Art Rooney II Says ‘Basic Structure’ Of Front Office Will Stay The Same With Next GM Hire

Change can often be difficult, especially after more than two decades in the same place with the same person or group of people.

That type of change is exactly what’s coming to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the coming months at the General Manager position as longtime GM Kevin Colbert is expected to step away from his day-to-day role as GM following the 2022 NFL Draft, allowing the Steelers to hire a replacement for him.

Currently, the Steelers are searching high and low for the next GM in Pittsburgh, having already interviewed 10 candidates for the impending opening (two internal, eight external candidates). Though change is coming at the top of the front office on the football side of things, Steelers’ owner Art Rooney II stated Thursday during a one-on-one interview with WTAE’s Andrew Stockey that while change is coming within the front office, the basic structure the Steelers have had for the last two decades under Colbert won’t be changing anytime soon.

“You know, Andrew, I would never say that we’re not open to new ideas or new thoughts here, but, in general, I don’t think we’re looking for a complete start over in terms of the structure of our personnel department,” Rooney said to Stockey during his sit-down interview with the WTAE sports anchor. “You know, we feel like we’ve been pretty successful over the years, and so, you know, I think the basic structure will stay the same.

“…We have some excellent internal candidates, as you know, and we’ve talked to some excellent people outside the organization. So, we’re gonna have a good pool of candidates to choose from. And so, you know, I think that person will come in and be asked to fit within the organization. But certainly if they have good ideas, we’re not opposed to talking about them.”

So far, the Steelers have interviewed internal candidates in Brandon Hunt and Omar Khan for the impending opening, as well as names like Louis Riddick, Morocco Brown, Ed Dodds, Ryan Cowden, John Wojciechowski, JoJo Wooden, John Spytek, and Dan Morgan.

On Monday, Colbert added that the Steelers wouldn’t make a hire at the position until after the draft, and are currently wrapping up the first round of interviews ahead of March 1, which becomes the day teams in the NFL can then deny interview requests.

Though Colbert and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin have been able to insert their input into the hiring process, giving their thoughts on the best potential hire, Rooney stated to Stockey that the decision will be his, and his along in the end, considering the GM position reports to him directly.

“No, it’ll be my decision,” Rooney said. “It’ll be my decision and this position reports to me. So that’s the way it’ll go, but it’s great to have input from people like Kevin and coach [Tomlin] and others in the organization who know these people and can make strong recommendations for us.”

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the buck stops with Rooney at the very top. He’ll obviously weigh input from Colbert and Tomlin heavily in his decision, and should be able to ultimately reach a consensus decision. Just don’t expect the structure of the front office or the chain of command inside that front office to change anytime soon.

As it stands today in late February, it still remains most likely the Steelers stay internal by promoting Khan, Hunt, or some combination of the two, adding to that continued structure inside the front office.

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