Schottenheimer understands

On the day Bill Cowher resigned as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, old friend and former boss Marty Schottenheimer commented on the move.

Marty Schottenheimer, head coach, San Diego Chargers

"Bill Cowher has done a terrific job as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers over the course of the last 15 years. When you look back at that organization, the fact that they've had only two guys since 1969, it's a remarkable achievement. He certainly stands at the same level as Coach (Chuck) Noll. Bill is, if nothing else, honest in all that he does. I think he probably just felt that it was the right time for him to make a change. I personally don't think that we've seen the end of Bill Cowher as an NFL head coach because there will be opportunities for him and at some point in time I fully expect to see him back. I certainly hope so."

(on Cowher's decision to resign)

"When you're a youngster, you hear references to the fact that nobody knows what it's like to do what you do unless they walk in your shoes. My father told me that years and years ago. Nobody knows what Bill or any other individual who has such a lengthy tenure in a position what they deal with on a day-to-day basis. I can appreciate the fact that he wants to refocus his energies toward his family and some recreational time. I think we all recognize the demands of this job. Bill, I guess, has decided that it's time to do something else."

(on the similar decision Schottenheimer made following his tenure in Kansas City)

"It was interesting because I had completed 14 and a half years as a head coach in the National Football League when I made the decision to do that. Bill made it 15, but the thing that would make it more difficult for him is being in the same place. One of the things that happens is that you keep trying to find ways to say the same thing, different ways to get your message across to everybody whether it's the players, the staff, the organization or the community. After being in a place 10, 12, 14 years, it's hard to find new ways to get that message across. That's one thing that impresses me most about what Bill has done. He's continually gotten his message across."

(on Cowher … the person)

"He's a terrific person. I will say tongue in cheek, that's typical of people from Pittsburgh. Bill has always understood what he wanted to do. His persistence was never more evident than when we made the move from Cleveland to Kansas City and I had a couple of other candidates for the defensive coordinator's position. He was just relentless in trying to convince me that he was prepared to do that job. He was persuasive. I eventually gave him the position and he did a great, great job for us. The rest is history. One of the things I find interesting as I look back on it is that the Cleveland Browns interviewed Bill, I believe, the year before he got the job in Pittsburgh. You wonder how the Browns fortunes might have changed had he been hired in Cleveland rather than Pittsburgh."

(on conversations he's had with Cowher in recent weeks)

"I wouldn't say it was advice. Our relationship is more sharing thoughts and ideas. I've spoken to him several times in the last week. Our relationship goes all the way back to the time he was a player. I think maybe the one common thread that we shared was that neither one of us was a very good player (laughing). We were the same type: linebacker, special teams. We didn't play a whole lot. There was kind of a common path Bill and I have followed both as a player and a coach. Now I would expect that we'll have an occasion to get together and play golf in North Carolina this offseason, which is something I look forward to."


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