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Comments on Press Conference/QB Situation

October 10, 2000 by Still Mill


Cowher Press Conference/QB Situation (Oct. 10th, '00)

Cowher's press conference today was hilarious. He started it out by staunchly stating that he'd answer no questions about the QB situation. But the media persisted anyway, and when they pestered him, Cowher got a bit annoyed.

Dave Ailes or Sam Ross of the TR asked a GREAT question -- "Bill, if you'll comment on other positions as to who will play & why (notably OT, where Gandy and Smith are both questionable, and Shar is out), then why not QB?"

Cowher : "Because I'm the head coach and it's my prerogative...."

ESPN's John Clayton reports Cowher decided to start QB Kent Graham over Kordell Stewart because 1) Graham will get the ball downfield more to the WRs and 2) the Steelers face the Bengals this Sunday at home in Three Rivers Stadium, which has been Stewart's personal house of horrors.

I am OK with Reason #1 if this is what Cowher believes.... I am personally not a huge fan of either Kordell or Graham, but I certainly agree that Graham throws downfield better than Kordell. Heck, Bettis throws downfield better than Kordell. At some point in time -- just as in both '98 and '99 -- an offense that cannot or will not throw further than 12 yards downfield pays the pauper by facing a steady diet of all-out blitzes and 8-man fronts.

As for reason #2, I hate that reason. If Kordell can't play in Pittsburgh, he should be released. (OK, that is unrealistic because of the salary cap.) I do think Kordell, despite putting up pedestrian numbers, looked comfortable, smooth, and confident against the Jets. Maybe the reason was because he was on the road with low expectations.

Remember in the preseason, when CBS Sportsline reported Cowher was considering starting Graham at home and Kordell on the road ?? In a weird way, that is happening.....

The more I see of this QB situation, the more I am convinced that Cowher is afraid of any QB controversy. This dates back to the fiasco in '92 (his 1st season), with Neil and Brister. As you may recall, Bubby got hurt in the regular season; Neil relieved; and then Cowher started Neil over a healthy Bubby in the blowout playoff loss to Buffalo. Cowher has never gotten over that. Ever since then, Cowher has gone waaay out of his way to avoid a QB controversy. If you don't agree, then explain why Cowher stuck with Mike Prozac so long as his backup QB. Cowher loved Mike Prozac as a backup, because Prozac was too ineffective and pitiful to ever cause a QB controversy.

By the way, Cowher admitted in the press conference that his decision to deactivate Huntley came simply from "a feeling" that was generated when Cowher awoke on Sunday morning. This is simply wonderful. Bill Cowher's wet dreams now determine who dresses on

The Still Mill 

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