CBS television sportscaster and former NFL coach Bill Cowher before...

CBS television sportscaster and former NFL coach Bill Cowher before a game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Credit: AP / Bob Leverone

Bill Cowher has not coached in the NFL since the 2006 season, but he finally has found something that makes him feel at least a little bit like he used to on game days.

Or nights, in this case.

After spending most of his career as a TV analyst sitting in CBS' New York studios on Sundays, over the past two years he also has appeared on-site at Thursday night games televised by CBS and the NFL Network.

"I've enjoyed it," he said before Thursday night's Bills-Jets games at MetLife Stadium. "It's the closest thing I've been to back to coaching. I'm watching more tape. I'm studying the game more. I really do like being on-site. Every week I feel like I'm seeing a coach I haven't seen in a long time, or a player, and even the officials.

"I'm more intrigued by the dynamic on the sideline. I understand how you make adjustments. I watch teams come off and I watched how [the Texans'] Ryan Mallett handled getting pulled when Brian Hoyer went in. Those are things that you don't capture on TV.

"I just really have enjoyed getting a feel for a team, so the Thursday nights, I've embraced it totally."

Cowher actually has ramped up his engagement in the games this season, deciding that instead of taking breaks in the green room or sitting on the set, he would stand for the entire game on the sideline.

It began when he sat across from less-than-svelte Chiefs coach Andy Reid in a production meeting in Week 2.

"I said if Andy Reid can stand for three hours, I can stand for three hours," Cowher said. "I said I used to be able to do this, and now I'm getting sore. But I started thinking, wait a minute, Bill, you did this for 15 years. You haven't been out of it that long.

"So I stand all four quarters. Last year I did it some of the time but I would go back to the green room for a little while. I said this year I'm standing out here on the field, for all four quarters. I said, you know what, if Andy Reid can do it, I said, I can do this.

"I can see the dynamic on the sideline, see the interaction with the officials. I listen to what people are saying out there. It's like my fix for the week of coaching."

It has helped that so far the Thursday games have enjoyed mostly good weather, including a comfortable night at the Meadowlands Thursday.

"We'll see on Dec. 26 when we're in Philadelphia," Cowher said. "Maybe that green room will sound pretty good."

More Jets