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Cowher will be back ... eventually

Philip G. Pavely
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher during a game in 2004.

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By Newsday
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 7:44 p.m.

Six seasons have passed since Bill Cowher walked away from the Steelers, and 2013 likely will make it seven. But the CBS analyst and former coach said Tuesday that he probably will return to the NFL — eventually.

“It would be a challenge,” he said of the layoff since he last coached, “but I think that's probably why I would get back into it, because of the challenge.”

So he does plan to go back at some point?

“Yeah,” he said.

The question, of course, is when. Has Cowher been tempted by the current NFL openings or heard from the teams who have them?

“No, no, no, no,” he said at an event to promote CBS' coverage of Super Bowl XLVII. “Hey, we have the Super Bowl. All these coaches are trying to get there. I know I'm going to be there.”

Cowher would be a hot commodity any time he signaled a willingness to return. When he's ready, he's convinced the layoff will be a “non-issue.”

“I did it for 27 years,” he said. “One thing about this job is it's been really good because it allows me to study the game and do features on the game. ... It's not like I'm out of it. I know how the game is changing.”

If the Jets falter next season, Cowher naturally would be a popular choice to replace Rex Ryan. In that scenario, quarterback Mark Sanchez presumably would be on his way out, too.

But Cowher believes Sanchez is salvageable. Cowher noted everything from a lack of skill position players to problems on the line to the failure of Tony Sparano's system to click to Sanchez's “fragile” confidence to, of course, the backup quarterback.

“You bring in Tim Tebow and create this whole circus kind of atmosphere,” Cowher said. “I mean, as everyone has talked about, that thing was doomed from Day 1. They never really had a chance to succeed.”

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