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PFT Rumor: Coach Cowher has talked to the Redskins

I answered some questions over at Big Blue View recently, though they won't get posted until later in the week, and one of them related to Joe Gibbs and his future with the team. I insisted that I would love to have Joe Gibbs both for the immediate future and beyond, as he's demonstrably been the best coach the Redskins have had since... Joe Gibbs.

Per a rumor at PFT, the team might already be looking past him. Emphasis added:

A league source tells us that there is already talk in league circles that former Steelers coach Bill Cowher is planning his potential return to the NFL.  Per the source, Cowher already has spoken with multiple teams about filling a potential vacancy in 2008.

The source also says that one of Cowher's demands will be full control over the football operations.

The teams, the source says, are believed to be the Browns, Redskins, and Panthers.  Another league source confirms that Cowher has had at least one private discussion with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder about the possibility of replacing Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs, if Gibbs calls it quits after the 2007 season.

We're also told that Cowher has begun the process of discreetly lining up a personnel executive to run the front office, subject to Cowher's final say on all roster moves.

Presuming that everything is true (which it certainly may not be), there's a lot here so head over to PFT to finish up the article. First, it is littered with qualifications. Cowher wants total control. Cowher needs to get paid. Joe Gibbs needs to actually retire.

Some things I like: Coach Cowher, as my colleagues at Behind the Steel Curtain well know, is an outstanding coach. Perhaps one of the best in the league. I like that he's proposed control over the team and that Dan Snyder spoke with him regardless, even when it was stipulated that he'd bring his own people in. That sounds a bit more like the personnel structure I'd always hoped the Redskins adopted under Snyder. Though I'm also really getting ahead of myself. If the Redskins have a successful 2007, with a postseason appearance, our "personnel structure" is secondary. Winning is what I care about.

What I don't like is that it sounds as though we're already planning for a Joe Gibbs free future, and I'm not ready to tackle that yet. I am sure that some reader(s) are already tired of the Gibbs 2.0 experience, I just happen not to have reached my wits end with Coach Gibbs just yet. He's done a lot in a relatively short period of time with this football team, even granting a disappointing 2006.

I'm also worried about how continued talks with Coach Cowher will affect the current coordinators. I do not know if Al Saundrs wants to be a Head Coach (again) though I do know that Gregg Williams wants the job given the stipulation in his current contract whereas he gets a big 1$ million bonus if he's on the staff when Joe Gibbs retires and is not made the HC.

Does that necessarily mean I want either of them ultimately replacing Coach Gibbs? I don't know. Al Saunders hasn't really done anything in Washington yet, though I'm confident he will next year. Gregg Williams was great for two years and horrid for one and has a spotty record as a HC. How the defense rebounds in 2007 will speak volumes about him as a coach, and I'll make a more informed judgment by year's end.

So the question moves to reader(s): Who do you want replacing Joe Gibbs in the immediate future, if anyone? Gregg Williams? Saunders? Is Cowher as qualified a candidate as exists?

Deuce of Davenport, The Constitutional Vol. 3