Seriously guys, stop me if I’m sounding like a total homer. But Rotoworld unveiled their yearly GM ranking and Kevin Colbert came in a lot lower than I expected. And the rationale…it’s creaky to say the least.
Patrick Daughtery ranked Colbert as the 13th best owner/GM in the NFL. To be fair, it’s the same exact slot Colbert landed in last year, though you’d think another year as one of the AFC’s top teams and a trip to the AFC Title game would give him some sort of bump.
The rationale for Colbert, though I’m sure well-intentioned, doesn’t make much sense. Essentially, the argument is the team got lucky with selecting Ben Roethilsberger and have been neglecting building around him, especially on defense.
“At some point, Colbert is going to need one of his Cameron Heyward/Jarvis Jones/Ryan Shazier/Bud Duprees to actually be a star. Colbert has maximized his Big Ben leeway. It’s time to start working on another plan.”
Jarvis, I’ll give ya. Totally fair, though I hope Colbert isn’t relying on him to turn his Steelers’ career around considering he’s in Arizona. The jury is still out on Dupree. But Heyward? Shazier? Not stars? My head’s still spinning trying to figure that one out.
It also forgets about Stephon Tuitt, a home run second round pick, and the fact it looks like he nailed all three of his defensive selections this season: Artie Burns, Sean Davis, and Javon Hargrave. Hard to blame him for any of those ones.
The Steelers’ defense is far from perfect and is the middle of a transition period so sure, things are sorta muddy. And he’s messed up the OLB position pretty good, to the point where the team has been relying on a 37-38 year old linebacker – granted, one who is a freakin’ cyborg – the past two years. That’s in part thanks to whiffing on Jones’ pick.
Again, valid criticisms exist. But for not rebuilding the defense and looking to some of the top players in the front seven as the reason why? It’s just absurd. Talk about the outside linebackers, talk about the lack of corner depth (it’s thin!) or schematic issues that get them chewed up against teams like the New England Patriots. I’ll hop in the passenger seat with you. But the overall ranking, and justification, is hard to get on board with.
Especially when you look at one name ahead of him. The Cincinnati Bengals’ Mike Brown comes in at 11th, two spots ahead of Colbert. Granted, Brown fell from 5th in 2016 but there’s no way he can be ahead of Colbert. The Bengals were gutted this offseason and wish they had the winning resume Pittsburgh did.
Colbert is the third best GM in the AFC North, behind Ozzie Newsome and Brown. Newsome, you could argue that, even if the Baltimore Ravens have fell on some tough times. But there is no reality where Brown is ahead.
Maybe that sums Colbert up. He is one of the quietest, most low-key general managers in the league. Everyone knows Jerry Jones but if you live south of the Mason/Dixon line, you probably don’t have a clue who runs the Steelers. So it’s easy to underrate him, forget about him, and do things like saying the Bengals are being run more effectively than the Steelers.
No respect. No respect from anyone.