Is Cowher hoping to replace Coughlin in New York?

Bill Cowher wants to be the next head coach of the New York Giants.

That’s certainly news to current Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, but not to Cowher’s former star running back with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jerome Bettis.

According to Bettis, the 52-year-old Cowher is “holding out” for the head gig with the Giants and always coveted the job.

Bettis played the role of Cowher’s agent on Thursday when he appeared on Chris Russo’s Mad Dog Radio show on Sirius XM. The retired player and former NBC studio analyst believes that Cowher would have received the Giants job after the 2007 season had Coughlin not brought a Super Bowl title to New York.

“That's the team that he really coveted,” Bettis said. “This is where he always wanted to be. The Mara family, he's been very close to them…He's known them very well and was on the inside track — before the Giants won the Super Bowl — for that job. And I think he's holding out for that opportunity if it presents itself.”

While Bettis’ speculation is just that — speculation — Giants co-owner John Mara expressed disappointment after the team’s 8-8 season and terrible late-season performances. During a press conference after the season, Mara declared that he was “not pleased with anybody” and that he was “anxious to hear from both (Coughlin) and Jerry (Reese) what we’re going to do to fix this.”

Cowher last coached at the end of the 2006 season and has been linked to nearly every coaching vacancy in the last few years — specifically the gig in Carolina with the Panthers, which would be close to his home in Raleigh.

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