has he done to keep his job? Lovie was under contract and instead of waiting one more year they threw a lot of money at him. You know I thought it was mistake. Right now thats a bad contract.

The Bears are a billion dollar buisness, and are throwing away lots of money on bad contracts and bad draft picks. Thats all Angelo. Angelo has 4 more years left or is it five? Can they afford to keep letting him do what he is doing with contracts and draft picks. How much is Angelo owed? Lovie is getting a lot of grief and as I see it Angelo is coasting under the radar.

IMOP neither has done anything that says they should stay after this year. Its not the fans fault that managment made bad choices and signed a lot of bad contracts. I think the Bears spend money, I have no problem with that, I have a problem with how they are spending it.

Angelo is first on my list of people who need to go, his mistakes have been aweful and are clear for anyone to see. For me the question is can the Bears really afford to keep him for 4 or five more years doing what he is doing? They don't want to pay him to sit in Florida, but do they want to pay him to throw away money and draft picks cause thats what he is doing. I can't imagine they are happy with him. Its not like a one year thing with him either, its consistant bad.

But I really would like to know how much he has left on his contract. I can deal with Lovie for another year if he is gone and they got a good GM. I would asume that firing Angelo would be cheaper than replacing Lovie and his staff. Turner is all but gone. Give me a real GM and Kubiak and I would look at that as a really good begining to fixing this team. But they have to do something they can't blame everything on Turner.

Sorry for the back to back long posts.

Oh and with my earlier post before you get mad, yes I actually think PR people spin things sense thats their job and what they get paid to do.

I say,, Jerry + Lovie + Rod + Ron = 2-12 in 2010 ... oh yea, then they'll all burn = the great chicago fire 2011. if they get Martz, they'll have a new fall guy but still go 2-12. It's a train wreck and between Ted's conservatism, Virginia's age, and Michaels past castration. Nothing will happen.

This year, no more wins; team has lost interest. If they, as they should, start playing rookies and make wholesale changes, they'll look even worse.

But this is awesome, Virginia aging + the team looking worse + no new significant changes = increased chance of family sale.

We can only hope ...

"Eventually, the brass in the building decided the best response for the club to have was no response at all, so the organization has remained silent on the issue."

THEY REMAINED SILENT BECAUSE IT'S TRUE!!!!!! Do the Bears think we as fans are stupid?

Creighton, Angelo is signed through 2013. FOUR more years!! That's one massive sh*t sandwich for the fans and the city to eat, but you can safely bet that he'll be here until the last contracted minute.

Oh, and by the way, you don't like Mike Martz? You'll have a painful next couple years, because they'll almost certaily fire Turner, replace him with Martz (Lovie's other BFF), and Lovie will be back for two more years. Some clubs pay a lot of money to avoid losing, but our Bears lose a lot to avoid paying.

It could be the Bears did talk to Cowher's people, but the plan is not for him to come in at the end of this season but the end of next season. It will make it more palatable for the Bears to dump Angelo then. I don't think Cowher is hurting for a job and with a pending lock-out and no draft picks, who would want to come into that situation?
The Bears will stay with Lovie and Jerry for another year. The team will do miserable, landing them some high draft picks in 2011. The organization will clean house and by 2013/2014 they will be competitive again.

Creighton,

I generally agree with you, but you are too hard on Angelo. Do you have something personal with the guy? You just seem to jump all over him all the time. It's kind of obsessive dude. I'm not hatin', I'm just sayin' - think about it.

Anyhoo, I don't think JA has done a particularly good job (I would give the guy a C), but I don't agree that he is awful.

Jerry has pulled some talented and occasionally productive players to the Bears organization. It is not his fault that Ced Benson and Tommie Harris can't/couldn't get their heads on straight. Or that Dvoracek can't stay healthy. Please don't give me another laundry list of missed picks. Every GM misses in the draft. JA also nabbed Cutler, which I still think is a coup if they get the right system around him. (Okay all you Neckbeard lovers, flame on!)

As others have pointed out, great coaching can maximize effort and talent. IMO, the actual coaching in Chicago has probably been worse than the general management this season. To get topical, I would bet Marty Schottenheimer or Bill Cower could get a whole lot more out of the Bears defense that Lovie has. I think Ron Rivera would get better results out of these guys too. And with regards to the 06 players that are still on the team, he really did.

I think scheme, soft practicing, and defensive coordinator carousels have had as much to do with team collapse as the trading of Thomas Jones, below-average drafts, and the ridiculous attempts at retooling the offensive line.

Maybe Angelo, Phillips and the McCheeps will have an epiphany and really do something special like they did when they went after Cutler.

Lets face the fact that Lovie and Turner are essentially toast, and I am not talking the "toast of the town". Angelo is not stupid although he may appear to be with some of his personnel and coach choices. Angelo knows that he is the next one on the toast list and that he better move very quickly to find a good coach like Cowher. He will have mixed emotions because Angelo likes a coach that just does what he says, but Angelo also realizes if the Bears do not win and win quickly he will be the next one to be put into the toaster, so to speak.

With all that said, the Bears get a new coach, defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator next year.

By the way, watched Martz in San Francisco and Detroit (forget St. Louis, a blind pig could win with that talent), if the Bears get him, I am going to pull my televison off of the wall and throw it through the living room window, and that is not an indication of my happiness.


So with that said and my dreams for a new and better 2010, start here with my wishlist and dreams for the following coaching improvements.

Cowher first choice for Head Coach and Shannahan next.
Toub first choice for Defensive Coordinator, promote him or lose him.
Weis first choice for Offensive Coordinator but never the coach, he would make a good NFL offensive coordinator for the Bears as his past history with the Pats has shown.

Hey Brad! In your Wanny and Jauron's example of keeping them 1 more year after a dismal one, which they shouldve/couldve been fired...who were available coaches at that time in both instances? Were ther the likes of Cowher or Shanahan? I have to imagine Lovie is squirming right now!

At this point in his tenure, Lovie needs to bag the 'gonna look at the tape and make corrections' crap...call people out! Tell the world that your team stinks and don't deserve any hand holding. Maybe if he did that, it could change the perception of him for the fans in this town. Cuz right now, he's not motivating anyone.

I totally agree with Creighton: Angelo is worse than Smith, though they both suck. However, if the Bears got Cowher, he'd assert some control about personnel decisions. It wouldn't be anywhere near as good as getting a good GM, but it would be an improvement over the current situation.

Estevan, what don't you understand about how bad Angelo has been? Exactly what good players, other than Cutler, has he brought to the Bears? And he's ruining Cutler due to the lack of offensive line and receivers. Angelo has no clue how to judge college offensive talent, and he's constantly picked college players with injury histories so that even his defensive picks have eventually withered. He let the offensive line deteriorate into one of the worst in the league -- maybe THE worst -- and has let the defensive tackle position do the same. The lines, along with the quarterback, are the foundations of any team. No halfway decent GM would allow his lines to deteriorate the way Smith has. And oh, receivers? What are those again?

I'm probably one of the few that thinks the Bears will pull the trigger on Cowher. Listen, the Bears have a cheap reputation, but this isn't 1992 anymore. Here's why they'll finally sign a big name:

--Winning makes money. Operating income was at an all-time high in 2006, and has trailed off since.
--The stadium deal and other sources of revenue provide more security for the organization financially, enabling them to eat contracts.
--The Bears have shown a willingness to spend money in the 21st century.
--If 2010 is uncapped, it's an opportunity for the Bears to clean house. They can eat some player contracts without it counting against the cap.
--The Bears don't have to pay bonusues to the first 2 2010 picks, so that makes it easier to eat Lovie and/or Jerry's contract.
--Rumors are that the McCaskey grandkids want to win. Don't about 8 of them work at Halas Hall? They have the money, now they want the glory.
--If you keep Lovie one more year, then you miss out on the 2010 hiring pool and risk subjecting Cutler to 3 OCs in three years (if they were to keep Lovie for 2010, but fire Turner, and then fire Lovie anyway in 2011).

If you get a guy like Cowher in that knows what he's doing, there's hope in uncapped year because you can sign quality transition players (assuming a change to a 3-4). Denver is a great example of a team that did this in the 2009 offseason. Look how quickly their defense improved.

Why wouldn't Cowher want to come here? Houston has the QB and the Texas market. We have the QB and the second biggets total market. Cowher's agent is savvy to this.

Cowher is the next Bears coach--book it.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 2, 2009 5:25 PM.

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