It’s a good day for Kevin Colbert’s PR guy. Earlier Thursday, Matthew Marczi wrote that Colbert was ranked as the second best GM by NFL.com. In a separate article, USA Today polled 25 NFL agents for a variety of questions ranging from the new CBA to the toughest part of working out a deal.
One of those questions was the general manager they respected the most. Colbert came in tied for fourth place along with the Colts Chris Ballard and the Rams Les Snead.
Finishing in the top three was: Baltimore’s Ozzie Newsome, New England’s Bill Belichick, and Seattle’s John Schneider.
Coming in last was Washington’s Bruce Allen, Miami’s Mike Tannenbaum, Denver’s John Elway, and Cincinnati’s Mike Brown. That means three of the four teams in the AFC North are represented in this poll.
The Steelers didn’t appear in the top five of “what team is best prepared for contract negotiations.” The 49ers and the Eagles finished in the top two while the Bengals were ranked the worst prepared and the Browns – prior to new GM John Dorsey’s hiring – came in second-worst.
It’s no surprise the GMs given the most amount of praise correlate with the most successful teams over the last decade. And the ones rated the lowest have had some of the worst, or at least most inconsistent, squads. Colbert has been the Steelers’ general manager since 2000, winning two Super Bowls and appearing in another. During his tenure, Pittsburgh has had the reputation of being able to find and retain their own talent. And Colbert is one of the most behind-the-scenes GMs in football, rarely showing up in the news or making waves in the headlines.
You can basically predict the answer to any question he’s asked which for someone who needs to keep things close to the vest to do his job well, isn’t a bad thing. It also seems like, and this is purely subjective on my part, the Steelers do a better job than pretty much any other NFL team of not letting information leak out into the public. Look at the national reporters and how rare it is for them to land a major scoop on something Steelers-related that can only come from in-house as opposed to say, a free agent signing where that info can come from an agent. It’s pretty unusual.
The Steelers run a tight ship. And it’s made Colbert one of the most respected GMs in the league.