Bill Cowher compiled 149 wins in 15 years as coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He led the Steelers to 10 playoff appearances, reaching the AFC title game six times, including two Super Bowls, winning it in 2006.
Retiring seven years ago, Cowher is a studio analyst for The NFL Today show. Last month he visited Moore. A story on Cowher conducting a clinic for sixth graders in a city rebuilding following a May 20 tornado will air during Sunday's national pre-game show that starts at 11 a.m.
Watching the NFL from a different perspective has been enjoyable. When you're coaching you can become very narrow minded, focused on things you need to do to help your team improve. Being on the CBS side of it has allowed me to see the big picture, trend developments. You have a better understanding why some decisions are made because you get to see all the games every week.
The CBS pre-game show is awesome. It's a lot of fun. Boomer (Esiason), Dan (Marino) and Shannon Sharpe are so much fun to work with. The best part is when Monday comes around you didn't lose a game.
All the rules changes are being done for the right reasons. You're talking safety. In the greater scheme of things, all the way down to youth football, people need to try and do everything they can to protect players but everyone who plays in the NFL knows there's a risk.
I'll never forget those years playing in high school in western Pennsylvania (Crafton, population 6,500). It was a really small school. We only had 20 guys on the team. Most of us played both ways. I love kidding my brother the only time he got to play was when the defense came in.
My greatest thrill was winning Super Bowl XL. That's the ultimate. In college my senior year we won the Tangerine Bowl. But perhaps the greatest thrill I ever had was when my three daughters were born.
Two of my favorite NFL memories were my first win as a head coach and my first time to step onto the field for a game as a player. Just making the team was big for me (as an undrafted free agent linebacker).
As a head coach you have to make sure you exhaust every option. You can't make changes just to make changes. You have to consider alternatives. And you can't wait too long into a season. I never wanted to sit back and say, ‘What if?' I would prefer to say ‘I tried this, I tried that.' Then you could live with yourself.
You couldn't work for a better organization than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Everyone in the organization does everything within their power to help make the franchise a success.
One thing I learned from my first Super Bowl to the second one was everything is longer. Everyone has rituals but in the Super Bowl it's a lot different. That first Super Bowl we were all fired up and they hadn't even done the national anthem, yet. Dallas was all calm. Next thing you know we're down 10-0 four minutes into it. It's so important to talk to your team about harnessing that electricity.
I never say never (that I'll coach again) but I'm in a really good place right now. I really enjoy what I'm doing on TV. It's very flattering (when there's a rumor I'm a candidate for a job opening) but right now I like where I'm at.
Playing football, I don't think there are any greater lessons you can learn in life. It's being part of a team, building esteem. The sport made a huge impact on my life.
I believe athletes sometimes specialize at too young an age in one sport. I encourage kids growing up to play a lot of sports. All sports help a kid gain confidence, but I firmly believe football is a sport that helps a kid mature into a young man.
My No. 1 advice for kids, not just those that play sports, is to make sure they prioritize things. At the top of the list is education but at the same time they need to develop other areas whether that's sports or the arts. I think having balance is very important. Kids need to aspire and work hard towards a goal, whatever that goal is. And make sure you have fun doing it!
I would like to think football will always be an option for kids. I really believe the league is trying to minimize injuries as best they can. Football sometimes provides opportunities for kids who might not get to go to college. I don't like to see kids denied opportunities that are gifted athletically. Football helps create self esteem, commitment, leadership, things they'll always take with them to college and other walks of life.