Steelers’ Bill Cowher Sat His Red Hot Back Up Quarterback In 1992 And The Decision Absolutely Cost Him

The Pittsburgh Steelers have most commonly gotten the easier of the Buffalo Bills over the process the sequence historical past between the 2 groups.  The Steelers lead the sequence 15-10 within the common season and 2-1 within the playoffs. But it used to be the playoff loss in 1992 when Bill Cowher learned that he wasn’t exempt from complaint, even if it got here within the type of his personal circle of relatives.

Steelers Bill Cowher

Steelers Quarterback Neil O’Donnell began the Steelers’ first playoff recreation after a month out because of damage | Credit:

Under the sudden rent of the younger Cowher, the Steelers completed because the AFC Central Champions and earned the number one seed within the AFC as “Cowher Power” used to be in complete drive.  It used to be a record-setting season for working again Barry Foster (a Steelers-best 1,690 yards speeding), and the second-fewest issues allowed within the NFL. And because the crew certified for a first-round bye, that they had an additional week of leisure to get wholesome in preparation for the primary house playoff recreation in a decade in opposition to the protecting AFC Champion Bills.

As the 1992 season entered its ultimate stretch, beginning quarterback Neil O’Donnell used to be injured in a Week 14 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Bubby Brister completed off that recreation in Quarterback reduction, however they misplaced two in a row with Brister beneath heart ahead of after all getting again heading in the right direction with a powerful efficiency in a Week 17 victory as opposed to the Cleveland Browns.

In a arguable determination, Cowher determined to move along with his 1992 Pro Bowl quarterback O’Donnell to begin the playoff recreation in opposition to the Buffalo Bills. It used to be hotly debated all through the town of Pittsburgh at the radio communicate presentations whether or not or no longer it used to be a smart move to place O’Donnell in a playoff recreation after he’d been sidelined for a month.

Steelers Bill Cowher

Bill Cowher and Neil O’Donnell after successful the 1995 AFC Championship 3 years after their first playoff loss in 1992 | Credit: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Cowher didn’t see any reason why to stay O’Donnell out for what used to be crucial recreation of the 12 months. He used to be without a doubt motivated by way of the Steelers’ scoring troubles beneath Brister, however the offense didn’t come to existence at the back of a rusty O’Donnell. The recreation used to be over nearly ahead of it all started, finishing with a 24-3 defeat. The closest the Steelers got here to the endzone used to be a surefire pick-6 that used to be dropped within the third quarter, with the Bills scoring a landing at the subsequent play.

Steelers’ Head Coach Gets Questioned By His Father

With the season over, Cowher went to a circle of relatives dinner at his oldsters’ area in Crafton, Pennsylvania for a circle of relatives collecting. Right as Cowher started to really feel at ease and comfy over excellent meals, circle of relatives, and beverages, the inevitable took place. The dialog naturally moved to sports activities when his father started speaking in regards to the Steelers playoff recreation, which resulted in an sudden and strangely uncomfortable discussion in regards to the crew.

Bill Cowher, according to Heart and Steel:

“And how ’bout those stupid Steelers,” Cowher’s father requested. He took a swig of beer.

“They have O’Donnell out for a month, and they still put him in a playoff game! Why’d they do that?”

I checked out him. He used to be so used to those conversations over time that he didn’t understand what he used to be pronouncing now.

“Wait a moment, dad. You say ‘the Steelers.’ That’s in reality me. I made that call, no longer ‘the Steelers.”

“Oh, you probably had a good reason for the decision you made,” his father finished.

Cowher was sensitive and ticked off about it because he admittedly knew his father was right and he probably shouldn’t have began O’Donnell in that state of affairs. Although in equity, the offense used to be no longer precisely a juggernaut both means and Buffalo used to be merely a greater crew to most sensible to backside. It used to be one of the courses he needed to get used to studying, in addition to his circle of relatives being used to the reality he used to be training the crew and would till 2006.

The Cowher circle of relatives used to be at all times of paramount significance to the Steelers’ former Head Coach | Credit: NFL Films

The 1992 crew, regardless of that loss, overcame a large number of early adversity and returned the franchise to prominence, and turned into an annual contender. That is one thing that his circle of relatives without a doubt liked.

Thoughts or recollections from the Steelers’ previous? Leave a remark beneath.


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