It appears Tampa Bay still is interested in hiring Bill Cowher as its head coach in 2010. According to NFL.com, Cowher is interested in joining the Bucs, but the $5-6 million per year the team is offering is less than he's seeking. ESPN has reported that the Bucs have refuted reports regarding their interest in Cowher.
The statement issued by Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer Monday night stated ownership was committed to a plan, but didn't state that Raheem Morris would remain the team's head coach in 2010.
"We are committed to the plan that we began 12 months ago with coach Morris, and we look forward to building on the pieces that were put in place this season," Glazer said in the statement.
That might explain NFL.com's report
on Tuesday evening that suggested the Glazers remain interested in hiring former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.
According to NFL.com's report, the Bucs are unwilling to offer an annual salary of $5-6 million, which is significantly lower than the salary Cowher is seeking. Cowher also has some concerns regarding player payroll in Tampa Bay.
ESPN recently reported that Cowher was unlikely to return to coaching in 2010, but NFL.com suggests that isn't the case, citing how Cowher had targeted Tampa Bay, Carolina, Chicago and Houston as teams he'd be interested in coaching. Buffalo has also reportedly reached out to Cowher.
Cowher, 52, reportedly has been actively assembling a coaching staff in anticipation of returning to coaching as early as this year.
According to ESPN, a high-ranking official with the Bucs has denied the team's interest in Cowher
, stating that the team has never reached out to him.
Morris, 33, is the youngest head coach in the NFL. He met with the Glazers on Monday and again Tuesday. But those meetings don't guarantee his return after a 3-13 season, especially after seeing Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen fired as head coach and general manager, respectively, two weeks after the 2008 regular season ended.
Cowher coached in Pittsburgh for 15 years, posting an overall record of 149-99-1 in the regular season and a 12-9 record in the post-season. Cowher coached the Steelers to two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XL in 2005.
The former NFL linebacker played for Philadelphia and Cleveland from 1979-1984. Cowher began his coaching career in 1985 as a special teams coach with the Browns. He was promoted to secondary coach in Cleveland before taking over as defensive coordinator in Kansas City from 1989-91. Cowher coached in Pittsburgh from 1992-2006.
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