More Cowher, less bogus blimp

ROB BRODIE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Bill Cowher surely knows this drill.

A year ago, NBC studio analyst Jerome Bettis -- fresh off a career that climaxed with his Pittsburgh Steelers winning Super Bowl XL in Detroit -- speculated that his coach wouldn't be far behind him in leaving the game.

Cowher, the coach in question, chided his former running back at the time about that revelation, which Bettis based on a conversation between the two.

Even though, as it turned out, the Bus proved to be prophetic when Cowher left the sideline to join the NFL Today studio on CBS.

But in a conference call yesterday, Cowher wasn't in any mood to agree with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who told Cleveland Browns reporters Wednesday he thought Cowher would "probably" be back as an NFL coach in 2008.

"I can tell you right now that Ben will be wrong," Cowher said, adding he doesn't plan any return until his youngest daughter graduates from high school in Raleigh, N.C., where he now resides.

"The only reason I've (never) said never is I don't want to become a hypocrite, because I can't foretell the future. But I don't have any plans to coach again."

While we've heard that line before -- right, Bill Parcells and Jimmy Johnson? -- Cowher sounded enthusiastic yesterday about his new gig.

"This is something I hope I find enjoyable and gratifying," he said. He also figures it won't be hard to express a fair opinion about the team he coached for 15 years. This week on the NFL Network, he picked the Steelers to finish third in the AFC North behind the Ravens and Bengals.

"Will I be objective? Yeah, I will," Cowher said. "My loyalty is to CBS. My current opportunity is there, and it's one I'm looking forward to embracing."

AROUND THE DIAL:

Sportsnet has coverage of all of Canada's games at the Rugby World Cup in France. But you'll need to sign up for a $199 pay-per-view package to catch the biggest matches, including the final.

Setanta International Sports Pak buyers will get 25 live early round games.


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