Bill Cowher Talks To Joe

February 1st, 2013

Joe interviewed all sorts of movers and shakers in the NFL and national media during Media Day this week and one of the highlights was speaking with Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Cowher. The former Steelers coach discussed with Joe how defense — like what Greg Schiano is trying to build — is still in vogue in the NFL, and quarterback Josh Freeman’s struggles.

JoeBucsFan: Obviously Baltimore has a good defense. San Francisco has a punishing defense. Your old Steelers still have a good defense. Denver has a good defense. Greg Schiano is starting to build that kind of defense with his suffocating rush defense. Is there a renaissance in the NFL with teams turning to defense despite the Star Wars type offenses and gun-slinging quarterbacks that dot the league? If you don’t have a defense, you will be sitting on the couch in January?

Bill Cowher: (smiles) Well, I just think it is so ironic, like you said, we live in this world of wide open offense but the two teams that play here kind of got here by defense and a running game. So, the game is still played, you still have to have a degree of toughness. The one thing a good defense does is, they thrive on limiting the offense’s ability to run the ball. That is the one thing if you don’t have a running game, and I really believe when Jim Caldwell got the job [as Ravens offensive coordinator] to get Ray Rice more involved. The running game keeps the defense off the field. They run in synch.

Joe: You groomed Ben Roethlisberger as a young player as a rookie for his first few years in the NFL. Down in Tampa, Josh Freeman, at times he looks like Roethlisberger, a lot of people compare him to Roethlisberger with the size and the arm, at times he looks like John Elway, at times he looks like Bobby Douglass, he is having his struggles. And as soon as the season is over, Schiano says, well, we have to have competition. What is going on with that guy? Is he ever going to be that elite quarterback the Bucs had hoped and what he flashes at times he can be? What do you see?

Cowher: He has gone through a number of coordinators. I think that they finally have some good weapons around him this year. At times, he was playing this year at a very, very high level. You know, defensively, they had trouble stopping some teams. He has flashed at times. I think the consistency is something that is lacking in him but give him some consistency with the offence. Let him stay with the same system a couple of years in a row before we judge him too quickly because it is really hard to be consistent when you are changing the system every year. That’s the thing that we have to remember. He has a lot of abilities that you are looking for in a quarterback.

Joe: Whitey Herzog used to have a famous theory in baseball that he would tell his scouts to sign or draft pitchers who could throw 95-100 mph because, “You can teach control but you cannot teach a guy to throw 95.” Can that baseball axiom be translated to football? Can you teach a quarterback accuracy?

Cowher: I don’t think it can be taught. You can become a more accurate thrower sometimes by running an offense that allows you to be a more accurate thrower. [Freeman] has to work on technique too. I have seen the guy enough that I think he is an accurate thrower. Again, he struggles at times being inconsistent. But he has a lot of positive skills that I like. If he works at it, I think he can change.

13 Responses to “Bill Cowher Talks To Joe”

  1. kh Says:

    great interview… too bad it will go in one ear and out the other for half the mouth-breathing Freeman-bashers that read this site, common sense and logic just doesn’t get through to them.

  2. 4everBucsFan Says:

    There you have it. Cowher hit it right on the head. Freeman has gone through a number of coordinators and it has stifled his growth. He believes Josh has the intangibles but lacked the weapons and the consistency with the same offense each year. Keep the offense consistent, give him a better defense, and you’ll see a better QB.

    I trust what that man says over any of you Monday morning coaches. :)

  3. Horice Says:

    What Bill said has been my plea to all of the Buc idiots that want him gone. I also heard Penn and Joseph on 620 today, say similar sentiments regarding Josh. So the people who Coach, and play in this league thinks he will come around, so what’s up with all the Freeman-Bashers? They make Tim Brown seem like a genius when he said that Tampa fans “don’t know football”.

  4. PRBucFan Says:

    I’m just glad we will find out this coming season

    Either he will shut up his critics

    Or he’ll shut up his homers

    I’m just glad we’ll have an answer.

    I want him to be the guy, I just do not believe he will be. That’s my opinion.

  5. jlynch Says:

    You cant teach confidence command of the huddle a lot of mechanic have tool but couldnt frix a sandwich. Hes soft doesnt like contact and has no courage Balls for you Freeman lovers

  6. Dae Says:

    Let him stay with the same system a couple of years in a row before we judge him too quickly because it is really hard to be consistent when you are changing the system every year

    EXACTLY

  7. Bb Says:

    Well we fixed our run D this year hopefully the pass D comes around next, as for freeman this year is his ,if he leads we win a lot if not time for a new guy, 5 years. Should be enough. Hope he is great go bucs

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    He has had 2 offensive coordinators! Yes some fool that the “rockstar ” hired ran training camp. But it was Olsen for 3 years. Every game Freeman has played was with Olsen and Sullivan. I don’t know were this idea that Freeman has had an Alex Smith type of rotating coordinators. Maybe cause most of the Bucs games are blacked out.

  9. chris Says:

    I can see the accuracy there as well. That’s where I agree with Cohwer. However, consistency is something you need to be able to be a starting qb.

    He’s been working on his footwork since he’s gotten into the league. 4 years in, it’s still an issue. That is something that is correctable and nothing that a new scheme has anything to do with. Makes me think it won’t be corrected.

    Next up: Staring down WRs and vision: He doesn’t have the ability to look off a safety and come back and hit the open WR on the other side of the field. He stares down his first read 99% of the time, which leads to plays and points left on the field. That’s a huge problem that after 4 years, is extremely difficult to fix.

    Pre-reading the defense: I don’t think Freeman does a good job when he’s on the field with this. I think he realizes it in the film room, but in live action, he does a poor job of recognizing Cover 2/Cover 3 zone defenses, as teams consistently mixed it up and he was easily confused down the stretch. He throws too many balls where he won’t see the defender, throw balls into double and triple coverage. If you want to go deep, you beat guys down the seems in zone. That Eagles game was a perfect example. He went deep outside way too many times and Eagles had it covered.

    Last but not least: Poise/Confidence. I don’t think he possesses this trait to win big games. He gets flustered way too easily after a bad throw and doesn’t recover. He’s not clutch when you need him. Sure he’s got 4th qtr comebacks against below .500 ball clubs. But when you put on the tape against the better teams, he’;s not very good and crumbles.

    I want Josh to succeed, but right now, I can’t say I’m real confident in him leading us to the playoffs next year.

  10. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Hear Ye Hear Ye

    Let it be known that on this day, February 2, 2013, the year of our Lord

    that “chris” and all his ilk are the quarterback gurus of all time and that

    he “chris” is the smartest guy in the room.

    Dude, it’s just like kh said,

    “great interview… too bad it will go in one ear and out the other for half the mouth-breathing Freeman-bashers that read this site, common sense and logic just doesn’t get through to them.”

    of course who knows better than you. Bill Cowher, one of the best coaches in the last 20 years, who has an eye for talent, understands the complexity of offensive consistency, has won his share a big games, just can’t compare to your “couch” given talents.

    I think I’ll trust Bill’s evaluation over you everyday of the week!

    You saying you want Josh to succeed, is like saying you hope they find Bin Laden alive. You don’t really mean it because you want so much to be right.

  11. PRBucFan Says:

    I agree with you Chris

    Like he said I WANT him to succeed

    Just don’t have faith in the guy.

    He hasn’t given me reason to up to this point

    I wonder what will be said after this coming season if Bad Josh continues to rear his ugly head…

  12. 4everBucsFan Says:

    and they were just saying the same things about Flacco. How many Buc QB’s are we going let leave and go onto somewhere else to win a Superbowl? Our history …says there is a damn good chance.

  13. 4everBucsFan Says:

    and they were just saying the same things about Flacco. How many Buc QB’s are we going let leave and go onto somewhere else to win a Superbowl? Our history …says there is a damn good chance.

 
 

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