Cowher blows this call

Bill's Rant

January 23, 2008|By BILL ORDINE

During CBS' AFC championship game halftime show Sunday, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher blurted something that just was astounding.

Cowher - who has earned his stripes as a Super Bowl-winning coach - suggested that the San Diego Chargers pull quarterback Philip Rivers because he was less than 100 percent physically and play Billy Volek in the second half. To paraphrase Cowher: You're 30 minutes from the Super Bowl and you pull out all the stops.

What?

You trail by less than a touchdown (the New England Patriots led 14-9 at the half), you're 30 minutes from the Super Bowl and Volek is the guy you count on to get you there?

The madness was contagious. Ex-Raven Shannon Sharpe endorsed the idea.

Restoring sanity, Boomer Esiason stood up to that asinine suggestion by saying that Rivers was truly the heart of the team at that moment and, with LaDainian Tomlinson shut down with a knee injury, the quarterback represented the Chargers' only shot at an upset.

Cowher then hedged by saying that he would give Rivers a few snaps in the second half but that he would have a quick hook ready.

Here's a little reminder: Cowher was the guy who started a still-wobbly Ben Roethlisberger after the motorcycle accident/appendectomy in early 2006 even though his perfectly capable backup, Charlie Batch, was available and had guided the Steelers to a victory in the season opener.

The fact of the matter: If Cowher the coach had been on the sideline for Sunday's AFC championship game, he wouldn't have given one second of consideration to the absurd advice of Cowher the analyst.

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