Maybe it is the jaw, that wonderful jutting jaw of Bill Cowher, that keeps everyone from believing him. There is no way around it: This is a jaw that belongs on the sideline of football games. Snow complements it. Mud harmonizes with it. This is a jaw that should thrust out at an official who miscounted how many men were on the field or at a football player who gave up on a play. The jutting jaw does not seem at peace trading television jabs with Boomer Esiason.
But this is the thing: Bill Cowher is more than a jaw.
"Coach, it looks like the latest rumors have you going to Penn State," he is told by a friend as he sits in a CBS waiting room watching football games.
"Is that where I'm supposed to be going next?" he asks. "Happy Valley, huh?"
"Yes. Unless you take the Eagles' job."
"The Eagles, you say."
"Of course, there's also the Dolphins' job."
Bill Cowher smiles a little. The jaw, that wonderful jutting jaw of Bill Cowher, tends to magnify every emotion he expresses. Annoyance looks like fury. Anger looks like the wrath of God. And now, as he smiles just a little, the jaw makes him look like a happy man—indeed, the happiest man in the world.
"People don't understand," he says. "I'm not coaching. I'm enjoying life more right now than I ever have."