The sly Bill Cowher

Bill Cowher is the post master general of the Steelers and is delivering a message, the only one he can at this point.

Though some may question it at times, Bill Cowher did not get to where he is at by being a stupid man – at least as a football coach and motivator.

That's why right now, it's tough to question his motivational tactics with this team.

The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't playing bad football. They're just continually shooting themselves in the foot as 24 turnovers in eight games will attest.

But even that doesn't tell the true depth of their problems. In their two victories this season, the Steelers have forced five turnovers and made just two of their own. In their six losses they've turned it over an amazing 22 times. That's not shooting yourself in the foot, that's jumping right off a cliff.

Several members of the team admitted to pressing, trying to do more than they should, to help pull the team out of this funk – most notably quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

But this is something Roethlisberger has to play through. That's what you do with your franchise quarterback.

Your franchise cornerback, however, now that's a different story.

Cowher has made it obvious in the past that he thinks Ike Taylor can get a little lackadaisical at times and lose his focus. Sunday, it cost the Steelers big time as the man Taylor was shadowing around the field, Denver's Javon Walker, single-handedly beat them.

Tuesday at his weekly press conference, Cowher said he doesn't send messages, he delivers them.

Taylor got a special delivery from the Steelers' post master general – basically the only one handed out this week.

As for any other changes, such as inserting McFadden for Deshea Townsend or Santonio Holmes for Cedrick Wilson, they might not have gone over so well in the locker room.

In fact, wide receiver Hines Ward said as much this week.

"Ced was just trying to make a play. I don't fault that," said Ward. "Yes, maybe we were careless with the football. But right now, the turnover issue, that seems like all that's talked about. Now guys are worried about turning the ball over instead of just playing."

But benching Taylor, that is another matter. Because Taylor will still serve as the third cornerback Sunday, he'll still see plenty of playing time. And the chances are good that Taylor won't be on the bench long.

But Cowher couldn't risk benching Townsend, who is highly respected in the locker room, or Wilson, who would have gone to the bench in favor of a rookie who fumbled twice Sunday himself.

So Cowher made the only logical move he could make.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.


Steel City Insider Top Stories