NFC East: Jerome Bettis

How warm is Tom Coughlin's hot seat?

September, 28, 2010
To be clear, no one in the New York Giants organization seems to be panicking over a 1-2 start. But get back to me following Sunday night's game against the Chicago Bears. In conversations I had with folks within the organization Monday, there's a belief that coach Tom Coughlin still has control of this locker room and that he'll be able to clean up this mess on the fly.

But that didn't prevent former Steelers great Jerome Bettis from once again speculating that Bill Cowher would be a good replacement for Coughlin. At one point last offseason, Bettis suggested that Cowher coveted the Giants job, but the former Steelers coach immediately shot that down. Bettis wasn't quite as strong with his opinion this time around, but it's still an interesting nugget in his weekly observations piece:
"I can tell Coach Cowher misses the game. He did the right thing leaving three years ago to spend time with his family and should be commended for it. The situation is right for him to come back. He's a Hall of Fame coach, just 53, and could have a number of openings to choose from.

"Could he enter a rebuilding situation? Yes, but with prerequisites. He needs a proven quarterback, and because of that I look at Eli Manning and the Giants. If that team keeps heading in its current direction, a coaching change is going to be imminent. Some people point to Dallas as a possibility for Cowher, but I'm not so sure. Coach Cowher is very used to a certain type of ownership. The Rooney family provided him leeway in Pittsburgh and let him handle football decisions. I don't see Coach Cowher and Jerry Jones being on the same page."

I do agree with Bettis that Cowher would be a much better fit with the Giants than the Cowboys given Jones' desire to remain the face of the organization. But again, I think everyone in the Giants organization is still behind Coughlin as we head into Week 4.

Cowher brushes away Giants talk

January, 22, 2010
In one of those out-of-nowhere moments, former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis told Sirius XM's Mad Dog Radio last week that former Steelers coach Bill Cowher was "holding out" for the Giants' head-coaching position. Bettis obviously played for Cowher for several years, so his comments hold a little weight. And you know it had to make Cowher wince to have a former player expressing an opinion about a job that's currently filled.

On Thursday evening, Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News asked Cowher to respond to Bettis' comments.

"I haven’t talked to Jerome Bettis in two years,” Cowher said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

Here's what Bettis said about Cowher's interest in the Giants last week:

"That’s the team that he really coveted,” Bettis said. “This is where he always wanted to be. The Mara family, he’s been very close to them. … He’s known them very well and was on the inside track -- before the Giants won the Super Bowl -- for that job. And I think he’s holding out for that opportunity if it presents itself."

Now there's a chance Bettis could be 100 percent correct about Cowher coveting the job during the '07 regular-season, but if the two men truly haven't spoken in two years, then Bettis' recent statements are probably pure speculation. I'm curious whether Giants fans think '09 was an aberration or if they believe that Coughlin did a really poor job in attempting to salvage the season.

Let's say the Giants go 9-7 and miss the playoffs next season. Do you think Coughlin would be fired? Let me hear from you in the comments section.