“Bill It To Canton”

When I think of the legendary aura of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the well-known names often come to my mind. Players such as Mean Joe Greene, Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris. Those four players I listed are all enshrined in Canton as members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. From a coaching standpoint, Mr. Chuck Noll I’m sure is at the top of the list. One guy I became extremely familiar with was Bill Cowher. Last night while Bill was on the NFL Today on CBS, he was surprised by the president of the Hall of Fame, David Baker on live television. He shared with him that he will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer as a member of the Class of 2020.

Bill Cowher began his coaching career in 1985 at the age of 28 under legendary head coach, Marty Schottenheimer with the Cleveland Browns. He started as a special team’s coach, then became their secondary coach in 1987. In 1989, he followed Marty to Kansas City when he was hired on as the head coach of the Chiefs. Bill served as the Chiefs defensive coordinator. In 1992, the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Bill Cowher to be their next head coach. He succeeded Chuck Noll at the position. Football was in his bloodline. He was meant to be affiliated with this game. He played for six seasons then moved onto coaching. His players absolutely loved him. Bill was a coach that you wanted to leave it all on the field for. You never wanted to disappoint him because if you did, he’d give you that glare with his lips pouted up. You always wanted to give it 150 percent for him. He was very similar to Tony Dungy in a way. As a player, you always wanted to do everything right for coach. Coach was a passionate guy with an aggressive delivery. I always saw the emotion in him on the sidelines. At the end of the day, he loved his football players with everything in him. I was always a fan of his approach to the game. He was a defensive minded coach which showed with many of his Steelers teams ranked in the top five in many defensive categories from a statistical standpoint. The two memorable years that stand out to me from his career were in 2004 and 2005. In 04, he decides to start a young quarterback named Ben Roethlisberger. The rookie that year would help lead the Steelers to a 15-1 record and the top seed in the AFC Playoffs. Bill was named coach of the year for an incredible year. In 2005, the Steelers entered the playoffs as a six seed in the AFC. They became the first team to win three straight playoff games on the road. The Steelers that season would go on to win Super Bowl 40 with a win over the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit. On January 5th, 2007, Coach resigned from the Pittsburgh Steelers after 15 seasons as the team’s head coach.

During his tenure in Pittsburgh, the Steelers saw their share of success. They won eight division titles, ten postseason berths (made the playoffs in his first six seasons), played in 21 playoff games, advanced to six AFC Championship games and played in two Super Bowls winning one and losing one. Bill is one of only six coaches in NFL history to win at least seven division titles. After the 2005 season was complete, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the best record in the NFL since the time when Cowher was hired as head coach. His record as a head coach is 149-90-1. This is well deserved. Congrats coach.

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