Despite whatever turmoil might be overshadowing the football portions of the football team knowns as the Pittsburgh Steelers on any particular day, this is still a football organization, full of people with jobs to do. There aren’t many left in the building who have been doing their jobs with the Steelers long than has Kevin Colbert, currently the general manager of the team.
He along with pretty much everybody else in the organization has taken his fair share of criticism lately—and then some, I would argue—both for his actual job of building a roster and for referring to football players as “kids” even though pretty much everybody, including young players, use that term to refer to other players.
Amazingly, in spite of all that, Colbert remains a respected figure around the league, and the latest example of that comes from (take it for whatever it’s worth to you) RotoWorld, whose Patrick Daugherty recently published a list of the top general managers in the league. He ranked Colbert third, behind only Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Howie Roseman of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Kevin Colbert has been the Steelers’ general manager since 2000. His rosters have won 65.2 percent of their games, second to only Bill Belichick’s Patriots Death Star”, Colbert’s entry in the article begins. “The last time Pittsburgh finished below .500 was 2003. Impressive, unassailable”.
But “keeping it going will require overcoming some heady issues”, he added, arguing that Head Coach Mike Tomlin “finally lost control of an ever-volatile locker room” and arguing that Ben Roethlisberger “started” the fire.
“Colbert responded by extending his quarterback through 2021. Roethlisberger’s blank check complicates Colbert’s most pressing question — is Tomlin still the right man to lead this group of players?”, he asks, saying that Tomlin is paid for what he does in the locker room and not on the field.
“For his part, Colbert must do a better job on the defensive side of the ball”, Daugherty goes on. “The team was caught flat-footed at linebacker following Ryan Shazier’s injury, while cornerback is a recurring trouble spot. Colbert showed some urgency in the draft with his uncharacteristic trade up for Devin Bush. Colbert has lasted this long by answering the big questions and getting the little details right. Both are currently threatening to derail what has been an underappreciated front office run”.
So basically, he seems to think that Colbert has done a nice job up to this point but it’s all about to blow up in his face if he isn’t careful. They did miss the postseason, but I personally think this take is a little dramatic and makes it kind of surprising that he would rank Colbert as high as he did.