A long time ago I went to Cleveland Browns games. It was the dawn of the Bernie Kosar era with Marty Shottenheimer as head coach and Lindy Infante as offensive coordinator. Despite all of that goodness happening on offense, we noticed this nut of a special teams coach the Browns had. Whenever there was a kickoff or punt, he would sprint down the sidelines as if he was in the play. Every great tackle was celebrated with wild enthusiasm. Every missed tackle led to a sideline discussion. It was infectious and exciting to watch. We liked watching special teams just to see this guy get fired up.
That special teams coach followed Marty to Kansas City and then later interviewed for the Browns Head Coaching position. He was beat out by Bill Belichick, but was quickly hired by the Steelers to replace Chuck Knoll. I remember thinking Bill Cowher was the better selection and the Steelers landed a great guy. It was obvious he was going to be good.
The point I am making is the enthusiasm Bill Cowher brought to football even as a special teams coach was overpowering. You just knew he would lead the team to success. After listening to Gus Bradley today, I feel exactly the same way now as I did then watching Bill Cowher. Gus talked about how excited he got watching Justin Blackmon catch the football. I can’t imagine how excited Justin felt hearing that. He talked about Cecil Shorts and Jerry Sullivan with such vigor that I felt good for those guys. It was fun to hear.
I know it is only one day, but I don’t think I would be any happier with Bill Cowher as head coach than I am with Gus Bradley. It just feels so similar and so right.
- Terry O’Brien