Watch: Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin One-on-One
It's fascinating to watch the former and current head coaches share a few laughs in the office they have both occupied.
The two people who know better than anyone else what it's like to be the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the post-Chuck Noll era are Mike Tomlin and Bill Cowher. Both men were in the office of the UPMC Rooney Sports complex last Thursday. Cowher was in town to film a video segment (above) for CBS's “The NFL Today,” which aired before the Steelers' victory Sunday over the Miami Dolphins.
“I had the chance to sit and just talk with Mike before the interview,” Cowher told Steelers.com. “It was just him and I in the room, he was watching tape, and we were sharing some wonderful stories. It’s just amazing how special a place this is in so many respects. Not just in the building, but the city, the environment. It’s a great place to raise your family, a place that keeps values, a place that has high standards. A place where you get to enjoy the simplicities of life and at the same time the thrills of a lifetime.
“Being back here, talking with him 10 years later for a piece that hopefully makes people realize how special a place this is.”
While former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw has been critical of Tomlin, recently referring to Tomlin as a “cheerleader,” Cowher had nothing but praise for his successor.
“What Mike has done speaks volumes,” said Cowher. “You feel very blessed and fortunate to come to a city, an organization, a place and you just grab the tradition and run with it, but you still have to be yourself. Mike has been himself. He has done a remarkable job of keeping the level of expectation to where it’s been. I was blessed to have followed a legendary coach in Chuck Noll. I think we have all been blessed to work for the Rooney family.
“With Mike, I think you see the same guy today that you saw 10 years ago. I think wiser, more wisdom, and more life experiences. You grow but you are still who you are. He and I never really talked about the team, never talked about how the dynamic works in this building. I never did that with Chuck. You have to forge your own path. Mike has done that. I did it. Chuck did it. Again I go back to one common denominator in all of this, the Rooney family.”
As for Bradshaw's comments, Cowher is not a fan.
“It’s unfortunate because it comes from a guy like Terry who is so much a part of the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Cowher said. “With all due respect to Terry, there is a lot more that gets involved with coaching than playing. I know Terry understands that. I think it’s more unfortunate and a little disappointing.
“But Mike and I have been called a lot worse than that. If the worse thing I was called is a cheerleader, man. I have been called a lot worse than that in my 15 years here and I am sure Mike has been called a lot worse in his 10 years here.”