A Press Democrat Blog

Cohn Zohn

Lowell Cohn's pertinent and impertinent take on sports

Is Tomsula better than Bill Walsh?

Link to my Tuesday column. Full text below: SANTA CLARA — This is about the big 49ers lie, the big Jim Tomsula lie. Almost every day, some 49ers apologist writes me about Jim Tomsula. I’m too hard on the poor guy. He got screwed with a bad roster. No one can fairly judge his performance. And then comes the lie. Bill Walsh went 2-14 in his first 49ers season (1979). Tomsula currently can win five games – a big maybe… Read More »

Bill Walsh and officiating

Here’s a link to my Thursday column. The full text runs below: This is about officiating in the NFL. It’s not about what happened to the 49ers last Sunday and what subsequently happened to Pete Morelli’s officiating crew — reassigned, embarrassed — for the bad work it did with the 49ers and Cardinals. This is about Bill Walsh’s opinion of officiating. I find what follows interesting and I hope you do, too. And, yes, I’m writing about Walsh again. No… Read More »

“The Catch” revisited

Here is a link to my Sunday column about The Catch. The full column appears below: SANTA CLARA — He’s still handsome and, at 56, he looks young and his voice is rich and soothing. Someone once said his voice is “all milk and honey.” Dwight Clark. Made “The Catch.” Caught that pass from Joe Montana and ran the 49ers right into their first Super Bowl victory, ran them right into their dynasty. That Dwight Clark. The Catch was the… Read More »

Comparing Jim Harbaugh and Bill Walsh

Here is the opening to my Monday column comparing the styles of Jim Harbaugh and Bill Walsh: SANTA CLARA — I compare Jim Harbaugh to Bill Walsh. The comparison is inevitable. I watch Harbaugh work in training camp and I think of Walsh. I compare them. On Sunday, Harbaugh participated in a special teams exercise. He did not supervise the work. He participated, as if he still were a player. Holding a red foam pad, he crouched in front of… Read More »

Bill and Joe and Jim and Colin

Here is the opening to a column I wrote a while back for the Press Democrat’s special section on the 49ers. It is about the Niners’ first Super Bowl (well, it starts a little before that), which I covered, and the current Super Bowl attempt, which I am not covering: The man in the navy blue bellman’s outfit grabbed suitcases as players and media walked off the bus. Who was this guy? He was aggressive, grabbing the way he did.… Read More »

Bill Walsh vs. Dexter Manley

I promised you this column on Bill Walsh a day ago. It got delayed in publication — things like that happen depending on the flow of news in daily newspapers — so here it is now. Former Redskins defensive tackle Dexter Manley, as you may know, accused Bill Walsh of offering bounties to his players to hurt opposing players in the 1980s. To me, this sounded fishy. I did some research and came up with this column, and to read… Read More »

Bill Walsh and dirty play

I wrote a column for Sunday addressing Dexter Manley’s claim that Bill Walsh employed a bounty system on the 49ers. This is not that column. I will post it when the Press Democrat puts it on our website. This is an out-take from my research. I spoke to former Niners assistant coach Fred vonAppen about the alleged bounties and used that interview for my column. VonAppen, who coached special teams and defensive line for the Niners, vehemently denied that Walsh… Read More »

Walsh vs. Harbaugh

I’m posting my Sunday column in preparation for the Niners game against the Browns. I wrote about what I perceive as the difference between Bill Walsh and Jim Harbaugh when it comes to dealing with the media, people like me. I am writing about this because many readers are curious about this topic. I am not comparing Walsh and Harbaugh as coaches. Walsh was more media friendly, so take that for what it’s worth. To read my column please click… Read More »

West Coast Offense has moved beyond Bill Walsh

I wrote my Friday column based on group interviews today with 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Both talked at length about how the West Coast Offense has evolved beyond what Bill Walsh imagined. Fangio went so far as to say no one runs the Bill Walsh offense even though they still call it the West Coast Offense. I found all this enlightening and frankly thrilling and to read my column please click here.

Al Davis at the restaurant

Bill Walsh told me this one not long before he died. He and Al Davis went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant — it might have been in Palo Alto. They were having a nice time until one patron noticed them and walked over to their table. The guy had been drinking a lot. He grinned at Walsh and Davis and said how nice it was to see these two rivals together. Davis and Walsh chatted with the man… Read More »