By Dale Grdnic
Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher attended the club's night practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium. He signed some autographs, met on the field with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, Steelers President Art Rooney II and Chairman Dan Rooney. But he left a little early due to an early casting call at Heinz Field where the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises'' is shooting Saturday.
"I have experience from 'The Waterboy,' (with Henry Winkler and Adam Sandler),'' Cowher said. Cowher and Jimmy Johnson played themselves, on a scouting trip to see Sander's character.
"I have my SAG (Screen Actors Guild) card, and I'm unemployed. So, I felt like I met all the criteria.''
Cowher is coaching the Gotham City Rogues football team, and Kevin Colbert, the Steelers director of football operations, is an assistant coach. Steelers players Ben Roethlisberger, Brett Keisel, LaMarr Woodley, Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu and Casey Hampton are among the dozen or so on the team. Their opponent is the Rapid City Monuments.
Cowher attended practice with and was cast in the movie by minority Steelers owner Thomas Tull, the president and CEO of Legendary Pictures. He is an executive producer for the movie and was instrumental in bringing the filming to Pittsburgh. Christopher Nolan is directing the third in his Batman trilogy. The movie stars Christian Bale as Batman and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.
Asked a couple times if he was getting an itch to return to coaching. Cowher initially said he enjoyed watching the backs-on-backers drill from the sideline with the media. When asked a bit later, Cowher had a different response.
"I'm looking forward to getting back in the (broadcast) booth,'' Cowher said. "So, I'm glad we've got football again. And it's great to be out here on a Friday night. It was a big part of the tradition of camp, and it gives the people in the area a chance to come out to see the team. We all know what Friday night's mean in Western Pennsylvania, and that's a football night.
"(But) I don't have any set plans, so I just take it year to year. But I'm very comfortable where I'm at, and I've got a very good job with CBS. And I'm really enjoying it. I'm trying to create a little more stability with myself, and I feel very good. I like my job.''
The Steelers have one practice Saturday about 3 p.m. back at Saint Vincent College and then have a day off Sunday before getting into game-week preparations. The first preseason game is Aug. 12 at the Washington Redskins.