A few nights ago I reported that Bill Cowher will not be coaching in Buffalo based on a public tweet by ESPN-NFL insider Adam Schefter, and a simple direct message from him that followed.
For that, I was ripped on message boards and comments everywhere and upon reflection, deservedly so. Schefter is not a source but a reporter, and erroneously I originally masked his private comment to me as a source. Lesson learned.
People were/are understandably pessimistic about Schefter’s statement, mainly because he didn’t base it on a source.
Since then I’ve sought clarification. After today I’ve found it.
I was able to interview Schefter Wednesday morning and hope this follow up sheds light on his original statement, and hopefully makes up for an admittedly poor report on my end Sunday night.
According to Schefter, Cowher is clearly not coming to Buffalo.
“I wouldn’t have reported what I did unless I felt entirely comfortable with it,” Schefter told me. “Too many reliable people have told me that, as much respect as Bill Cowher has for Ralph Wilson, it’s not the right opportunity at the right time.”
Schefter told me t it wasn’t matter of finances either.
“Money would not have been the issue,” Schefter said. “Buffalo was willing to step up, from everything I’ve been told, just as they were willing to step up for Mike Shanahan. When people accept life-changing jobs, it’s usually a gut feeling, and the sense I’ve gotten is that it didn’t feel like the right job at the right time for Cowher.”
“But whatever it is, he will not be the Bills coach next season — that I’m confident in.”
Schefter said that because of his tweet Sunday he’s seen plenty of hostility among Bills fans.
“A number of Bills fans have sent me negative tweets, asking what I have against the city,” Schefter said. “Absolutely nothing. I really like Buffalo and have enjoyed every one of my many visits there.”
“I’m just doing my job. And my job has allowed me to gather information that says Cowher is not going to be coaching the Bills.”
He also was told me the Bills have tried to land Cowher more than once since initially showing interest.
“I honestly think the Bills made multiple efforts to try to convince Cowher to come to Buffalo,” Schefter said. “It just didn’t work out. Kudos to them for trying — they did the right thing.”
Finally, I asked if he thought there was a chance talks could pick up in the next few days, and if Cowher to Buffalo was truly “dead”?
He said, “As Drew Rosenhaus would say, Next question.”
Are you sure?
“Correct. Confirmed. Comfortable.”
So interpret his comments as you wish. If you want to wait for the Bills or Cowher to confirm it’s not happening you certainly reserve that right. But at least according to Schefter, Cowher clearly will not be roaming the sidelines in Orchard Park this fall.
If nothing else, I must thank Schefter for taking time to give insight behind his Sunday comment.