We don’t know when exactly it’s going to happen, but there will be a day sometime relatively soon when Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert announces that he will be stepping away from the game. For those who might be thinking otherwise, that is the only way that he is ever going to step down from his current role, at least for the foreseeable future.
When that day comes, it is entirely expected that the Steelers will look from within to find their next general manager, assuming that they actually formally give anybody that title. Colbert was the first person to be bestowed that title, and it wasn’t given to him for something like a decade.
Earlier this week, it was reported by Mark Madden—and therefore, take it as you will—that Omar Khan, the team’s Vice President of Football & Business Administration, was informed that he will not be Colbert’s successor when that time comes, and that he was not happy about that news. Whether or not that’s true, who knows, and if it is, it’s not because Madden said so.
The earlier speculation about who would succeed Colbert had always been Brandon Hunt, their Pro Scouting Coordinator, who has been with the team for a long time, though it has always been Khan who has received interviews for open general manager roles elsewhere.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Art Rooney II confirmed what we’ve already been given to understand when it comes to life after Colbert, whenever that is, which is that their intention is to promote somebody from within, though he allowed for the possibility of expanding the search when that day comes.
“I think we have viable internal candidates, but if Kevin decided not to continue on we’d look at opening up the situation and doing a search”, he said, courtesy of Jim Wexell of 247Sports. “It remains to be seen how I’ll approach that. I kind of feel that Kevin’s going to come back, but who knows?”.
As we have discussed, Colbert’s current contract runs only through the end of the 2021 NFL Draft. He is already on record as stating that he intends to take the remainder of his career one a year-to-year basis, and he is already 64 years old.
Colbert has been with the Steelers since 2000 since being brought over from the Detroit Lions organization. His first title was Director of Football Operations, but he was formally given the title of General Manager in 2010. In 2016, Vice President was also added to his title in addition.
Pittsburgh has enjoyed tremendous success in the two decades of football played with Colbert as general manager, though that unfortunately skews more toward the first half. Postseason success has become ore elusive over the past decade, something he and everybody else in the building understands must change.