2019 Offseason Questions: How Many More Years Will Kevin Colbert Stick Around?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.

How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: How much longer will Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert remain with the organization?

In case you didn’t catch the end of Alex Kozora’s article yesterday referring to Ed Bouchette’s belief that the Steelers will get an extension done with Head Coach Mike Tomlin, there was also a mention at the end that General Manager Kevin Colbert was considering taking things on a year-to-year basis.

Colbert has been with the organization since 2000, though hasn’t been in the capacity of General Manager that entire time.

During that time, the Steelers have been among the best teams in football, both on the field and in the draft, although their recent successes in both areas have been called into question more frequently. Given his longevity, however, it’s fair to say that the organization believes he has been doing a good job.

But the reality is that he is in his 60s, and frankly almost everybody would love to be thinking about retiring at that point. He’s put in nearly two decades’ worth of work in Pittsburgh now and had a lasting impact that has included helping them return to the top of the game twice, tied for the most Super Bowl wins by any franchise thanks to his contributions.

I know there is a small but vocal ‘fire everybody’ contingent, and Colbert has certainly not been free from criticism. This past draft, however, has seen him make arguably the most aggressive move he’s ever made, trading into the top 10, something many probably though they’d never see happen.

This is another question for down the road, but who will succeed Colbert whenever he leaves—which, let’s be clear, could be a decade from now? Perhaps by then his son, Dan Colbert, currently a regional scout, will move his way up in the organization. Jack Butler’s son, Mike Butler, his there too. Of course Brandon Hunt is the pro scouting coordinator and Phil Kreidler does the college end. Dan Rooney, Jr. is the player personnel coordinator, but I don’t think they would make a Rooney the general manager at the moment.

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