The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to break rank and interview outside candidates for the General Manager’s position.
According to a report from NFL Network inside Ian Rapoport, the Steelers are scheduled to interview ESPN analyst and Monday Night Football color analyst Louis Riddick for the franchise’s GM position, which is scheduled to become vacant following the pending retirement of Kevin Colbert after the 2022 NFL Draft.
Riddick is the latest name to join the likes of current in-house options in Pro Scouting Coordinator Brandon Hunt and Vice President of Football & Business Administration Omar Khan, as well as external candidates in Tennessee’s Vice President of Player Personnel Ryan Cowden, Indianapolis Colts’ Assistant General Manager Ed Dodds, and Los Angeles Chargers’ Director of Player Personnel JoJo Wooden.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 8, 2022
The expectation remains that one of Khan or Hunt will be promoted, though both could ultimately share the role in Pittsburgh. It is curious though that the Steelers continue to do their due diligence and look elsewhere.
The news of the scheduled interview of Riddick falls in line with the Steelers targeting heralded football guys as Riddick has interviewed in the past for the GM position with the Eagles, Raiders, and Giants, to name a few in recent years.
A former University of Pittsburgh star that was a ninth-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 1991, he went on to play seven years as a pro in the NFL for the Niners, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders.
Following his retirement, the 52-year-old went on to work in Washington’s front office and also served as a scout before being promoted to Director of Pro Personnel. After Riddick’s tenure in Washington ended in 2007, he took a similar position with the Eagles and climbed the ladder to become Director of Pro Personnel in Philadelphia, as well.
In early January, Riddick told the Associated Press that while he has one of the best broadcasting jobs in America, he would be willing to listen to teams interested in him for the GM job.
“I have one of the great broadcasting jobs in America, period,” Riddick told The Associated Press. “I have always been very up front, starting with (ESPN president) Jimmy Pitaro that this is not a situation where I’m going, ‘I want to get back to the NFL.’ If teams call and want to talk to me about being a general manager, then I have a definite interest in that kind of thing because it’s always been a career goal of mine, and it’s always been a challenge that I have been interested in. And if it were to be something that was a great fit for them and me, then sure, then we would take it down the road and see how far it would go.”
It is unclear when Riddick is scheduled to interview with the Steelers.
Prior to Tuesday’s news, Steelers Depot’s Alex Kozora targeted Riddick as a potential external candidate this offseason with the pending retirement of Colbert.
“Sticking with Pittsburgh roots but Riddick is qualified to be a NFL GM regardless of geography. He’s considered one of the smartest people on the TV side of things but he has an accomplished in-league background too. Breaking into the league as a scout in 2004, he worked his way up to becoming the Eagles’ Director of Player Personnel from 2010 to 2013.
“After that, he’s served as a TV analyst and currently appears on ESPN, appearing on shows and as a color commentator for Monday Night Football. That’s given him the chance to talk to players and coaches around the league in pre-production meetings, picking their brains and gathering insight few would be able to do. He’s garnered NFL interest on a near annual basis, interviewing for the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, among other teams.
“Riddick grew up near Philadelphia but played his college ball at Pitt. His cousin, Tim Lewis, was the Steelers’ DB coach and eventual defensive coordinator in the late 90s-early 2000s. With their history and stability, the Steelers would surely be an attractive job Riddick would consider. It’s been awhile since he’s been in the league but his ESPN job has kept him right on the doorstep. It would be surprising if he didn’t at least get an interview. And I bet he crushes it, which would give the Steelers pause about promoting from within.”