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Breaking NEWS - Bill Cowher tells the Falcons


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Sources: Falcons gauge Cowher's interest, but he intends to take '08 off

ESPN.com news services

Updated: December 16, 2007, 4:07 PM ET

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher has told the Atlanta Falcons he intends to sit out another year of coaching and will not consider the team's vacant head coach position.

Cowher was contacted by the Falcons after Bobby Petrino resigned as coach last week, league and team sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. It was an exploratory contact, not an offer for the Atlanta job, the sources said.

Cowher told Falcons officials he is committed to a two-year sabbatical as he works as an NFL studio analyst for CBS. Bill Parcells, currently working as an ESPN analyst, also has reaffirmed that he will not coach again.

Petrino abruptly resigned as Falcons coach on Tuesday and, hours later, made official his return to the college ranks with his introduction by the University of Arkansas as its new coach.

Longtime Falcons assistant coach and former player Emmitt Thomas, who has been the team's secondary coach since 2002, has been named interim head coach for the final three games of the season.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Wednesday he felt betrayed by Petrino's shocking decision to resign midseason. Petrino's departure came the day after the Falcons lost to the Saints and quarterback Michael Vick was sentenced in federal court to 23 months in prison for taking part in an illegal dogfighting ring.

"I do feel a sense of betrayal, a sense of trust lost that just was not right given the circumstances," Blank said. "This year was a perfect storm for us in a negative way but we will get through that and we will move forward."

Petrino was in his first season as coach and Blank said he did not blame him for a string of poor results that had left the Falcons at the bottom of the NFC South division.

Atlanta fell to 3-11 Sunday after a 37-3 loss to Tampa Bay.

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Statick (12/16/2007)
Then its between Singletary and Garrett. Jerry Jones will probably do his damnest to keep Garrett in Dallas, so I'll say that Singletary is the front runner to be the new Falcons head coach.

I wouldn't count out everyone else other than those two because Shottenheimer is still out there and i've even heard someone mention **** Vermeil being out there(not listed as a candidate just mentioned)

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Cowher said he wanted 2 years off when he decided to leave Pittsburgh. I doubt he changes his mind. Atlanta to me isn't the type of job you change your mind on. I don't know also how well cowher would put up with blank and him being that involved day to day. I doubt his owner in Pittsburgh wanted to sit in on team meetings.

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jbresette (12/16/2007)
Statick (12/16/2007)
Then its between Singletary and Garrett. Jerry Jones will probably do his damnest to keep Garrett in Dallas, so I'll say that Singletary is the front runner to be the new Falcons head coach.

I wouldn't count out everyone else other than those two because Shottenheimer is still out there and i've even heard someone mention **** Vermeil being out there(not listed as a candidate just mentioned)

I'm going based on the notion that Blank likes for his hires to have "sizzle".

Schottie and Vermeil are in no way "sizzlers". Singletary and Garrett are. Singletary interviewed with Blank and McKay the last year and they liked him alot.

Let's just hope they make the right decision this time.

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Statick (12/16/2007)
jbresette (12/16/2007)
Statick (12/16/2007)
Then its between Singletary and Garrett. Jerry Jones will probably do his damnest to keep Garrett in Dallas, so I'll say that Singletary is the front runner to be the new Falcons head coach.

I wouldn't count out everyone else other than those two because Shottenheimer is still out there and i've even heard someone mention **** Vermeil being out there(not listed as a candidate just mentioned)

I'm going based on the notion that Blank likes for his hires to have "sizzle".

Schottie and Vermeil are in no way "sizzlers". Singletary and Garrett are. Singletary interviewed with Blank and McKay the last year and they liked him alot.

Let's just hope they make the right decision this time.

I don't see how Garrett and Singletary are sizzlers? Everyone is mentioning them so it isn't as if they are under the radar.

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I get a kick out of all the people who think the Cowher thing is over because Chris Mortensen reported it. I mean, that guy never gets anything right.

Today I saw Cowher talking about how he "doesn't plan to coach in 2008", and he really seemed like he was having a hard time spitting that out.

Let's see how things unfold once the season is over.

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