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Thursday, January 16, 2014
Bill Cowher on 'Spygate' and future plans

By Scott Brown

Steel City wake-up: morning links.

It wasn’t exactly Richard Nixon sitting down with Mao Zedong. But former Steelers coach Bill Cowher talked extensively with Patriots coach Bill Belichick last week, even after the two former rivals finished a lengthy interview for CBS, the network that Cowher now works for as an NFL studio analyst.

Cowher couldn’t say enough good things about Belichick during an interview with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, and he also had some interesting things to say about “Spygate” as well as why he has no intention to leave his current job and return to coaching.

Good for Cowher.

I’ve always wondered why some NFL coaches-turned-analysts are so eager to return to the sidelines and Cowher is clearly at peace with where he is. Also -- and I know Steelers fans won’t want to hear this – I applaud Cowher for downplaying the impact of Spygate,  and specifically its impact on the 2004 AFC Championship Game in which the Steelers lost to the Patriots at Heinz Field.

Ask me why NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was so quick to resolve the Patriots’ issue of illegally videotaping opponents and I will tell you, as Cowher said, that all teams were trying to get an advantage. The Patriots simply got caught and paid a heavy price after getting told to knock it off.

Here are some other stories for Steelers’ fans:

-- Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery is productive, a consummate professional and hard not to pull for, as any of his Steelers teammate will tell you. Here is Steelers.com Teresa Varley’s story on Cotchery’s upbringing, which makes it even harder to root against him.

-- ESPN.com’s Paul Gutierrez has a great piece on the Steelers-Raiders rivalry of the 1970s with yet another playoff meeting between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady conjuring up memories of one of the rivalries that shaped the 1970s.

-- ESPN.com Bengals reporter Coley Harvey has been busy with Cincinnati losing two coordinators to head-coaching jobs. He weighs in on the latest change to the Bengals’ coaching staff.

-- ESPN.com Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley has some questions after Baltimore coach John Harbaugh issues a statement regarding the team’s search for a new offensive coordinator.

-- ESPN.com Browns reporter Pat McManamon continues to cover a coaching search. But let’s take a look at his reaction to NFL ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’a first mock draft. The Browns have two picks in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.