As the Steelers prepare to head to St. Vincent to open their preseason mini-camps, the long-term status of coach Bill Cowher remains uncertain . Steelers chairman Dan Rooney mentioned that the organization had traditionally extended Cowher's contract two years prior to it expiring, but had usually wrapped up negotiations at this point in the offseason.It would be a crying shame to see Cowher walk away from the game after his contract expires at the end of the 2007-2008 season. I wouldn't bet on that happening, but it's nevertheless a possibility. Cowher is obviously an intense guy who pours his heart and soul into the job. It must take it's toll. He's known nothing but football up until this point, and perhaps he'd like to re-energize for a few years before returning to the game. He also, of course, just won his first Super Bowl. There's no void on his resume. Career accomplishments: Cowher has a 153-91-1 record (playoffs included) in 14 seasons. He ranks fourth among active coaches in career victories behind Marty Schottenheimer (191), Bill Parcells (174) and Joe Gibbs (157). Cowher is the longest active tenured coach in the NFL. Cowher, 49, is tied for 14th in all-time wins with Steve Owen, one behind Marv Levy (154). We'll see how this one plays out. I don't thikn anything's going to get worked out before camp opens next Thursday, but it would certainly be a nice monkey to get off our back. Regardless of what happens, all of us should feel grateful we've had him as our head coach for the past decade and a half.
By Michael Bean